EPA, NOAA: May 2-May 6 is “Air Quality Awareness Week”

Credit: Señor Codo, Flickr

The EPA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have dedicated this week to air quality awareness.

This comes on the heels of a year in which Iowa exceeded federal air quality standards at a record clip due to stricter criteria. Iowa’s violations more than doubled between 2009 and 2010, as IEF reported in January and the Des Moines Register reported on Saturday. Continue reading

Iowa air quality exceedances hit record high in 2010

Photo source: Iowa DNR report

Iowa exceeded national air quality standards a record 85 times in 2010 – a number partly influenced by new lower allowances for sulfur dioxide, lead and PM 2.5 (small particulate matter), according to an annual Iowa DNR report first reported upon by Bettendorf.com.

National Ambient Air Quality exceedances occur when air pollutants – PM 2.5, ozone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, lead, carbon monoxide or other small particulate matter – reach levels that are “unhealthy for sensitive groups,” including young children, the elderly and people with respiratory conditions or heart disease.

In 2009, 34 exceedances were recorded in Iowa.  2008 and 2007 saw 25 and 48 exceedances respectively. Continue reading