The City of Wichita is moving forward with a three-year plan to stay below federal ozone standards and improve air quality. The strategy was presented to City Council members at a workshop on Tuesday.
The city joined the voluntary Ozone Advance Program in 2012. Assistant Public Works Director Don Henry says in the years since, the city and its partners have reduced emissions by more than 375 thousand pounds--the equivalent of taking 17 thousand cars off the road.
It's a strong number, Henry said, but the city can do better.
Under the new plan, the city will work with regional partners to stay under the federal ozone standard of 70 parts per billion, and develop tools to identify and reduce emissions that produce ozone.
“At the end of the three years," said City Manager Robert Layton, "we’ll have a pretty significant modeling effort that will allow us to pinpoint the conditions that are ripe for ozone production, and hopefully allow us to kick in very specific strategies in order to drive ozone levels down, or to keep them from rising to problematic levels.”
He said going above federal ozone levels could cost residents and businesses as much as $10 million a year to get in compliance.
Wichita's ozone season starts on Wednesday.
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