About Ozone Alert!
After twenty years on the EPA’s nonattainment or “Dirty Air List”, the Tulsa Metropolitan Area was redesignated as an ozone attainment area in 1990. Just one year later however, the area began to exceed the allowable ozone standard (0.120 parts per million (ppm) 1-hr standard). In an astounding 2-week time frame in the summer of 1991, INCOG developed a regional Air Quality Committee which conceived of, developed and implemented the very first Ozone Alert! Program in the nation. The program’s purpose was to improve air quality and to ensure ongoing economic prosperity by remaining in compliance with the ozone standard. Now thirty years later, the Tulsa Area is still in attainment of the ozone standard and all the national air quality standards.
The Ozone Alert! Program takes a voluntary, episodic approach to reducing ground-level ozone. Recognizing high-ozone days typically occur May through September, on days with high temperatures, minimal cloud cover and light winds, the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), in collaboration with the National Weather Service and INCOG, forecast potentially high ozone days. When Ozone Alert! Days are forecast, INCOG and the entire Tulsa region kicks into action to voluntarily help reduce emissions that form ground-level ozone. No later than 4pm the day before the actual Alert! Day, notice is spread though texts, email, widgets, highway message boards and many other venues.