Northwest Indiana Partners for Clean Air

Outcomes and Conclusions

In 2021, the Partners for Clean Air program had 19 members; there are nine businesses, five governmental agencies, and five individuals. Specifically, there are eight gold-level, three silver-level, and seven bronze-level members committed to reducing harmful air pollutants.

To limit air pollutants, there is a list of voluntary actions members have taken, such as reducing driving, conserving energy, and avoiding excessive idling on Air Quality Action Days. For businesses, some members have designated a workplace coordinator for Air Quality Action Days, started an in-office rideshare program, and used telecommuting and teleconferencing. Together, these actions have assisted in improving the air quality of Northwest Indiana.


The biggest challenge for the Northwest Indiana Partners for Clean Air has been encouraging small entities and individuals, with limited resources, to join the program and improve their local air quality through voluntary actions. Since many individuals view ambient air pollution as a problem caused solely by large industrial facilities, with significant emissions, many individuals do not believe their actions will impact local air quality. To overcome this challenge, the program continues to educate community members about air pollution and highlight daily actions residents can take to limit their air pollution.  

Additionally, as the program’s outreach efforts are mainly targeted at adults and industry leaders, it has historically struggled to communicate its message to youth. To increase youth engagement, the program established college scholarships that assist qualified students who have educational goals aligned with clean air and public health.

Questions for discussion

These questions are designed to inspire readers—especially those wanting to learn broadly about climate change solutions—to think critically about the case study on this page and encourage deeper, more meaningful conversations. A list of ERIT case studies that include discussion questions can be found on the Resilient Communities Case Studies page. 

  1. Visit the US EPA Air Quality Index and generate an AQI report for your hometown.
    1. What are the number of good days, moderate days, unhealthy days for sensitive groups, unhealthy days, and very unhealthy days?
    2. Were you surprised by any of the information contained in the report? 
  2. How do you think Partners for Clean Air can increase youth engagement?  
  3. Other than the examples listed in the case study, what are voluntary actions individuals and businesses can take to limit air pollution? 
  4. What are some incentives to improve local air quality?  

To learn more about the Northwest Partners for Clean Air Program, contact:

Charles Breitenfeldt
Partners for Clean Air Coordinator  
Indiana Department of Environmental Management  
(219) 250-0119 

Similar Case Studies

To see how the City of Cincinnati developed an Air Quality Advisory Action Plan for their city operations, view the Cincinnati case study.