Pollution Prevention

Air Quality

Many of the issues impacting air quality in Baltimore are influenced by factors outside of the city.

However, there are actions we can take locally to help improve the air we breathe. The EPA has created an Air Quality Index that is used to track and report daily regional air quality. A Code Red designation is applied on days when outdoor air quality is deemed unhealthy for everyone and limiting outdoor activities is recommended. Code Orange designation is applied on days when the air quality is deemed unhealthy for sensitive populations such as children and older adults. In 2007, Baltimore experienced four Code Red and 23 Code Orange days. Baltimore City, along with several other local jurisdictions in Maryland, is currently out of attainment with federal fine particle pollution standards. The goal is to eliminate Code Red days, minimize Code Orange days, and bring Baltimore into compliance with federal air quality standards. Here are five strategies that can help:

  • Add an air quality and climate change implication evaluation to all government-funded projects
  • Create Code Red/Orange day policies
  • Explore options for more efficient fleet conversion
  • Institute and enforce a city-wide no-idling policy