Breathing Room is a plan to ensure local air quality continues to improve by promoting new fleet electrification and transportation choice initiatives. The plan was developed based on community input, policy priorities, and available funding. These efforts help decrease the likelihood that our region will violate the health-based standard in the future.
Despite dramatic improvements in local air quality over the last decade, Mecklenburg County and the entire Charlotte region only narrowly meet the health-based standard for ground-level ozone. Mecklenburg County Air Quality and the North Carolina Division of Air Quality want to partner with you to put some "breathing room" between our local data and the health standard for ozone.
The Breathing Room Path Forward is a plan to continue the positive trend of improving air quality in our region.
On September 17, 2019, the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissions approved the Breathing Room Path Forward, after it was reviewed and endorsed by the Environmental Stewardship Committee and the Air Quality Commission. The the strategies and timeline below, which are part of the Path Forward, were developed based on community input, policy priorities, and available funding.
Thank you to the almost 500 community members who helped shape the region's plan to create Breathing Room! The stakeholders came from across the region ranging from high school youth and college students, to elected officials and city planners, to business and manufacturing leaders and non-governmental organizations.
Using your input, Mecklenburg County Air Quality and the North Carolina Division of Air Quality created a "path forward," a list of actions we will pursue now, next, and in the future to improve local air quality.
Can you help us create Breathing Room? Here are a few ways you can get involved:
Be a champion for one or all of the strategies in the Path Forward (Strategies).
Request a presentation to your organization or community group.
Join the Charlotte Air Awareness Business Coalition to access free, turn-key emission reduction program for your worksite.
As a local air quality agency, Mecklenburg County Air Quality’s (MCAQ) goal is not just to maintain compliance with air quality standards, but to continue the positive trend of improving air quality and put some “breathing room” between our local data and the health-based standard. Therefore, MCAQ and the North Carolina Division of Air Quality (NCDAQ) are partnering through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Advance Program to take proactive steps to reduce ozone-forming air pollution and maintain healthy air quality in the Charlotte region. This is good for public health and decreases the likelihood that our region will violate the health-based standard in the future.
To create Breathing Room, the region must reduce ozone-forming nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. The pie chart below shows that most of the region's NOx emissions come from Mobile Sources like cars, trucks, tractors, and other types of vehicles and equipment. So, reducing pollution from vehicles and equipment is especially important to improve local air quality.
MCAQ leads the Charlotte region's participation in Advance and works with NCDAQ, EPA, stakeholders, and the public to implement the region's Path Froward. The Path Forward is a plan that will improve air quality while maintaining existing programs that effectively reduce ozone-forming emissions. This plan was provided to the EPA as a demonstration of the Charlotte region's continued commitment to improving air quality.