Air Quality

Greater Philadelphia area residents and businesses are being asked to help efforts to reduce ground-level ozone on announced unhealthy air quality days.

Ozone is a noxious form of oxygen. Unlike ozone in the stratosphere which protects us from ultraviolet radiation, ground-level ozone can cause lung damage. Remember: Ozone is good up high but bad nearby! Elderly individuals, people with existing respiratory ailments such as asthma and emphysema, and young children should avoid strenuous activity on unhealthy air quality days. Even healthy adults exercising or working outdoors may experience lung problems on those days.

The objective of the Air Quality Partnership is to decrease the formulation of ground-level ozone during the summer. Ground-level ozone forms when pollutants from vehicles, paints and solvents, unburned fuel, and industrial sources "bake" in hot, sunny weather.

The program warns the public about forecasted high ozone days, and asks for voluntary actions to reduce emissions of ozone-forming pollutants. The Air Quality Partnership program is entirely voluntary and depends on everyone to share the responsibility. The program is cost-effective and does not require new regulations or mandatory actions.

There are a variety of easy ways people can participate, such as these:
  • Limit daytime driving and combine errands
  • When you must drive, try to avoid congested periods
  • Ride public transportation or carpool to work
  • Maintain your vehicle's emission control equipment
  • Walk or ride a bicycle for short trips
  • Postpone the use of gasoline-powered mowers until evening
  • Refuel your car in the evening and don't top off your tank
  • Avoid lighting your barbecue with starter fluid
  • Avoid prolonged idling and jackrabbit starts
  • Use latex rather than oil-based paints


The program is sponsored by a variety of business, environmental and government partners and is managed by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC).

For more information about the program, please contact The Partnership TMA 215-997-9100 or DVRPC 215.592.1800.

A Special Thanks to Our Sponsors

SEPTA   |   PennDOT   |   DVRPC   |   Montgomery County