SUSTAINABILITY

Air Quality | Energy | Water Resources | Livable Communities

Partners for
Clean Air

The Partners for Clean Air program is a voluntary organization of citizens and business who take efforts to keep the air clean. The program began in 1994 with the main goal to educate the public about simple actions they can take to clean the air. The three main efforts the program takes to help reduce emissions and improve air quality of the region are:

Annual Award
Luncheon

Clean Air
Michiana

Air Quality
Action Day Notices

Every year, in partnership with NIPSCO, the Partners for Clean Air program hosts an Annual Award Luncheon to recognize local public and private organizations and businesses making special efforts to promote clean air practices.

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The goal of Clean Air Michiana is to help all residents and businesses understand and improve the air quality of our region. Learn more about how you or your business get involved, take action, and champion the cause for cleaner air below.

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An Air Quality Action Day is when the Air Quality Index (AQI) gets into the unhealthy ranges. Sign up to become a Partner, you would be notified when an Action Day is forecasted for the following day. The notice will include reminders of what steps you can take to help keep the air clean.

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The Air Quality Index (AQI) provides a simple, uniform way to report daily air pollution concentrations. The AQI value tells the public about the general health effects associated with these pollutants and prescribes some general precautionary steps that can be taken. The AQI is reporting tool that converts the pollutant concentrations measured in our air to a simple number on a scale are related to the potential health effects of the daily measured concentrations of five major pollutants: carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3), nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and small particulate matter (PM10) The intervals, descriptors words, generalized health effects, and cautionary statements are listed in the table below.

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AIR QUALITY INDEX


(AQI) Values Level of Health Concern
0 to 50 Good
51 to 100 Moderate
101 to 150 Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
151 to 200 Unhealthy
201 to 300 Very Unhealthy
301 to 500 Hazardous

Northern Indiana
GREEN FLEET

MACOG has partnered with South Shore Clean Cities (SSCC) to manage the Northern Indiana Green Fleet Program. The goal of this program is to significantly improve the environmental performance of business and governmental vehicle fleets across Northern Indiana through utilizing alternative fuel technologies.

SSCC can work with fleets to help mitigate barriers that prevent adopting alternative fuels and advanced technology vehicles, and create policies that support petroleum and vehicle-emission reductions. SSCC staff finds opportunities to connect an organization with vendors and grant opportunities to meet the fleet’s needs. Additionally, SSCC can provide educational opportunities including fuel and technology workshops, trainings, seminars, and certifications.

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Solar Energy

Since 2017, MACOG has worked with local governments, non-profits, and area residents to better understand solar technologies, policies, and best practices. Several communities have achieved SolSmart Designation from the Department of Energy and hosted workshops to educate homeowners and others about the benefits and process of going solar. The region has continued to see growth in solar installations at homes, businesses, non-profits, schools, and government buildings.

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St. Joseph

RIVER BASIN COMMISSION

The St. Joseph River Basin Commission (SJRBC) is an organization established by the Indiana General Assembly that is dedicated to improving water quality within the St. Joseph River Basin. The Commission is composed of representatives from 6 counties in the Indiana portion of the basin: Elkhart, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, St. Joseph, and Steuben counties.

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LIVABLE
COMMUNITIES

What defines a livable community is both place-based and context sensitive as a community’s character can differ depending on the setting: urban, suburban, or rural. However, many of the same livability principles can still be applied to create a dynamic community that is able to preserve its character while still achieving economic prosperity. The physical characteristics of a community play an essential role in contributing to livability, creating a sense of place and providing opportunities for sustainable choices. Important physical aspects that contribute to a more livable environment include:

1. Attractive street design that promotes safe travel for all users
2. Preservation of unique cultural and environmental resources
3. Balanced development that makes use of abandoned land and leads to growth
4. Mixture of affordable housing types, located near shops, businesses and services
5. Variety of opportunities for recreation and entertainment
6. Safe facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians
7. Efficient and effective public transit provisions
8. Transit-oriented development

Every July, MACOG hosts a Livable Communities Workshop for area planners, engineers, policy makers, and community members to learn how to apply livability principles to their communities and our region.

Multi-Hazard
Mitigation Planning

Mitigation Plans form the foundation for a community's long-term strategy to reduce losses from natural disaster and break the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. The planning process is as important as the plan itself. It creates a framework for risk-based decision making to potentially reduce damages to lives, property, and the economy from future disasters.

In the MACOG region, all four Counties have a FEMA and State approved Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan. These plans are countywide and include each city and town. Without FEMA approved plans, these local governments would not be eligible for federal funding for non-emergency disaster assistance.

Elkhart County Kosciusko County
Marshall County St. Joseph County

Developing hazard mitigation plans enables governments to:

  • Increase education and awareness around threats, hazards, and vulnerabilities;
  • Build partnerships for risk reduction involving government, organizations, businesses, and the public;
  • Identify long-term, broadly-supported strategies for risk reduction;
  • Align risk reduction with other state, tribal, or community objectives;
  • Identify implementation approaches that focus resources on the greatest risks and vulnerabilities; and
  • Communicate priorities to potential sources of funding.