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Air Quality

Air Quality
(Updated March 2014)

For Alliance Alerts involving air quality, click here.

Alliance Position:
The Alliance supports policies to encourage new technology-based solutions, including higher vehicle gas mileage standards to reduce carbon dioxide and green house gases, and believes the region should be held harmless for airborne ground level ozone generated outside and transported into the region.

Current Status:
Air quality in the metropolitan Washington region is improving dramatically. In fact, in 2013 the region recorded no Code Red (unhealthy for all) rated days. 

Compare this to the 1980s when the region averaged 17 Code Red days. During the first decade of this century, the average is less than 3. Again, in 2013 there were none.

This progress has occurred despite dramatic increases in population, registered vehicles and vehicle miles traveled, in large part due to technological advances in fuel and engines.

The region’s current fiscally Constrained Long Range Plan (2013-2040) or CLRP and shorter term Transportation Improvement Plan (FY 2013-2018) conform to the requirements of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. In fact since 1990 mobile source Nitrogen Oxide emissions have declined by nearly two-thirds and mobile source Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions have declined by nearly 80%, again despite massive increases in population, motorized vehicles, daily trips and vehicle miles travel. Even better, with higher mileage standards, cleaner and alternative fuel vehicles and the retirement of older vehicles from the fleet transportation emission levels are expected to improve even more between now and 2040.

This progress is very important, not only for the overall health of area residents, but because for decades transportation opponents have tried to promote the false notion that air quality is getting worse and therefore the region cannot be permitted to build new highways and river crossings or upgrade existing facilities.
For current air quality forecast, click here.

For current year and historic air quality data, click here.

Ozone Season Recaps:
 For  summaries of recent Ozone Seasons (May - September) click on the years below.

2004 - 2010

For information on the EPA's Ozone standards, click here, EPA's Ozone Standards.