January 23, 2013

Code Red PM2.5 Concentrations in Utah due to Strong Temperature Inversions;

Strong temperature inversions continue to be experienced over Utah. For over a week smog has affected residents of northern Utah valleys. The high pressure system over the region is causing the stagnation and accumulation of particle pollution in the valleys, with PM2.5 concentrations reaching Code Red (Unhealthy) AQI levels, as shown in EPA's Airnow AQI animation. PM2.5 over 100 ug/m3 were reported in North Provo, Logan and Lindon monitoring stations. Haze is clearly visible in the hazecam images for Salt Lake City and Cache Valley in Logan, Utah.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the winter smog episodes experienced in Utah has prompted about 60 doctors, to draft a letter to politicians to declare a public health emergency. The doctors who signed the Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment letter advise the public to protect its own health. They are asking state leaders through March 15 to address the impacts of winter smog on public health with a strategy that includes: 1) Reducing freeway speed limits to 55 mph, 2) Making mass transit free, 3) Ordering the largest industrial polluters, including Kennecott and the oil refineries, to cut pollution in half, 4) Shutting down businesses that burn waste, 5) Prohibiting wood burning, 6) Launching public service announcements, 7) Asking businesses to accommodate telecommuting and reduce employee driving when possible.

Posted by Ruben Delgado at January 23, 2013 9:34 PM
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