Louisville’s Air Exceeded Ozone Standard Three Days Last Week

The Louisville Metro area is coming off of a string of bad air quality days, in which ozone levels were high enough to be unhealthy for many people. But relief may be on the horizon.

There were four consecutive air quality alerts called last week, but ozone levels were only high enough to exceed the federal standard on three of those days: Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Air Pollution Control District spokesman Tom Nord says the weather could be tricky to predict this week, but it seems likely Louisville’s ozone levels will remain normal for now.

“There’s supposed to be a front coming through today that supposedly could bring some rain, maybe some scattered thunderstorms,” he said. “And obviously, that usually clears out the ozone. Normally when you have a cold front and rain come through, I don’t think I’ve seen a situation when we have high ozone when that happens.”

During the bad air days last week, only air monitors in Indiana recorded levels of ozone that exceed the federal standard. But Nord says that doesn’t mean the district is off the hook.

“It’s a pretty tight net, and that’s a good thing,” he said. “The EPA doesn’t make exceptions just because you have one monitor somewhere. This is a community problem, and we have to come up with a community-wide solution.”

There have been 23 high ozone days so far this year. Last year, there were 23 in total, and the last was in early September. In 2010, there were 20 days of high ozone, and the unhealthy air days extended all the way into October.

Erica Peterson

Erica Peterson reports on energy and the environment for WFPL.

@ericampeterson

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