Jessica Mathews /

Today marks the first Ozone Action Day of the year for Livingston County residents and others across Southeast Michigan as pollutants are expected to be in a range deemed unhealthy for sensitive groups.

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments says it’s important for local governments, businesses, and individuals to do what they can to voluntarily lower pollutant emissions on Ozone Action Days when high levels of ozone are expected.

SEMCOG says breathing high concentrations of ozone can cause a variety of health problems - particularly for the elderly, children, and people with asthma or other respiratory issues.

SEMCOG Executive Director Amy O'Leary says "A weather forecast near 100 degrees grabs our attention, and an Ozone Action Day should do the same". She says the concentration of air pollutants has a huge impact on the health of Southeast Michigan residents – especially the most vulnerable populations."

SEMCOG offered some actions for residents to consider to help minimize ozone formation. That includes delaying mowing the lawn until evening or the next day; trying to drive less, telecommute, bike, or walk; avoiding refueling vehicles during daylight hours; reducing electricity use; adjusting thermostats a few degrees higher, and turning off lights.

This marks the 29th year of SEMCOG’s voluntary program that helps keep Southeast Michigan's air clean. In 2021, there were five Ozone Action Days declared.