The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

July 19, 2012

New group will monitor ground-level air quality in Joplin area

The Environmental Task Force of Jasper and Newton Counties is moving closer to serving as a committee of the Joplin Area Transportation Study Organization (JATSO) to help that organization address local air-quality issues related to ozone.

The task force, in a meeting Wednesday afternoon at Joplin City Hall, approved a memorandum of understanding with JATSO, which oversees federal planning funds from the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration in the Joplin Metropolitan Area.

An organizing group of the task force will form a committee that will be known as the Tri-State Clean Air Alliance. The initial area would include Jasper and Newton counties. Invitations to join will be extended to Cherokee County, Kan., and Ottawa County, Okla., and the Inter-Tribal Council at Miami, Okla.  

The alliance will monitor the results of air-quality monitoring stations and inform the public about air-quality concerns. If ozone levels become too high in the region, the committee could promote voluntary participation in the implementation of a clean air action plan.

“We plan to hold some educational meetings to explain what we are trying to do,’’ said Bob Nichols, head of the task force. “We will recruit representatives to servce on the committee from city agencies, environmental groups, the tribes and other interested parties.’’

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