Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Our Air Quality Is Getting Better Monitored 2008 to 2010

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Our Air Quality Is Getting Better Monitored 2008 to 2010

Article excerpt

Air quality in Vanderburgh County is improving, according to findings of the American Lung Association and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency trumpeted by local authorities Thursday. But the numbers come with more than one cautionary asterisk, said a local environmentalist.

Dona Bergman, director of the Evansville Department of Sustainability, Energy and Environmental Quality, touted the ALA's "State of the Air 2012" report, reviewing ozone and particulate levels from monitoring sites all over the country. The report addresses air quality from 2008 through 2010.

Bergman said in a statement that Vanderburgh achieved "passing grades" for the two pollutants, with just five days on which ozone levels reached the "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups," or "Orange" level. That equates to a grade of "C" under the ALA's system. Warrick County also received a "C," and Posey County received a "B."

In the same period, Vanderburgh County had one day during which the 24-hour fine particulate level reached the "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups," or "Orange" level. That equates to a "B" under the ALA's grading system. There being no fine particulate monitors in Warrick and Posey counties, those counties did not receive grades.

Bergman also reported that for the first time, the U.S. EPA has designated Vanderburgh County "in attainment" with the 2008 National Ambient Air Quality Standard for Ozone, set at 75 parts per billion over an eight-hour average. The area historically had been classified in nonattainment and "had to undertake extensive pollution reduction measures before meeting the new air quality standard," Bergman's statement said.

Bergman did not return a message seeking comment, but her statement hailed the findings as a reason for celebration.

"Both of these announcements are great news for the environment and for everyone's health," the statement said. "Overall air quality is improving. The pollution controls installed by the area's power plants, cleaner diesel fuels and more efficient vehicles are making a difference. …

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