Wildfires Leave Sky Full of Soot

California Fires Leave 32 Dead, a Vast Landscape Charred, and a Sky Full of Soot

NY Times, Oct. 12, 2017

SONOMA, Calif. — Some of the worst wildfires ever to tear through California have killed 32 people and torched a vast area of the state’s north this week, but the reach of the blazes is spreading dramatically further by the day, as thick plumes of smoke blow through population centers across the Bay Area. . . .  Air-quality, based on levels of tiny particles that can flow deep into the lungs, is rated “unhealthy” across much of Northern California, and smoke has traveled as far as Fresno, more than 200 miles to the south.   Read more

EPA Air Quality Information for Napa, Oct. 13, 2017:

Napa

cur_aqi_napa

 

Current Conditions  Oct. 13, 2017
Air Quality Index (AQI)
observed at 17:00 PDT
 393    Hazardous
Health Message: People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should remain indoors and keep activity levels low. Everyone else should avoid all physical activity outdoors.
Note: Values above 500 are considered Beyond the AQI. Follow recommendations for the Hazardous category. Additional information on reducing exposure to extremely high levels of particle pollution is available here.
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Time for Climate Change?

Mort Rubenstein from Citizens’ Climate Lobby will speak on “a legislative proposal to address climate change.”  The bipartisan climate solutions caucus intends to introduce carbon-pricing legislation in the next few months. Learn the outline of this proposed legislation.  Join members of the clean air community to discuss this topic at CAB’s community meeting, Oct. 5, 7:00 pm at Second Presbyterian Church, 528 Garland Drive, Carlisle, PA  17013.

Defending the Clean Air Act

Recent changes at the Environmental Protection Agency have threatened to undo years of progress cleaning our air.  Find out what is going on. Learn which clean air programs are under attack and what we can do about it.  Join members of the clean air community at CAB’s community meeting, Sept 7, 7:00 pm at Second Presbyterian Church, 528 Garland Drive, Carlisle, PA  17013.

CAB Comments on VW mitigation trust

July 17, 2017 – The Clean Air Board of Central Pennsylvania recently submitted comments to the Department of Environmental Protection regarding the draft plan for Environmental Mitigation Trust Agreement (settlement) with Volkswagen.   We asked that DEP focus on pollution reduction projects located in areas with high population density and high traffic density.  Areas of high population density (such as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh) and high traffic density (such as the I-95 corridor, the I-81 corridor, and major ports) are often the areas with the poorest air quality.  We believe that carefully selected projects in these areas will result in much needed health benefits for residents of these areas.  To read the full text of the comments, go to CAB Final Comments

Air Quality Action Day – Thursday

DEP has declared an Air Quality Action Day for Susquehanna Valley, PA, on Thursday, Jun 22
Forecast
Thursday, Jun 22: 102 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Ozone
55 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and its regional air quality partnerships have forecast a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for ozone on Thursday, June 22, for the 5-county Philadelphia area (encompassing the counties of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia) and the Susquehanna Valley area (Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Cumberland, and York counties).

Strong sunshine, light winds, and temperatures in the high 80s to near 90 degrees F are expected to cause ozone levels to rise into the Code ORANGE level.

Elevated ozone levels are expected to last only one day. More clouds will move in on Friday, with a cold front coming in from the Great Lakes as well as the remnants of Cindy coming northward out of the Gulf of Mexico. The clouds and rain will act to bring ozone back down to low levels.

On air quality action days, young children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems, such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis, are especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution and should limit outdoor activities.

Here are some Air Quality Action Day tips you can follow to help reduce pollution:

Days when ozone levels are expected to be high:

* Conserve electricity and set your air conditioner at a higher temperature.
* Choose a cleaner commute—share a ride to work or use public transportation. Bicycle or walk to errands when possible.
* Refuel cars and trucks after dusk.
* Combine errands and reduce trips.
* Limit engine idling.
* Use household, workshop, and garden chemicals in ways that keep evaporation to a minimum, or try to delay using them when poor air quality is forecast.

Source: http://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/NewsRoomPublic/articleviewer.aspx?id=21229&typeid=1

Provide Input on How to Reduce Pollution

Clean Air Board community meeting, June 1, 7 pm.  Second Presbyterian Church, 528 Garland Drive, Carlisle, PA 17013

The Clean Air Board has been closely following the lawsuit between the federal government and the Volkswagen corporation over fraudulent actions to disguise the fact that it was not complying with diesel engine emission standards.  The lawsuit has ended in a settlement, whereby Volkswagen agreed to pay states to conduct programs to reduce air pollution caused by its products.

On May 19, 2017, Governor Wolf announced that he was seeking ideas on how to spend $118 million from the Volkswagen settlement to pay for projects to reduce air pollution in Pennsylvania. Settlement funds can be used to pay for ten types of vehicle upgrade and infrastructure projects, including converting older diesel vehicles and equipment to cleaner burning fuels, and electric vehicle infrastructure.  On May 20, the Department of Environmental Protection published a  Draft Beneficiary Mitigation Plan Relating to the Volkswagen Settlement; Listening Sessions and Solicitation of Public Input

The list of projects that are eligible for funding:

  1. Class 8 Local Trucks and Port Drayage Trucks
  2. Class 4-8 School Bus, Shuttle Bus, or Transit Bus
  3. Railroad Freight Switcher Locomotives
  4. Ferries/Tugs
  5. Ocean Going Vessels Shorepower
  6. Class 4-7 Local Freight Trucks
  7. Airport Ground Support Equipment
  8. Forklifts
  9. Light-Duty Zero Emission Vehicle Supply Equipment
  10. Matching funds for projects eligible under the Diesel Emission Reduction Act

The Clean Air Board will be holding a discussion session at its community meeting on June 1, 2017, at 7 pm on your ideas on how to reduce pollution under the settlement.

Citizens can comment on a draft plan to allocate money to pollution control projects until July 5, 2017.   For additional information, go to: http://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/NewsRoomPublic/articleviewer.aspx?id=21203&typeid=1

Clean Air Board meeting May 4

Join us at the Clean Air Board community meeting on May 4 at 6:30 pm.  We will hear Dr. Craig Jurgensen’s report on the Environmental Neurotoxicology Research Forum recently hosted by the PennState College of Medicine.  We are meeting at the Second Presbyterian Church, 528 Garland Drive, Carlisle, PA