Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Another Bad Air Quality Day(s): The WMC Has Said Suck It In Anyway

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has issued an ozone alert - - again - - for much of southeastern Wisconsin Wednesday.

The full text of the alert for includes far more counties that those under a similar DNR dirty air watch on Sunday that was right in the middle of a holiday (think outdoor activities) weekend for residents of and visitors to Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Kenosha, Racine and Sheyboygan Counties.

Bad enough that significant numbers of people were warned about going outside, but remember also that in the name of economic growth, the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce wants those pesky air quality standards in southeastern Wisconsin relaxed.

So you folks with asthma, or outdoor workers (a nice Labot Day message, eh?), joggers, swimmers, and all the kids and seniors from Door through Kenosha to Rock Counties - - the WMC says go suck some dirty air.

And these people routinely run down the business climate in Wisconsin?

How about doing something about the actual climate?

Note: Wednesday night update for Thursday:

"The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is issuing an Air Quality Advisory for Particle Pollution (Orange) effective Wednesday, September 05, 2007 7:23:07 PM through Thursday, September 06, 2007 9:00:00 AM for Kenosha and Racine counties.

The advisory is being issued because of persistent elevated levels of fine particles in the air. These fine particles come primarily from combustion sources, such as power plants, factories and other industrial sources, vehicle exhaust, and wood fires."


The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is issuing an Air Quality Watch for Ozone effective Wednesday, September 05, 2007 12:00:01 AM through Wednesday, September 05, 2007 11:59:59 PM for Door, Jefferson, Kenosha, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Rock, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha counties.

The watch is being issued because of the forecast for elevated levels of ground level ozone. Ground level ozone is formed when pollution from power plants, factories and other industrial sources, vehicle exhaust, and volatile organic compounds chemically reacts with hot temperatures, high humidity and atmospheric stagnation.

The Air Quality Index is forecast to reach the orange level, which is considered unhealthy for people in sensitive groups and others, including people who are not in sensitive groups but who are engaged in strenuous outside activities or exposed for prolonged periods of time.

People in those sensitive groups include those with respiratory diseases, such as asthma, older adults, and active adults and children. When an air quality watch is issued, people in those groups are advised to reschedule or cut back on strenuous outside activities during the watch period.

People with lung diseases such as asthma and bronchitis should pay attention to shortness of breath, or respiratory symptoms like coughing, wheezing and discomfort when taking a breath, and consult with their physician if they have concerns or are experiencing symptoms.

Ground level ozone can irritate the respiratory system, reduce lung function, aggravate asthma and chronic lung diseases, and, over time, cause permanent lung damage.

To receive air quality advisories by e-mail, visit http://dnr.wi.gov/org/aw/air/newsletters/.

There are several actions the public can take to reduce their contributions to this regional air quality problem.

Reduce driving when possible and don't leave vehicle engines idling.

Postpone activities that use small gasoline and disel engines.

Minimize outdoor wood fires.

Conserve electricity.

For more information:

Federal interagency air quality web site, for information on the Air Quality Index and nationwide air quality forecasts and air quality conditions, http://airnow.gov/

DNR's statewide air quality monitoring web page, http://dnrmaps.wisconsin.gov/wisards

For local DNR air management program contacts, http://dnr.wi.gov/org/aw/air/staff/regions.htm

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Do we have a count how many bad air days we've had this summer? I know it's a lot - I get the notices because I have a kid with asthma. I don't think it would hurt for someone to tally them all up and then send a comment letter to the EPA, cc'd to DNR & the Gov.