Richmond area reports zero unhealthy ozone air quality days

Richmond area reports zero unhealthy ozone air quality days
The James River and downtown Richmond. (Source: Pixabay)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — It's been a good year for air quality in Richmond.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality says the Richmond metropolitan area recorded zero unhealthy ozone air quality days this year. It's the first time since the department began monitoring air quality in the early 1970s that the region had no days with poor air quality.

Unhealthy air quality days are characterized as days when sensitive people are advised to reschedule strenuous outdoor activities.

DEQ Director David Paylor said that 1993 was the worst year on record, when Richmond experienced 76 days with poor air quality. He said progress has been made through more stringent pollution limits, more efficient vehicles, cleaner fuels, ridesharing and alternative transportation.

The ozone pollution forecasting season ended on Oct. 2 and will begin again next April.