ACOG TO DEVELOP REGIONAL AIR QUALITY PLAN TO BETTER ENSURE CLEAN AIR FOR ALL RESIDENTS
As Central Oklahoma inches toward violating the Ozone & Particulate Matter standards, the plan will provide steps to improve air quality
The Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG) has competitively procured Reagan Smith and MHT Consulting to develop a Regional Air Quality Plan.
For the first time, with this plan, ACOG seeks to better understand our current air quality status and sources of emissions, what other regions are doing to improve air quality, private sector emissions reduction strategies, transportation sector emissions reduction plans, policy and funding opportunities, equity considerations and environmental justice, as well as action and implementation items.
The study covers the eight-county Oklahoma City-Shawnee Combined Statistical Area (CSA) which includes the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and the Shawnee Micropolitan Statistical Area.
“We are excited to work with Reagan Smith and MHT Consulting on this plan,” Eric Pollard, ACOG Air Quality and Clean Cities Manager, said. “Although we have made progress in reducing emissions in certain areas, this Regional Air Quality Plan will expand our understanding of where the highest emissions are occurring and what actions we can take to prevent air pollution.”
Central Oklahoma is at risk of receiving a Nonattainment designation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), due to high ground-level ozone (O3) and particulate matter (PM) concentrations in and around the Oklahoma City area.
When ACOG released the Cost of Nonattainment Study (CNA) in June 2022, it reported that a violation of federal air quality standards and ensuing federal regulatory requirements could cost the OKC Metro Area as much as $9.6 – $15.2 billion over a 20-30-year period. ACOG embarked on the study to help its local stakeholders better understand the multiple transportation and economic risks with Nonattainment status.
“The economic burdens identified by ACOG reinforce the urgent need for the Oklahoma City Area to remain in attainment of air quality standards,” Monica Smith Griffin, President & CEO of Reagan Smith, said. “Reagan Smith plans to build off that work by bringing in our expertise and tools to focus on how individuals, businesses and government can improve regional air quality.
The Regional Air Quality Plan is projected to be completed by Fall 2024.
“The MHT team is thrilled to work on this important project with ACOG and Reagan Smith in our home base of Oklahoma City,” Jaron Hill, Principal & Partner or MHT Consulting, said. “This project allows our staff to utilize our extensive knowledge of air quality regulations and apply it to help maintain a healthy environment for the metro area. Remaining in attainment status for ozone pollution ensures the Oklahoma City metro area can continue to promote economic growth while providing clean air for its citizens.”