NIRPC, Partners for Clean Air Wrap Up 2013 Ozone Season

Organizations participated in Air Quality Action Days

nirpcThe Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC), together with Partners for Clean Air participated in four Air Quality Action Days throughout the 2013 ozone season. Air Quality Action Days are characterized by ozone levels in the 101-150 Air Quality Index (AQI) range, which is unhealthy for individuals with heart and lung disease, older adults and children.

“It’s important that we all to work together to reduce air pollutants in our community,” said Kathy Luther, environmental director at NIRPC. “Taking simple actions everyday — but especially on air quality action days — can help to improve the air quality of our region.”

Partners for Clean Air participated in the ozone season by promoting Air Quality Action days within their organizations and raising awareness of the simple actions that can be taken to reduce ozone pollution.

“We always communicate, plant-wide, the occurrence of an Air Quality Action Day,” said James Alexander, manager of environmental compliance at U.S. Steel. “We have an Air Quality Action Day plan, informing staff members of actions that can be taken to reduce air pollution.”

“I inform all health department employees about Air Quality Action Days, said Patty Nocek, LaPorte County Health Department environmental health specialist. “I provide information on what not to do on action days, such as mowing the lawn or sitting in a drive-thru.”

“Lakeshore Public Radio reports Air Quality Action Days during the summer,” said Wende Burbridge, Lakeshore Public Media director of development. “Additionally, we provide information on eliminating certain activities, such as mowing and suggest alternative transportation, such as biking to work.”

“On Air Quality Action Days, we flew the Partners for Clean Air flag with pride,” said Joe Kutch, environmental coordinator at NiSource.

Small changes in behavior on the part of individuals and businesses can prevent the formation of ground-level ozone pollution. On Air Quality Action Days, residents can take action by:

• Reducing vehicle idling
• Biking or walking instead of driving
• Carpooling
• Combining errands
• Filling gas tanks and mowing after 6 p.m.

Partners for Clean Air is a coalition of Northwest Indiana businesses, industries, local governments, and community groups committed to raising awareness. To learn how your organization can be a part of Partners for Clean Air, please visit

Northwest Indiana Clean Air is a partnership between the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission and the people and business of Northwest Indiana to help all residents Think Green & Breathe Easy — understanding and inspiring action to continue improving the air quality of our unique region. To learn more, visit