Analysis of Performance
- This is a quarterly metric.
- The AQI did not meet the target.
- The AQI represents a combination of impacts from particulate matter and ground levels ozone concentrations.
- Higher ozone concentrations are generally observed in summer months, and the Northern Front Range region is in violation of Federal health-based ozone standards.
- Ozone formation is influenced by many factors including intensity and hours of sunlight, stability of the atmosphere, and sources of air pollutants. Particulate levels were affected by large regional wildfires.
- Ozone and particulate matter are regional issues with health implications.
- Continued violation of Federal standards is expected to lead to tighter controls for contributing emissions.
- Enhanced regulatory efforts may include impacts to personal vehicle use, such as increased inspection and maintenance programs.
- Local efforts to improve air quality include:
- Providing education and outreach to increase awareness about the health impacts of high pollution days, including a data monitoring website (see fcgov.com/airquality)
- Partnering with the Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC) to provide outreach regarding high ozone days.
- Restrictions on outdoor solid fuel burning in residential areas.
- Transportation planning efforts to reduce vehicles emissions, such as promotion of alternative transportation options and anti-idling campaigns.
- Regional and local efforts to reduce emissions from oil and gas development.
- Incentive programs to replace gas powered lawn and garden equipment with electric options
The Air Quality Index (AQI) is used by the EPA to communicate daily air pollution and health implications. Shown are the number of days per quarter in which the ozone or PM2.5 AQI was categorized as “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups”, “Unhealthy” or “Very Unhealthy”. The metric is a measure of the number of 'good' air quality days (as defined by EPA's Air Quality Index - AQI) in a quarter based on air quality monitoring data from Fort Collins. The AQI is calculated by EPA as a measure of local air quality and its effect on human health. The higher the AQI value, the greater the level of air pollution and the greater the health concern. 'Good' air quality corresponds to an AQI of 50 or less (on a scale of 0-500) and poses little or no risk of adverse health effects.
Why Is This Important?
The Air Quality Index (AQI) is used by the EPA to communicate daily air pollution and health implications. Shown are the number of days per quarter in which the ozone or PM2.5 AQI was categorized as “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups”, “Unhealthy” or “Very Unhealthy”.
City Organization Impact on Performance
Low – This metric is influenced much more directly by atmospheric conditions and emissions from motor vehicles and industry than it is by City efforts to implement emission reduction strategies and programs.
THE AQI for ozone and particulate matter have not been benchmarked against other world class cities because the measures are highly influenced by local and regional factors that are not comparable to other cities. Ozone concentrations are influenced by meteorological and topographical conditions that can be unique to each city. In addition, ozone is influenced by transport from other regions. Particulate matter concentrations are influenced by local climate conditions and local emission sources that can be unique to each city and can be highly influenced by natural events such as wildfire.