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  Urban Sprawl Modeling, Air Quality Monitoring, and Risk Communication: The Northeast Ohio Project (50 pp, 1.83 MB) (EPA/625/R-02/016) November 2002

The Northeast Ohio Urban Sprawl, Air Quality Monitoring, and Communications Project provides local environmental and health information useful to residents, local officials, community planners, and others in a 15-county region in northeast Ohio. Focus groups consisting of staff from state and local government agencies, and representatives of neighborhood, civic, religious, academic, development, banking, business, and environmental groups, had previously identified urban growth and environmental quality as the top regional problems.

This project:

  • Addresses the environmental impacts posed by urban sprawl (the random spreading of low-density development beyond a city's boundaries)
  • Provides near real-time data on air quality related to individual and public health
  • Conducts an extensive community outreach program on sprawl and air quality issues

Communication of environmental and health risks to the public has increasingly become a responsibility of local and state officials and private groups involved in environmental monitoring. People have come to expect access to more information about local air quality, for example, and advances in environmental monitoring and computer technology have made timely communication of environmental conditions possible.

This project was part of EPA's 1996–2002 Environmental Monitoring for Public Access and Community Tracking (EMPACT) Program, which assisted communities in providing the public with time-relevant environmental and associated health-risk information. Local governments involved in the EMPACT program identify and use effective methods to collect, manage, and distribute environmental health information to the public. Handbooks such as this one provide other communities with the experiences of municipalities that have successfully accomplished these data collection and communication objectives so that other communities might develop or expand their own local environmental monitoring, modeling, and communication programs.


Dan Petersen


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