The Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency's Near Road monitoring site provides data on traffic-related air pollution. The site is located adjacent to Interstate 75 South approaching the Hopple Street exit.
When COVID-19 hit Ohio, the Ohio Department of Health issued a statewide Stay-at-Home order effective March 24. As a result, many businesses were suspended or quickly transitioned to telework, reducing traffic on local interstates.
An analysis of the pollutants collected at the Near Road site for the time period March 23 through June 30 showed a decrease in all pollutant collected at that site compared to the same time period for the previous three years: 2017 to 2019.
- Oxides of Nitrogen (NOx): -19.1%
- Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2): -18.6 %
- Nitric Oxide (NO): -20.1%
- Carbon Monoxide (CO): -9.1%
- Particulate Matter in size fraction 2.5 microns (PM2.5): -14.1%
Monthly Averages of Nitrogen Dioxide Through June 30, 2020
This graph shows the monthly averages of Nitrogen dioxide through June 30, 2020. A decrease in the concentration can be seen during the Stay at Home order. When the order was lifted in late May, NO2 concentrations began to rise to their pre- Stay-at-Home order levels.
- Nitrogen dioxide is a by-product of gasoline combustion engines used in personal and commercial vehicles from compact cars to large freight trucks
- Total traffic counts from March 24 through May 19 were down 42% when comparing 2019 to 2020
- Total traffic counts for the period May 20 through June 30 were down 20% when comparing 2019 to 2020
- Analysis of Impact of COVID-19 Ohio Stay at Home Order on Air Pollution in Cincinnati (PDF)
- View media coverage on the reduction of air pollution during the Stay at Home order: