More Work Needed for Air Quality: Sentinel News

April 29th, 2009: The Sentinel News

More Work Needed for Air Quality

By Staff and Wire Reports

Excerpt:

Pennsylvania may be improving air quality to levels that protect the public’s health in most of the state, as a report released this week indicates, but local advocates say there remains much work to do.

A Department of Environmental Protection report concluded that Pennsylvania is reducing harmful pollutants and emissions such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, ground-level ozone, particulate matter and carbon monoxide, said DEP Secretary John Hanger.

[…] 

Local issues

Thomas Au, spokesman for the Clean Air Board of Central Pennsylvania, said the reports this week from DEP and the American Lung Association, are revealing.

“I think the two reports are important to gauge how we are doing towards our air quality standards,” Au said. “It does show that we are falling short of obtaining the air quality standards.”

CAB is happy that progress is being made, he said, citing statewide anti-idling legislation signed into law earlier this year, but said much work remains to be done. An air quality monitor installed at The Sentinel last fall is giving CAB important data, he said. (Go to www.cumberlink.com for real-time data on fine particulate matter and other information.)

“The DEP report also points out some weaknesses that we are concerned about — in particular, the lack of detailed local air quality monitoring,” Au said. “That’s why we have the monitor at The Sentinel. It does show that some days the air quality is above the threshold of the public health alert levels.”

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