The transportation sector is estimated to contribute 25-30% of the nation’s greenhouse gas production and also contributes to air pollutions. The MPO monitors local air quality and promotes ways to reduce air pollution.

What Are Air Pollutants?

Ozone (O3) – Occurs in the Earth’s upper atmosphere and at ground level. Ozone in the upper atmosphere protects us from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays is considered “good” ozone. In the lower atmosphere or ground level, ozone is harmful to human health and the environment and is considered “bad” ozone. The MPO monitors ground level ozone.

Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5) – Fine particulates (PM2.5) are less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter and are caused by all types of combustion such as motor vehicles, power plants, wood burning and forest fires. The MPO area is currently meeting air quality standards for particulate matter.

Air Quality Forecasts and Health Alerts

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Air Quality forecasts for the Lexington Area are available through the University of Louisville with the support of the KY Transportation Cabinet and Federal Highway Administration.

More information on air pollutants and greenhouse gases can be found at AirNow and at the EPA.