• Please join us for the CAB Community Meeting, usually held on the first Thursday of every month at 7:00PM. Please check Posts for speaker information, time, and location.

    Community meetings are generally held at Second Presbyterian Church, 528 Garland Drive, Carlisle, PA

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Smog Alerts Coming

Summer will soon be here and that can mean high levels of air pollutants in our air, specifically ozone and small particles, commonly known as smog.

Meteorologists declare “Air Quality Action” days when they project that weather conditions are conducive for unhealthy air pollution. In 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) called six action days for the Susquehanna Valley.

We should heed those warnings. Recent scientific studies conclude that short-term exposure to unhealthy air pollution can have significant adverse effects on pregnant women, children, the elderly, and even the general population–especially those with pre-existing conditions such as asthma. Short term symptoms resulting from breathing high levels of ozone and fine particulate are chest pain, coughing, nausea, throat irritation, and congestion. These pollutants also aggravate bronchitis, heart disease, emphysema, and asthma—and can increase risks of stroke. Children, senior citizens, and those with asthma or other respiratory problems are urged to limit outdoor activities when an action day is predicted.

Air Quality Action days are often declared when there is little wind and when the amount of ozone or particles in stagnant air could exceed federal health standards. The DEP monitors local and regional air quality. Local television and radio stations alert the public when an Air Quality Action day is predicted. Check your newspaper’s websites as well. The Clean Air Board of Central Pennsylvania also monitors pollution levels and posts notices at this website when DEP declares an Air Quality Action day.  Stay informed!

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Breathe less … or ban cars: cities have radically different responses to pollution

When thick smog recently hit, Londoners were advised to avoid exercise, while Parisians got free public transport. Which is the best solution?

When a thick cloud of air pollution settled in over London last week, experts warned those with health problems to avoid strenuous exercise. The advice to Londoners essentially boiled down to this: breathe less.

Meanwhile, as Paris suffered a similar pollution episode – its worst in a decade – officials swung into action, waiving charges for public transport and restricting the number of cars allowed on roads, alternately barring those with odd and even license plates.

At the same time Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo joined officials from Madrid, Athens and Mexico City in announcing plans to get all diesel vehicles off the roads by 2025. Diesel is highly polluting, emitting far greater amounts of dangerous nitrogen dioxide and tiny pollution particles than petrol, and can cause cancer to heart attacks.

Read more … The Guardian

Take time to give

#GivingTuesday is the 5th annual global day of giving that occurs the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Now is a time when we are asking for your help to continue doing the day to day work of protecting and improving our air quality.  We exist through the efforts of community members who make small donations.

Help us continue our work in monitoring air quality, providing educational programs to schools, and sharing medical research. Support the Clean Air Board of Central Pennsylvania:

Make a donation through PayPal today!

CAB is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, contributions to which are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. The official registration and financial information of CAB may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free within Pennsylvania, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.

Air Pollution in India Reaches Dangerous Levels

The city’s high levels of fine particles — the most deadly because they penetrate more deeply into the lungs — have now soared off the charts, even by New Delhi’s standards, because of seasonal smoke from the burning of leftover crops by farmers in nearby states and from firecrackers set off to celebrate the Diwali holiday.

Levels of the smallest particles, called PM 2.5, recently hit an astounding 688 micrograms per cubic meter of air in one New Delhi neighborhood http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/08/opinion/choking-in-new-delhi.html

Smog Chokes Delhi, Leaving Residents ‘Coweringby Our Air Purifiers’

Levels of the most dangerous particles soared over the weekend in some places to more than 16 times the limit India’s government considers safe.

Read full story:  NY Times, Nov. 8, 2016

How do we get clean air from the VW dirty diesel settlement? CAB discusses options

The Volkswagen cheating scandal was in the news last year. Now VW has agreed to put $14.7 billion into a settlement fund after it admitted to installing software that allowed 475,000 U.S. vehicles to emit up to 40 times legally allowable emissions. You have a say about how this trust money will be spent to improve air quality.  Join us on November 3, 7 pm,  in Carlisle to discuss the options.

Clean Air Board community meeting – Nov. 3, 7 pm, Second Presbyterian Church, Carlisle, PA 17013

Air Quality Action Day has been declared for Susquehanna Valley on Friday, Jul 22

Forecast
Friday, Jul 22: 105 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Ozone
85 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

Extended Forecast
Saturday, Jul 23: 90 AQI Moderate Ozone
85 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)
Current Conditions: As of 2 PM on Thursday, mostly sunny skies persist across the region as an area of high pressure continues to reside over the Mid-Atlantic region. Right now, southwesterly wind flow over the region is helping to drive temperatures into the upper 80s. The combination of the sunshine and the warm temperatures are helping to force ozone concentrations toward the Code YELLOW / ORANGE threshold. Expect deteriorating air quality to unfold tomorrow as high pressure continues to dominate our weather. *** Friday’s Forecast: So for Friday, sunny skies will continue to prevail across eastern PA as higher pressure pushes off to our east. The movement of the high will allow our winds to stay out of the southwest, forcing hotter, more humid conditions into the region. As a result, afternoon temperatures are likely to peak in the 90s. With increasing moisture levels and even hotter temperatures building in, expect ozone concentration to peak in the Code ORANGE status. PM 2.5 levels will also be on the increase due to the increasing humidity. *** Extended Outlook: Over the coming days, expect to see temperatures remain seasonably warm higher pressure builds in over the region. After the frontal passage on Friday, high pressure will move through the area. A slow moving front will begin to push in late in the weekend from the west. This front will provide more cloud cover and an increased chance of rain as it moves east through our area. After the front moves through, a new area of high pressure will build in over the Great Lakes area and continue to provide us with seasonably warm temperatures through the weekend. There will be another chance of rain by week’s end as a new storm system makes its way east. Overall, air quality levels during the week will be driven by warm and humid conditions over the area. However, it will likely be the level of activity across the region (with two new storm systems moving in early and late next week) that will keep air quality concentrations from exceeding the moderate threshold. –Nolan

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.

This forecast is brought to you by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) and the Air Quality Partnership of the Susquehanna Valley.
* For more information on the health effects of PM 2.5 and ozone, visit the EPA Airnow website.
* To see the current forecast and monitoring information for the Southwest PA Region, visit us online at the PA DEP Forecast and Monitoring Site.

DEP declares Air Quality Action Day for Susquehanna Valley on Monday, June 20

Forecast
Monday, Jun 20: 106 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Ozone
62 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

Extended Forecast
Tuesday, Jun 21: 83 AQI Moderate Ozone
58 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)
Current conditions: At 2 p.m. EDT this Friday afternoon, a northerly flow to the east of an area of high pressure located over the Great Lakes is bringing drier air into the area. Fine particulate is being mixed out by an increasing breeze, so overall averages for today will be in the upper good range for this pollutant. The high will sink slowly southward to a position over western North Carolina by Monday. This will act to increase both fine particulate and ozone. In fact, ozone levels will be at their highest on Monday, the first day of summer with light southwest winds and temperatures close to 90 degrees. Fine particulate levels will also increase in response to rising low level humidity. Moonlit and turning out comfortable overnight with lows in the lower 60s. *** Saturday’s forecast: Sunshine will prevail for the day Saturday with high pressure overhead. Fine particulate will be elevated in the morning to the moderate range, and not enough mixing will occur in the afternoon to bring overall averages below the moderate range. Likewise, with a strong June sun and maximum insolation, ozone levels will average in the lower moderate range as well. Afternoon temperatures in the lower to middle 80s. *** Sunday’s forecast: Another full day of sunshine is in store for Sunday with afternoon temperatures in the middle and upper 80s. Fine particulate will again be in the lower moderate range, but ozone could go well into the moderate range with light winds and full sun. ***Monday’s forecast: High pressure will be located across the Tennessee valley on Monday, allowing for light southwest winds and a mostly sunny sky. There is the concern that ozone levels go into the code ORANGE range, especially if any onshore flow is very light and emissions increase. Temperatures approaching the 90 degree mark with fine particulate in the middle moderate range. *** Extended forecast: A cold front approaches on Tuesday, and the exact time this front passes is still uncertain. There is a chance for thunderstorms in the late afternoon and early evening. With enough sunshine, ozone will go well into the moderate range, and fine particulate will average in the lower moderate range. A little cooler and less humid air with good air quality should follow for the middle of next week.—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.