2010 March 11: WI Madison (Dane County): THIRD CLEAN AIR ACTION DAY CALLED THIS WEEK

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 10, 2010

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

2010 March 11: WI Madison (Dane County): THIRD CLEAN AIR ACTION DAY CALLED THIS WEEK

FOR FINE PARTICLE POLLUTION IN DANE COUNTY

EFFECTIVE THURSDAY, MARCH 11, 2010

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

prevention message, including pollution reduction actions, to Dane County area

residents. Fine particle pollution levels could potentially exceed the federal health

standard on Thursday, March 11, 2010.

The Dane County Clean Air Coalition (CAC) has announced this week’s third

Clean Air Action Day for fine particle

pollution for all day

Thursday, March 11th. The Clean Air Action Day was triggered by the state Department of

Natural Resources’ (DNR) issuance of a new Air Quality Watch for several Wisconsin counties, including Dane

County, which is in effect from 11:00 p.m. tonight through 11:00 p.m. on Thursday night. According to DNR

meteorologists, nighttime cooling combined with light winds and snow cover or wet soil conditions is creating a

persistent inversion layer, which results in ideal conditions for trapping fine particles and allowing them to build to

potentially unhealthy levels. Fine particle pollution comes primarily from vehicle exhaust, power plants, industrial

sources, and wood burning.

Since Sunday, Dane County has experienced consistent levels of

fine particle pollution 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.

Thursday’s forecast indicates that the build-up of fine particle

pollution is likely to continue to exceed the federal threshold for

"unhealthy for sensitive groups”. Because people who are at risk are

more vulnerable after several days of high particle pollution

exposure, those with lung diseases such as asthma and bronchitis,

and heart disease should pay attention to cardiac symptoms like

chest pain and shortness of breath or respiratory symptoms like

coughing, wheezing and discomfort when taking a breath, and

consult with their physician if they have concerns or are experiencing

symptoms.

“As we continue to experience a particularly stubborn fine particle

pollution episode this week, we are calling another Clean Air Action

Day

to alert the public of the health risks and 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

-MORE

What

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 trips.

 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

ensure that Dane County continues to comply with all federal air quality standards,” said Lisa MacKinnon, Project

Coordinator of the Clean Air Coalition.

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 and U.S. EPA creates more

stringent public health standards for air quality, we need to step up our emission reduction actions 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 future.

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). The U.S EPA has indicated it will review the 2008 standard

for fine particle pollution, which could result in an even more stringent compliance threshold being established in

the near future.

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 health-related concerns.

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

http://www.healthyairdane.org. 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

http://dnr.wi.gov/org/aw/air/health/listserv.html.

-MORE

##End ##

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