Air Quality

air pollutionReduce air pollution by 20 percent by 2020

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Sacramento region is designated a “nonattainment” area for ground-level ozone and particulate matter (PM2.5).

This means the area does not meet current federal air quality health standards for those pollutants. More importantly, to the residents of Sacramento this means health impacts, especially for those with conditions like asthma and heart disease.

Despite nonattainment status, the region is making progress to reduce air pollution.

According to the Sacramento Air Quality Management District, nitrogen oxides (NOx), a component of ozone, have decreased by 41 percent since 1990, even as the region’s population increased significantly. This reduction can be attributed to stronger federal and state mandates, new technologies and innovative programs in the region.

Greenwise initiative participants, advised by air district experts, set a target of reducing pollution levels by 20 percent by 2020. This will be accomplished through a number of actions to reduce pollution especially from mobile sources, industrial uses and energy production.

Photo by Natalie McNear, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license.

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