Clean Air Corps

Air quality across the three coastal counties of Hancock, Harrison and Jackson has steadily been improving over the last 10 years. Most of this improvement is attributed to new and improved technologies. For example, cars are getting more fuel efficient, chemical and fuel storage has gotten safer, alternative vehicles are more prevalent, many diesel vehicles and equipment has been retrofitted to function with cleaner fuels and/or with less harmful emissions. In addition, large local corporations and our major industries have been installing new clean technologies into their regular processes.

In an effort to continue this trend of environmental health, Gulf Regional Planning Commission, the MS Gulf Coast Metropolitan Planning organization (MPO), created the MS Gulf Coast Clean Air Corps (CAC). This is an education and awareness program designed to support those already participating in protective activities and to engage new schools, businesses, local governments and individuals in the effort as well. Together we will keep our air clean.

These webpages provide regionally relevant air quality information and encourage participation in the Clean Air Corps. Each of us can support the clean air goals of this region.

  • Ozone Standards 

    EPA Strengthens the Air Quality Standards for Ground-Level Ozone
    On October 1, 2015, EPA strengthened the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone to 70 parts per billion (ppb), based on extensive scientific evidence about ozone’s effects on public health and welfare. The updated standards will improve public health protection, particularly for at-risk groups including children, older adults, people of all ages who have lung diseases such as asthma, and people who are active outdoors, especially outdoor workers. They also will improve the health of trees, plants and ecosystems.

    READ THE REPORT

  • 2015 School Bus Replacement and Retrofit Funding Opportunity

    EPA is now accepting applications from school bus fleet owners for rebates on school bus replacements and/or retrofits with Diesel Oxidation Catalysts plus Closed Crankcase Ventilation.  EPA has approximately $7 million available for this rebate program.  Applications will be accepted from public and private fleet owners.  Private fleet owners must have an existing contract with an eligible public entity, as defined in the Program Guide.

    Applicants may list up to ten buses for replacements on each application.  These buses must be powered by a model year 2006 or older engine.  EPA will pay between $15,000 and $25,000 per bus, depending on vehicle size.

    Applicants may also list up to ten buses to retrofit with Diesel Oxidation Catalysts plus Closed Crankcase Ventilation.  EPA will provide up to $3,000 per retrofitted bus.

    Applicants with fleets of 101 or more buses currently in use may submit two applications.

    EPA will accept applications until Friday, October 30th, 2015, at 4 pm Eastern Time.

    Applicants are strongly encouraged to read the entire Program Guide prior to submitting their application(s).

    Schedule Date and Time
    Rebate application period opens September 28, 2015
    Webinar for applicants
    Webiner Link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2323857777182198529
    Call-in number: 314-627-1518
    Atendee Access Code: 537-048-931
    October 6, 2015
    2-3 p.m. Eastern Time
    Rebates application period closes October 30, 2015
    4 p.m. Eastern Time

    READ MORE

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In December 2014, the EPA proposed to lower the current ozone standard from 75ppb to as low as 60ppb. Our region’s current ozone average is between 66 & 69ppb. We at Gulf Regional Planning Commission, realized that it was important to start taking proactive steps to ensure we remain in compliance with national air quality standards, but also to ensure that we continue to keep our air clean and healthy for the community.

In partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), the American Lung Association and the Long Beach School District, we created the Coast Clean Air Corps (CAC) and our mascot, Captain Clean Air was born.

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The CAC offers support and resources to organizations and individuals who choose to incorporate clean air strategies and emission reduction controls into their regular activities. Any person or organization that implements at least two clean air techniques regularly is eligible to become a Clean Air Corps Member. View the list of available protection activities, select the one’s that apply to your home, school or business, fill in the membership pledge card and email it over.

Membership will open in July 2015 with the launch of the new CAC website. Go to the membership page here.

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Regional Planning

Air Quality Index: Good 0-50, Moderate 51-100, Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 101-150, Unhealthy 151-200, Very Unhealthy 201-300, Hazardous > 300