2010 Feb. 3: Clean Air Action Day (Particulate Pollution)

RAWSEP View: Feb. 3 was NOT the first clean air action day for Dane County



February 3, 2010

Contact: Lisa MacKinnon, Project Coordinator, (608) 266-9063 or (608) 335-5193 (cell)

Take Action For Cleaner Air this Thursday:



NOTE TO LOCAL NEWS MEDIA: Please help communicate this urgent pollution

prevention message to Dane County area residents. Fine particle pollution levels could

potentially exceed the federal health standard tomorrow, Thursday, February 4th.

The Dane County Clean Air Coalition (CAC) today announced the first C

lean Air Action Day of 2010 for

Thursday, February 4

th. The Clean Air Action Day was triggered by the state Department of Natural Resources

(DNR) issuance this afternoon of an Air Quality Watch for most Wisconsin counties, including Dane County.

According to DNR meteorologists, continuing warm temperatures and light winds on Thursday will continue to

create a temperature inversion formed by warm air rising over snow cover resulting in ideal conditions for trapping

fine particles and allowing them to build to potentially unhealthy levels.

Today, Dane County has experienced a build-up of fine particle pollution

levels that exceed the federal threshold for "unhealthy for sensitive

groups" such as children, older adults, people with asthma or heart

disease and adults engaged in vigorous outdoor activities. Similar

conditions are expected all day tomorrow.

Dane County air quality currently meets state and federal standards.

However, air pollution measurements taken during the past few years

indicate that, especially as Dane County continues to grow, actions must

be taken to ensure our air remains healthy into the future. By taking

voluntary actions today, residents, businesses and local governments

can help avoid the possibility of more drastic mandatory federal

regulations costing consumers and businesses millions of dollars in the


“On fine particle Clean Air Action Days we ask residents, businesses,

government agencies and institutions in the County to join us in taking

some simple voluntary actions that will reduce fine particle emissions,

protect the health of local residents and help ensure that Dane County

continues to comply with all federal air quality standards,” said Lisa

MacKinnon, Project Coordinator of the Clean Air Coalition.


Can You Do to Reduce

Fine Particle Pollution?


Carpool, ride the Metro Transit

bus, walk or bike to work or

recreational activities.


Combine errands and reduce



Don’t let engines idle — It gets

0 MPG!


Conserve energy at home and

work by turning off

unnecessary lighting,

computers and other electrical

devices when not in use.


Open burning and use of burn

barrels should be avoided.


Avoid use of outdoor wood

burning boilers and fireplaces.


If you use a wood burning

stove, make sure it is an

efficient model; burn small hot

fires with dry, seasoned wood.

Dane County Clean Air Coalition, Page 2

Since the establishment in 2008 of a stricter federal health-based standard for fine particle pollution,

Dane County has come closer to the threshold for being declared a “non-attainment area” for fine

particle air pollution. Fine particles are very small particles with diameters less than 2.5 microns (about

30 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair).

Over half of Dane County’s air pollutants come from our cars and trucks, as well as other gasoline and

diesel engines that power everything from construction equipment to leaf blowers. Due to their small

size, fine particles are easily inhaled and are deeply deposited into the lungs, which can aggravate and

even cause serious health problems such as heart and lung disease. On a

Clean Air Action Day,

residents are advised to monitor their health and to consult their physician if they have any healthrelated


For more information on Clean Air Action Days, visit the Dane County Clean Air Coalition website at


. Air Quality Watches and Advisories will be posted on the main DNR internet

page, http://dnr.wi.gov/, as soon as they are issued. The Air Quality Hotline is 1-866-DAILY AIR (1-866-

324-5924) and will be updated when watches or advisories are issued. To sign up

for the DNR listserv and receive watches or advisories by e-mail, go to



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