Montanans Pitch In To Bring Clean Air To Smoky Classrooms

Read the full story at NPR.

More than a million acres of Montana forests and rangeland have burned this year, so far, causing unhealthy air across the state since mid-July.

MPCA will place air quality sensors in every Minneapolis/St. Paul ZIP code

Read the full story from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

To get a better picture of how air pollution may vary across urban areas, the MPCA is starting a project to place new air quality sensors in all the ZIP codes of Minneapolis and St. Paul, thanks to a grant from the Legislative Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources.  The sensors represent a new type of technology for measuring air quality and are smaller and less expensive to operate than traditional air monitors.

New California law gives air quality officials the power to quickly shut down polluters

Read the full story in the Los Angeles Times.

Local air quality officials are gaining new powers to quickly stop polluters when they endanger people’s health under legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday.

The law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, follows years of frustration in communities such as Paramount, Boyle Heights and Maywood — where regulators have struggled to stop highly polluting operations after discovering hot spots of Chromium-6, lead and other dangerous pollutants.

MA: Burning trees for fuel may soon qualify for state subsidies

Read the full story in the Boston Globe.

The Baker administration plans to designate a fuel derived from felling trees and clearing brush in forests as a form of renewable energy, a move that environmental advocates say would increase emissions and counter promises the governor made after President Trump pulled out of the Paris climate accord.

Reversing course, Trump administration will not delay an Obama ozone rule

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

One day after 16 states sued, the Trump administration reversed its effort to delay Obama administration regulations to curb air pollution that forms smog.

With no mention of the challenges from states such as California, New York, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, who previously said he would delay the Oct. 1 implementation date of a rule to lower the level of ozone emissions from fossil-fuel burning, said in a statement late Wednesday that he would now work “with the states through the complex designation process.”

Webinar: Exploring the Link Between Green Infrastructure and Air Quality

Wed, Aug 9, 2017 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM CDT
Register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6073101179717540355

In this webcast, speakers will discuss innovative research into the multiple benefits of green infrastructure, specifically projects involving vegetative plantings near roads and green roofs to improve air quality.

While green infrastructure can help communities manage stormwater, using vegetated systems like green roofs and tree boxes can also help improve air quality and reduce urban heat island effects. These practices shade building surfaces, deflect radiation from the sun, and release moisture into the atmosphere.  Additionally, natural features such as urban forests and vegetative barriers planted near roads, in parking lots and around city centers, assist in reducing particulate pollution and ground-level ozone, improving air quality and reducing cases of respiratory illness and other health impacts related to air pollution.

Details

Session 1: Recommendations for Constructing Roadside Vegetation Barriers to Improve Near-Road Air Quality
Richard Baldauf, Senior Engineer, U.S. EPA, Office of Research and Development

Richard will present EPA’s Office of Research and Development report published in August 2016, Recommendations for Constructing Roadside Vegetation Barriers to Improve Near-Road Air Quality, about how roadside vegetation affects local air quality. The report was developed to support projects planting roadside vegetation with recommendations that can be used by states, communities and individuals interested in reducing roadside pollution.

Session 2: Estimating the Environmental Effects of Green Roofs: A Case Study in Kansas City
Robyn DeYoung, Environmental Specialist, U.S. EPA, Office of Air and Radiation

Robyn will present a case study demonstrating the environmental benefits of green roofs in Kansas City, Missouri (KCMO). She will describe how any local jurisdiction can use free and easily accessible tools to quantify the benefits of green roofs for stormwater management, air pollution, energy savings and public health. The presentation will highlight a replicable methodology using EPA’s AVERT tool and the Green Roof Energy Calculator  as well as results from Kansas City’s case study.

Speakers

Richard Baldauf, PhD, PE, a Senior Research Engineer who investigates the impacts of transportation sources on air quality, works for EPA’s National Risk Management Research Laboratory in Research Triangle Park, NC, as well as the Office of Transportation and Air Quality in the Office of Air and Radiation. He holds a Master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a PhD from University of Kansas, both in Environmental Engineering. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech. Richard has published more than 75 peer-reviewed journal articles during his 15 years at EPA.

Robyn DeYoung, an Environmental Specialist for the Office of Air and Radiation at US EPA Headquarters in Washington, DC, collaborates with and provides tools and resources for state and local governments to help them make the case for sustainability initiatives, such as green infrastructure, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. She trains others on using EPA’s tool AVERT as well as other environmental monitoring tools. Robyn has a BA in Environmental Science and MA in Energy and Environmental Analysis from Boston University.