Peer regions were chosen for their comparable size and composition. These same regions have been used for comparison in multiple other studies and reports.
Source: Environmental Protection Agency, Air Quality Index (AQI), 2016.
AQI includes # of days good, # of days moderate, # days unhealthy for sensitive groups, # days unhealthy, and # days very unhealthy.
*Only includes metro areas which there were measurement taken 365 days.
Why It's Important
The Environmental Protection Agency tracks annual air quality among all metropolitan areas in the nation, called the Air Quality Index (AQI). Good days are considered satisfactory and air pollution poses little or no risk. They correlate to clear skies with no smog. This indicator is a proxy for environmental factors (an important part of a quality place), and strong AQI makes outdoor activities more accessible.
Although good air quality days decreased in the Richmond Region from 291 to 263 since 2014, it still beats the U.S. metropolitan average of only 257 good air quality days in 2016.