Sunday, May 27, 2018

SE WI dirty air notices. And with Foxconn's 796-ton annual emissions...

[Updated 5/27/18] As the temperature (a record May high for Milwaukee) and humidity soar, the US EPA forecasts - - using WI DNR information - - unhealthy air quality for key groups Saturday, Sunday and Monday in Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha and Sheboygan counties.

Those counties are getting "orange" or "USG" Air Quality Index forecasts, meaning:
"Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups" AQI is 101 to 150. Although general public is not likely to be affected at this AQI range, people with lung disease, older adults and children are at a greater risk from exposure to ozone, whereas persons with heart and lung disease, older adults and children are at greater risk from the presence of particles in the air.
I checked again Sunday morning and the readings are still in the orange zone. 

Remember: In 2011, mere weeks after Walker took over and installed his 'chamber of commerce mentality" DNR management, the agency ended its posting of dirty air "watches" as conditions built towards the unhealthy level.

I'd posted the text of that change in policy, here, and will insure it below - - so people in Wisconsin for the last seven-plus years, as they will do all Memorial weekend so far, have headed out without the best air quality information in the DNR's possession. Negligence.
As of March 15, 2011, the Wisconsin DNR will no longer issue Air Quality Watches for ozone and particle pollution due to limited staff resources and the potential increase in the number of air quality notices under proposed revisions to federal air standards.

In the past, an air quality watch was issued when conditions were favorable for pollutants to reach unhealthy levels. 
Watches are also being eliminated due to their confusion with Air Quality Advisories which are issued when pollution concentrations actually reach unhealthy levels for sensitive groups.

Air quality notices are issued as a public service by the DNR in partnership with the National Weather Service. They are not mandated by rule or law.

The DNR will continue to issue Air Quality Advisories when ozone and particle pollution levels are over or expected to reach the federal air quality standard.
More data, maps, trends, here

Not to mention the EPA kids’ book about what orange means for air quality. (Spoiler alert: use your inhalers, children, and don't play outside as long as you'd like.) Now run along, sort of.

So imagine adding the air pollutant increases granted by the DNR to the Racine County-based Foxconn - - estimated at an added 796 tons annually - - for an area which Trump's EPA now says does not have to meet stronger air quality conditions which Walker opposed.

Racine County - - do you and people living downwind understand that Foxconn is projected to add six percent more emissions to already-challenged air quality - - an amount spewed by a large paper mill?
Smoke stacks from a factory. 

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