Air Quality Around Carlisle Schools Ranks Near Bottom of National Report: Sentinel News

December 12th, 2008: The Sentinel News

Air Quality Around Carlisle Schools Ranks Near Bottom of National Report

By John Hilton, City Editor

Excerpt:

A special USA Today report on air quality ranks Carlisle area schools near the bottom and is prompting the state to do tests of its own in other areas.

On a short-term basis, the state Department of Environmental Protection is working with school administrators and county level agencies to measure air quality near eight schools across the state, though none are located in Cumberland County.

In a series of articles this week, USA Today used data collected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2005 to analyze exposure to industrial pollution at 128,000 schools across the country. The stories cited five Pennsylvania schools where the newspaper’s test showed elevated levels of pollutants and identified 38 others it calculated as located in high-pollution zones based on EPA data.

Carlisle Early Education Center and Cornerstone Christian Academy are in the first percentile of highly polluted zones — meaning that 99 percent of schools in the country have better air quality. No schools in Cumberland County were better than the national average and most are in the worst 25 percent.

“The Commonwealth is committed to ensuring that our communities, especially the areas where our children go to school, are safe and clean,” said acting DEP Secretary John Hanger. “Children are especially vulnerable to airborne pollution as they take in more air as a percentage of their body weight than adults. Because of this, DEP has worked diligently to improve air quality beyond federal limits.”

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