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Posted on: October 1, 2015

EPA announces revised Ground-Level Ozone Standard; SGF currently in attainment



The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the revised Ground-Level Ozone standard today. The Springfield region is officially 68 ppb, though the values are expected to be 61 ppb once the 2013-2015 readings are certified. This information is intended to assist media with localized information.

The Ground-Level Ozone standard is a standard established by EPA under the Clean Air Act of the early 1970’s. Under that law, EPA is required to periodically review the existing standards in light of new research information gained in the years between reviews regarding the effects of ground-level ozone on human health and the environment. Download graphic.

The Ozone standard was last revised in 2008 to a level of 75 parts per billion. EPA has proposed a new standard of 70 parts per billion. This is calculated on a three-year rolling average and, while our 2013-2015 readings are still preliminary, as of Sept. 30, they appear to be at 61 parts per billion.

Local Implications
Springfield/Greene County is currently “in attainment,” or is meeting that standard. A designation of “non-attainment” would mean the region is out of compliance. Usually there are levels of severity determined with a non-attainment designation. This determines the level of impact non-attainment can have on a region. Being in non-attainment places new requirements on a region and can require additional study before expanding or adding certain types of new businesses and roadway capacity. Once an area is non-attainment, even achieving the standards brings a 20-year maintenance plan before a region can exit the non-attainment program.

Health concerns
Though not all pollution can be seen, it can create harmful effects on the human body. The elderly, children, and other vulnerable populations feel the effects of air pollution much greater than the general population. There is a fact sheet from the EPA in your handouts that further details impacts on hospital visits due to changes in pollution levels. Download graphic.

Local sources of ozone
Ozone is a bit complex. Ozone high in the atmosphere is beneficial. It shields the earth from harmful rays from the sun. Download graphic.

However, at ground level, ozone can have a negative impact on both human and plant health. Ground-level ozone is not emitted from a single source, rather, it is the formed by the interaction of several pollutants reacting with heat, especially over the course of the day. Download graphic.

This is why levels are higher during the summer months. Contributors, nitrous oxide (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), accumulate during the day, and as things get warmer throughout the day, these elements combine to form ozone. This is why many ozone-related prevention strategies may mention changing evening activities.

There are also some natural and seemingly innocuous sources that can contribute to the formation of ground level ozone. When coupled with well-known pollutants, these can add difficulty to the task of preserving good air quality. For example, in our region, mobile sources (automobiles, buses, trucks, inboard/outboard motors and other gasoline-powered engines account for nearly half of all contributing emissions and are considered our “primary sources.” Download graphic.

Proactive steps under way
Springfield, Greene County and City Utilities of Springfield have been taking steps proactively for a number of years to protect our air quality and avoid nonattainment status for ground-level ozone, including being founding members of the Ozarks Clean Air Alliance (OCAA).

Formed in 2007, OCAA currently serves an 11-county region. OCAA started in 2007 as a subcommittee of the Environmental Collaborative at the Community Partnership of the Ozarks and has grown into an active coalition of various stakeholders, including City, County, and State government officials, local businesses and non-profits, area utility companies, and interested citizens.

OCAA has produced Clean Air Action Plan, first adopted in 2009 and originally addressing only ground level ozone pollutant concerns. Over the past few years, the plan and the efforts of the OCAA have grown to include particulate matter (another regulated pollutant). The Clean Air Action Plan now serves as the Path Forward Document for both proactive EPA Ozone Advance and Particulate Matter (PM) Advance Programs.

Role of City Utilities of Springfield
Typically, coal-fired power plants are major contributors to ground level ozone; however, in Springfield, City Utilities has made great strides in reducing their emissions in the region. Download graphic

Mobile and industrial sources, including utility boilers, emit NOx and VOC emissions that are precursors to ozone formation under specific atmospheric conditions. City Utilities and its customers have invested in air quality in the region by significantly reducing its emissions.

CU has helped the Springfield-Greene County region meet National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) while power generation and customer demand has continued to increase. Since 1988, as federal regulatory pressures move the goalposts, CU has decreased its overall emissions by nearly 82% with power generation requirements increasing over 80%.

Additionally, CU and its customers have invested over $150 million in emission control technology and currently has purchased power agreements in place totaling $10 million that include wind and solar generation.

Other preventative activities performed by OCAA member organizations
• Development and implementation approved formal and non-formal educational materials for air quality education, including teachers’ workshops.
• Website development/management:
• Management of a regional rides-haring program for both employers and the general public or
• Coordination with Missouri Department of Transportation to utilize electronic road signs
• Support of the local municipally-owned utility air quality protection efforts, including promotion of solar power.
• Support of the region’s continued build-out of pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, which boasts over 100 miles of trails, and a goal of 10 miles of new sidewalk each year.
• Inclusion of air quality protection efforts as a component of the Ozarks GreenScore voluntary sustainability program which rates and provides technical assistance to local businesses.
• Local participation in the Missouri PACE (Property Assessed Clean
Energy) program providing funding sources for energy efficiency capital improvements.
• Promotion of a model no-idle policy for local governments and businesses.

• Support of the City of Springfield Air Quality protection program following loss of state funding for local regulatory efforts, including Stage One Vapor Recovery requirements.
• Securing EPA Diesel Emission Reduction Assistance (DERA) grants used to retrofit and or replace school buses, diesel trucks and related vehicles.

The citizens and visitors who enjoy living and recreating in our region value our clean and healthy environment. As a part of the larger community, we are constantly working to balance the protection of our natural environment with the costs associated with those efforts.

As we have seen in our water quality protection efforts, we tend to be ahead of many areas in the country in that our public infrastructure is in place, leaving additional gains to be made to come from the “smaller” or “nonpoint” sources. In the case of air quality, those sources are our cars, trucks, even lawn mowers. In order for us to continue to meet or exceed standards and to continue to protect the health of our citizens and our environment, the entire community must pitch in.

Awareness of air quality as a potential environmental/health concern tends to be rather low, in part, because we do have good quality air; however, it is not without effort and expense that we are in this preferred position and it will take continued effort and expense to continue to enjoy this most precious of resources.

For more information
• Receive daily air quality level predictions:
• Missouri Department of Natural Resources Air Quality Program Web site:
• U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Ozone Web site:
• Ozarks Clean Air Alliance: Contact: Natasha Longpine, 417-865-3042 x103 or Barbara Lucks, 417-864-2005.
• City Utilities of Springfield: Contact: Joel Alexander, 417-831-8902.
• Ozarks Transportation Organization: Contact: Natasha Longpine, 417-865-3042 x103.
• City of Springfield Dept. of Environmental Services – Air Quality Section: Contact: Brian Adams, 417-864-1412.
• Real-time air quality readings:


Media contact: Barbara Lucks, Sustainability Officer, City of Springfield – 864-2005 blucks@springfieldmo.govRead on...

More about air quality.
Posted on: October 1, 2015

Springfield Fire Department kicks of Fire Prevention Month with visits to 10,000 children



October is Fire Prevention Month. The Springfield Fire Department will once again use the designation as an opportunity to educate Springfield citizens about fire safety. In cooperation with Springfield Public Schools and several ...Read on...

Fire Safety for Students
Posted on: September 30, 2015

Thanksgiving day Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk Early Bird registration now open


Now that autumn is officially here, Springfield’s favorite Thanksgiving tradition is just around the corner.

Early Bird Registration is now open for the 21th Annual Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk, held Thanksgiving Day, Thursday Nov. 26, 8 a.m. in downtown S...Read more »

Turkey Trot information
Posted on: September 30, 2015

Springfield Fire Department receives 400 smoke alarms to install in area homes

Smoke Alarm


Four hundred Springfield homes will now be a lot safer, thanks to a donation of smoke alarms from The Home Builders Association of Greater Springfield, Meek’s – The Builder’s Choice, Metro Appliances & More and the HBA Charitable ...Read more »

Posted on: September 29, 2015

Third-graders to discover 'Treasures of the City' Tuesday, Oct. 6



Third-grade students and their families will tour the City's Government Plaza while they treasure-hunt for knowledge of municipal government at the 26th annual "Treasures of the
City" Partners in Education event, hosted by the Ci...Read on...

View video of 2013's Treasures of the City even
Posted on: September 29, 2015

Assistant City Attorney Sarah Kerner named interim Economic Development director



Assistant City Attorney III Sarah Kerner will join the City of Springfield’s Planning and Development department as interim Economic Development director effective Oct. 4.

While serving in her new position, Kerner will retain ...Read on...

Download Kerner head shot.
Posted on: September 28, 2015

Haunted Trail of Horrors, Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch opens Fri.-Sat. nights through Oct. 24


Brave the Haunted Trail of Horrors or tour the kids' Halloween Fun Field every Friday and Saturday night Oct. 2-3 through 23-24, 6-10 p.m., at Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park, 3825 W. Farm Rd. 146, Springfield.

The Haunted Trail of Horrors includes a hayride...Read more »

Harvest Fest poster
Posted on: September 23, 2015

'Zone blitz' plan to address concerns shared in May’s listening meetings



At a series of nine “listening” meetings in Springfield’s northwest neighborhoods in May, City and community leaders heard neighbors’ concerns.

Now, it’s time for action.

About 175 individuals representing nearly 100 organi...Read on...

Posted on: September 22, 2015

City to receive federal grant to help hire 11 additional police officers



The City of Springfield was notified Monday by the U.S. Department of Justice that the City will receive funds to assist with the hiring of 11 additional officer positions under the 2015 COPS Hiring Program (CHP). The estimated to...Read on...

Posted on: September 17, 2015

Springfield Fire Department provides fire safety education to middle and high schoolers



Members of the Springfield Fire Department are going back to high school. As part of a new fire safety program aimed at middle and high school students, educators with the Springfield Fire Department will visit numerous schools te...Read on...

Fire Safety for Students
Posted on: September 16, 2015

Mayor Stephens announces formation of task force on crisis sheltering



Mayor Bob Stephens announced Wednesday, Sept. 16, the formation of a task force on crisis sheltering. Describing the numbers of people in need of immediate shelter, as “mind boggling,” Stephens said the lack of crisis shelter faci...Read on...

List of Area Crisis Shelters
Posted on: September 15, 2015

Harvest Fest returns to Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park


Harvest Fest at Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park opens Sept. 19-20, kicking off six weekends of corn maze, pumpkin patch and all kinds of fall-themed family fun.

The annual Harvest Fest event spans Saturdays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sundays, noon to 6 p.m., Sept....Read more »

Harvest Fest poster
Posted on: September 15, 2015

September sales tax revenue up 1% compared to budget



The City of Springfield's September 1% general sales tax check from the Missouri Department of Revenue is up 1% compared to what was budgeted. The check reflects sales processed by the state in August from transactions made primar...Read on...

View Sales Tax Chart.
Posted on: September 12, 2015

Sobriety checkpoint results


The Springfield Police Department and the Greene County Sheriff’s Office conducted a sobriety checkpoint last night at Jefferson Avenue and Harrison Street. A total of 625 motorists were contacted during the 3 ½ hours the checkpoint was in operation.
...Read on...

Posted on: September 10, 2015

Neighborhood Watch training sessions to be offered next month



The Springfield Police Department will be conducting Neighborhood Watch training sessions in October. The training focuses on crime prevention, observation and reporting skills, Operation Identification and Crime Prevention Throug...

Read on...

Training Session Registration Form
Posted on: September 10, 2015

Investigators confirm names of individuals killed in Springfield house fire



Corrected news release: The Springfield Fire Department can now confirm the identities of the two individuals killed in a house fire September 7. While the final autopsy report is pending, using medical records, the Greene County ...Read more »

Posted on: August 17, 2015

Construction begins for phase II of Jefferson Avenue streetscape project



Public Works has authorized Hunter Chase & Associates to begin construction on phase II of the Jefferson Avenue streetscape project. This project will continue the streetscape improvements previously constructed downtown, includin...Read on...

Posted on: July 16, 2015

City releases 2014 Year in Review


Find out what the City was up to in 2014 by checking out our 2014 interactive Year in Review report.

Posted on: May 1, 2015

WalletHub names Springfield third-best city for doing business in the U.S.


WalletHub analyzed the relative start-up opportunities that exist in the 150 most populated U.S. cities. Springfield ranked third on the list. View the findings

Posted on: March 19, 2015

Diversity in SGF


Springfield leaders share the sentiment that diversity and inclusion are extremely important aspects of community culture.

Posted on: October 28, 2011

City Jobs

Together- Springfield- Overall_thumb.jpg

The City of Springfield offers challenging employment opportunities to people interested in careers in public service at the municipal level. View job openings.

View jobs