Air quality in San Diego has reached a modern pinnacle in the County’s history as ozone levels have dropped and are now in compliance with 1997 federal ozone standards. It is the first time the County has met the standards, but more work has to be done as more stringent regulations are already in place, and the County has just a couple of years to meet the new guidelines.

The improvements in the levels of low-lying ozone come despite the continued population growth in the County. With more people inevitably come more automobiles and more pollution. But due to cleaner burning fuels and more efficient cars, the increase in polluters has not negatively impacted pollution levels. Instead, the County is looking forward at other, less regulated polluters to make further improvements. That includes jet airliners and cruise ships.

Other ways to facilitate cleaner air include promoting carpools, vanpools, bike lanes, and public transit. Diverting people from traditional modes of transportation can reduce congestion and increase green lifestyles. Such long-term transportation planning is the responsibility of the San Diego Association of Governments, which is making changes to its 2050 plan after being criticized by the courts.

Read the full story at the UT San Diego.