As transportation modes and land uses intensify in Lawrence and Douglas County, a new series of benefits and concerns arises. One such concern is the continued protection of the region's air quality.
What is Air Quality?
Air quality is an environmental factor that has a direct relationship to the public’s health and welfare. Although in attainment for national air quality standards, the growth of the Lawrence/Douglas County region and in the Kansas City and Topeka areas warrant additional consideration of the impacts of transportation improvements on the region’s air quality.
What Pollutants Affect Air Quality?
Air Quality analysis considers the total amount of the regional travel and resulting emissions that occur on all of the roadways in the system. It provides regional levels of carbon monoxide (CO), volatile organic compounds (VOC), and nitrogen oxides (NOX). Reporting of CO emissions at the regional level is done for the wintertime condition when emission of thispollutant are at their highest. VOC and NOX emissions are precursors to the formation of ground-level ozone, a pollutant that aggravates respiratory conditions and often affects the young, old, and those with respiratory problems. Given the large number of CO and ozone non attainment areas across the nation and in the Midwest, it is relevant to report these emissions or their precursors. Although Lawrence and Douglas County are currently in attainment of all federal air quality standards, there is a strong environmental awareness in the community and interest among the project stakeholders to review the land use, transportation, and air quality relationship through the planning process.
What is being done Locally?
Following the recommendation from the Douglas County Commission, the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department Air Quality Advisory Committee was formed in late 2001. This advisory committee is comprised of citizens, businessmen, state and local planning and health officials and local environmental and air quality experts. They meet quarterly to consider air quality data and trends and recommend measures to maintain compliance with EPA air quality standards.
Their first meeting on January 16, 2002 featured a power point presentation from Tom Gross of KDHE's Air Quality Program. Click here to download the presentation.
Read the 2012 Air Quality Report from the Health Board and the Air Quality Advisory Committee regarding the regulation of ground level ozone.
Local Contact InformationDan Partridge, RS
Lawrence – Douglas County Health Department
200 Maine, Lawrence, KS 66044
KDHE Air Quality Program
1000 SW Jackson, Suite 310, Topeka, KS 66612
Where Can I Learn More?
- Environmentalal Protection Agency (EPA)
- EPA Air Now
- EPA Office of Transportation and Air Quality
- EPA State and Local Transportation Resources
State & Regional Government