Thursday, December 30, 2010

Air News Release (Region 1): Poor Air Quality Predicted in Conn.; Valley Areas of Mass., N.H. & Vermont

News Release

U.S.Environmental Protection Agency

New EnglandRegional Office

December 30, 2010

Contact:  David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

Poor Air Quality Predicted in Connecticut and in Valley Areas of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont

(Boston, Mass. – Dec. 30, 2010) – Poor air quality due to fine particle pollution is predicted for Friday, Dec. 31, in the following areas of New England: all of Connecticut; the Connecticut River Valley, including Springfield, as well as other valley locations in Mass.; populated valley locations in southwestern N.H., such as Keene; and valley locations, such as Rutland, in Vermont.

When air quality is poor, EPA and the medical community suggest that people limit their strenuous outdoor activity.

Stagnant conditions in the atmosphere trap pollution from sources such as cars, trucks, and wood burning, near the ground.  The greatest air quality impact will be on populous mountain valley locations. Poor air quality is expected to continue into Saturday until a cold frontal passage increases wind speeds and improves air quality.

The current fine particle standard is 35 micrograms per cubic meter averaged over 24 hours.  Air quality alerts are issued when fine particle concentrations are expected to exceed this standard.  At such times, people with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. Everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.

When air quality is forecast to be unhealthy, EPA asks the public to take action. The public can help reduce pollution by taking steps including: using public transportation, car pooling and/or combining trips; avoiding idling of cars and trucks; following EPA Burnwise practices for cleaner indoor wood burning; and avoiding outdoor burning.

More information:

-  Real-time air quality data and forecasts ( )

-  Free air quality alerts via email ( )

- EPA recommendations for cleaner wood burning (

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