|Air pollution has acute and chronic effects on human health. Health effects range from minor irritation of eyes and the upper respiratory system to chronic respiratory disease, heart disease and lung cancer. Air quality is regulated through the Clean Air Act (CAA), which requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) that set permissible levels for six common air pollutants. These common air pollutants are found all over the United States and include particle pollution (often referred to as particulate matter or PM), ground-level ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and lead. |
Regions that do not meet a NAAQS for a given pollutant are said to be in “non-attainment” for that pollutant. The Metropolitan Washington Air Quality Committee (MWAQC) Region, which includes Montgomery County and the City of Rockville, is in non-attainment for ground-level ozone and particulate matter (PM2.5).
Cars are a major source of these pollutants. Rockville residents can help improve local air quality by reducing their use of gasoline and diesel vehicles and taking advantage of the public transit system, carpool opportunities and bicycle and pedestrian paths in our area. Residents can also make a difference by conserving energy at home or ensuring that their electricity is generated from a renewable source.
For more about pollution reduction activities, refer to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) Air Quality information or the Montgomery County Air Quality Enforcement page.