Link to the Air Quality Alliance of the Chattahoochee Valley

Columbus' Air Quality

Bus Routes:

METRA services are a viable transportation solution to help improve Columbusí air quality. Possessing a fleet that mainly consists of clean diesel engines, METRA demonstrates its commitment to the environment and quality of life issues.

Clearing the Air about OZONE

Air quality affects our economic growth, health, and overall quality of life. Our dependence on the automobile is costly in many ways: unclean air, health problems and uncontrolled population growth. Peak hour traffic has:

  • Increased the number of breathing-related emergencies during high ozone periods
  • Caused Atlanta to have some of the most congested roads in the world
  • May result in a "serious" non-attainment area rating by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Could jeopardize access to hundreds of millions of dollars in federal road funds
  • May prevent some businesses from locating in Columbus

Ground-Level Ozone

Commonly known as smog or pollution, ground-level ozone forms as chemicals and emission particles react under certain weather conditions. High ozone levels occur during the summer months (May through September) when the temperatures are hot and winds are low. The following formula is simple to remember:

VOC + NOx + Weather Conditions = OZONE

VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds) come from cleaners, paints, adhesives fuels, plus vegetation and other things that "smell". NOx (Nitrogen Oxides) come from combustion of gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, diesel and other fuels.

Many sources contribute tons of pollutants into the air, but the largest percentage comes from mobile sources (i.e., automobiles, trucks, buses, motorcycles, etc.)

Did you know...?

  • One gasoline-powered lawn mower operated one hour has VOC emissions equivalent to an automobile driven 635 miles.
  • An average car emits 120 pounds of emissions per year.

Actions to Take

Here are some suggested actions individuals can take to reduce air pollution:

  • Plan ahead to combine trips and errands
  • Use transit, carpool, vanpool, telecommute, bike or walk
  • Drive alternative fuel vehicles or the newest, best-maintained vehicles
  • Delay refueling cars until evening to limit pollutant vapors (don't top off tank)
  • Delay lawn maintenance until evening
  • Use electric or natural gas grills instead of charcoal and lighter fluids
  • Delay painting until evening (use environmentally-safe paints and cleaning products)
  • Conserve energy and set air conditioners to 78 degrees