EPA’s ozone health standard – what it means for us

On October 1, the Environmental Protection Agency changed its  National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone to 70 parts per billion (ppb), based on extensive scientific evidence about ozone’s effects on public health and welfare. The new standards are intended improve public health protection, particularly for at-risk groups including children, older adults, people of all ages who have lung diseases such as asthma.

The Clean Air Board actively participated in the EPA rule setting process, providing comments and testimony.  Learn how the new standard will be implemented in central Pennsylvania, and what we should do next.

 Join us at our community meeting at Second Presbyterian Church, 528 Garland Drive, Carlisle, PA, Nov. 5, 7 pm.

Volkswagen’s “Clean Diesel” Emissions – What Went Wrong?

Recently, Volkswagen admitted that it had programmed its clean diesel engines to turn on full emissions controls only when the car was in test mode. This enabled VW diesel cars to pass emissions testing, but did not reflect real emissions during on-the-road driving conditions.  High nitrogen oxide emissions resulted, which was discovered by a West Virginia University researcher.

Kevin Stewart, American Lung Association’s Director of Environmental Health in the Mid-Atlantic Region, will explain how Volkswagen illegally bypassed emission controls and increased air pollution from these diesel vehicles.  Join us at our community meeting at Second Presbyterian Church, October 1, 7 pm.

For additional information, go to:  NYTimes – Volkswagen Recall

Pennsylvania’s Clean Power Plan – What Would You Tell the Governor?

Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection is holding listening sessions around the state to solicit comments about the EPA’s Clean Power rules, which were finalized this summer.  DEP would like to hear from you about your concerns and the means to achieve Pennsylvania’s targets for carbon reductions.  There is an upcoming listening session in York on Oct. 5, 2015,(2-5 pm) at  the Wyndham Garden, 2000 Loucks Road, York, PA  17408

Learn about the Clean Power Plan at our community meeting and tell us the points you want the Governor to hear if you cannot attend the DEP listening session.

Clean Air Board comments on Clean Power Plan at DEP listening session

Thomas Au, president of the Clean Air Board, was the first speaker at the “Clean Power Plan” listening session hosted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).   DEP invited comments on how Pennsylvania could meet the carbon emission reduction target set forth in the federal plan.

Mr. Au urged state officials to examine the emission reductions achieved by the northeast states’ Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. These states used a combination of energy efficiency measures, installation of renewable energy sources, and retiring the most polluting sources to achieve a 40% reduction in carbon dioxide from 2005.

The proposed Pennsylvania’state plan, due in September 2016, can include elements that will reduce energy consumption, increase energy efficiency, and greatly increase the use of wind and solar energy generation.

For more details about the listening session, go to  StateImpact PA

DEP declares Ozone Air Quality Action Day for Friday, Sept 18

A(n) Air Quality Action Day has been declared for Susquehanna Valley, PA, on Friday, Sep 18
Tomorrow’s Forecast
Friday, Sep 18: 102 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Ozone
64 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

Extended Forecast
Saturday, Sep 19: 72 AQI Moderate Ozone
56 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)
Current Conditions: A strong area of high pressure continues to hold it’s grip on the area at 2 p.m. EDT this Thursday afternoon. Under the high, winds are very light to near calm. Over the past couple of days, this has allowed both fine particulate and ozone precursors to build up. The result of this is that ozone levels are in the code ORANGE range this afternoon. Winds will continue light into the day Friday, with enough sunshine and heat available to again push ozone levels upward into the lower code ORANGE range. For tonight, we expect a mainly clear sky and comfortable conditions. Lows will bottom out close to 60 degrees. *** Friday’s forecast: More sunshine than clouds for Friday with temperatures topping out well above normal for this point in September. With very little mixing, ozone will rise to the lower code ORANGE range across the area. Fine particulate will continue to be well into the moderate range. Mostly clear and mild Friday night with lows in the lower 60s. *** Extended forecast: Relief is in sight for those who seek better air quality as a cold front will pass through sometime Saturdaynight. During the day Saturday, expect clouds and sunshine with increasing south winds. These winds will keep fine particulate and ozone levels in the middle moderate range. Still on the warm side with afternoon temperatures in the middle 80s. Turning cooler with winds shifting into the north on Sunday. High temperatures will only recover into the lower to middle 70s. Air quality will improve to the good range. More clouds than sunshine with onshore winds developing as we move into the early part of next week. Low levels of ozone and fine particulate will result as temperatures may struggle to reach 70. The middle of the week looks to be mostly dry, with temperatures just a little above normal. Air quality should remain good due to a continued easterly flow.—McAuliffe

DEP has declared Air Quality Action Day on Thursday, Sep 17

A(n) Air Quality Action Day has been declared for Susquehanna Valley, PA, on Thursday, Sep 17
Thursday, Sep 17: 102 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Ozone
66 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

Extended Forecast
Friday, Sep 18: 74 AQI Moderate Ozone
61 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)
Current Conditions: At 2 p.m. EDT this Wednesday afternoon, high pressure over the Mid-Atlantic continues to bring sunshine with pleasantly warm temperatures to the region. With winds quite light, the air has stagnated some over the past couple of days, and this has allowed pollutants to build. Both fine particulate and ozone will be into the middle moderate range this afternoon. Mostly clear and comfortably cool tonight with lows in the upper 50s. *** Thursday’s forecast: There will be a good deal of sunshine on Thursday with another warm afternoon. Highs will reach the lower to middle 80s. With full sun, ozone levels will cross the code ORANGE threshold in the afternoon. Fine particulate will go well into the moderate range with the light southwest winds. Mostly clearThursday night with lows in the upper 50s. *** Extended forecast: While it will remain on the warm side on Fridaywith sunshine most of the time, winds will shift into more of a southeasterly direction, and this will keep ozone levels in the low to mid moderate range. Fine particulate will also remain at moderate levels. Highs will reach the lower to middle 80s once more. Sunshine and a few clouds Saturday. Continued warm with highs in the middle 80s. South to southeast winds will keep ozone and fine particulate from going above the moderate range. A cold front then crosses the region Saturday night. While this front will bring very little rain, it will mean an air mass change for Sunday into Monday. North to northeast winds behind the front will create enough mixing to finally clean the atmosphere out. An onshore flow may then continue into the early part of next week as high pressure gets situated over New England. This will mean more seasonable temperatures and better air quality.—McAuliffe
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.

Clean Air Board Community Meeting, Sept. 3, 7 pm


Join us as CAB plans a symposium on smart growth. We will take a look at best practices for siting warehouse and distribution centers. Bring your concerns and ideas.

We will be meeting on Sept. 3, 7 pm at the Second Presbyterian Church in Carlisle, 528 Garland Drive, Carlisle, PA.

Clean Air Board heard on WITF’s Smart Talk

The American Lung Association’s “State of the Air” report for 2015 concluded the Harrisburg-York-Lebanon region has the 12th worst air in the nation for year-round particle pollution.  The region actually lost ground finishing 33rd in 2014.

The drop in rankings doesn’t mean the region’s air quality is worse, but is still a reason to be concerned.

How did it get that way and maybe the better question is what can be done to improve the region’s air quality?

Appearing on Monday’s Smart Talk to answer those questions and others are Margaret Parsons, the Healthy Air Campaign Coordinator with the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic and Thomas Au, President of the Clean Air Board of Central Pennsylvania.

Listen to the broadcast: WITF Smart Talk


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 47 other followers