The adaptation strategies below offer possible ways to address anticipated climate risks to outdoor air quality.
Adaptation strategies for outdoor air quality
- Participate in voluntary agreements to improve air quality and reduce emissions
- Develop formal agreements to create emissions inventories and implement voluntary control measures focused on reducing emissions throughout the region. Example: 8-hour Ozone Flex Program.
- Learn how Northwest Indiana is improving outdoor air quality with voluntary actions in the Partners for Clean Air Program.
- Implement public transportation and commuter benefits programs
- Promote public transportation and other forms of non-single occupancy vehicle transportation (such as bicycles and buses) by offering tax-free employee transportation incentives and allowing flexible schedule and telecommuter options.
- Implement a woodstove pollution prevention program
- These programs educate residents on the health and pollution risks associated with non-certified woodstoves and fireplace inserts.
- Provide financial incentives, or provide free stove upgrades to residents using non-certified options.
- Address emissions from off-road diesel engines, equipment, and vehicles
- Local governments can install retrofit technology on the off-road, heavy-duty diesel paving vehicles required in infrastructure updates.
- Offer incentives or vouchers for residents to swap out older machines that emit more pollutants (e.g. Louisville’s Lawn Care for Cleaner Air program).
- Implement anti-idling efforts and improve access to parking spaces with electrification for semi-trucks
- Undertake anti-idling education through awareness campaigns, programs, and laws.
- Offer electrification stops for heavy-duty trucks and buses that provide drivers with necessary services such as heating, air conditioning, and power, without the need for engine idling.
- Learn how the Northwest Indiana Partners for Clean Air is incentivizing local goverments, businesses, and individuals to improve outdoor air quality with voluntary actions.
- Adopt Smart Growth principles to encourage a mix of building types and uses with multiple transit options.
- To reduce emissions and pollution, plan for infill and brownfield redevelopment in urban cores that will reduce the need for development in the urban fringe and vehicle miles traveled to arrive at a destination.
- Create complementary transportation plans that provide a variety of options for residents to commute to work and access the community.
- Preserve and develop greenways and open spaces.
- Improve neighborhood connectivity
- Address connectivity through long-term planning, committing to accessible public transportation, and making inter-modal transportation links available so residents are able to fully commute through public transportation. Increase density near transit stations and improve parking management to provide more opportunities for people to access public transit.
- Participate in regional planning efforts to enable residents to travel beyond the jurisdiction with public transportation.
- Increase and improve tree canopy coverage
- Develop forestry plans and implement jurisdiction-wide tree planting programs and public education efforts about trees and air quality.
- Improve the effectiveness of air monitoring and air quality emergency response
- Require and promote collaboration among government agencies and external stakeholders responsible for air quality monitoring and measures. Create an Air Quality Advisory Action Plan for situations with poor air quality to warn residents and provide information on what to do. Utilize tools such as Smogwatch from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and AIRNOW from USEPA to monitor the air quality.
- Develop and implement energy plans that reduce emissions in government facilities and vehicles
- Work to reduce consumption, increase the energy performance of government buildings, use vehicles not powered by gasoline or diesel fuels, implement renewable energy technologies, and ensure procurement policies prioritize low impact decisions.
- Complete an energy savings performance contract to upgrade facilities’ energy equipment or, if a contract is not feasible yet, identify the specific make and model of a more efficient HVAC or other energy equipment to be installed when existing equipment fails.
- Implement programs to help reduce emissions from airport ground equipment
- Expand the use of non-gasoline or diesel fuels and low emission technologies. Participate in airport improvement programs such as the FAA Airport Improvement Program.
- Retrofit car, truck, and bus fleets and add necessary infrastructure
- Add diesel oxidation catalysts to trucks and buses; electrify auto fleets; install charging infrastructure throughout the jurisdiction; and participate in national or regional partnerships dedicated to reducing diesel and other emissions.
- To see how a school District in East Chicago, Indiana purchased propane buses to address local public health concern, view the case study.
- To see how a Detroit nonprofit reduced emissions with diesel vehicle replacements, view the case study.
These strategies are adapted from existing resources. Please view these strategies in the context provided by the primary source document:
- National Association of Counties’ Air Quality improvement Guide for Local Governments
The adaptation strategies provided are intended to inform and assist communities in identifying potential alternatives. They are illustrative and are presented to help communities consider possible ways to address current and future climate threats. Read the full disclaimer.