Ozone levels spike on Sunday


Boulder’s high almost to 120 ppb

High levels of

the pollutant ozone are predicted to exceed the

federal standard today, Tuesday, March 12,

which is declared an “ozone action day” in the

Upper Green River Basin.

This forecast follows Sunday’s highest-yet

hourly levels, which the Wyoming Department

of Environmental Quality’s Air Quality Division

had predicted – and also an exceedance

of the 8-hour average that was not predicted.

The federal standard is 70 parts per billion

for an 8-hour average and above that is considered

unhealthy. High levels can affect the

young, old, heavy outdoors users and those

with respiratory ailments.

Sunday, the AQD’s Boulder station recorded

a 1-hour peak of almost 120 ppb. Eighthour

averages, which had in the previous week

risen to 85 ppb, reached an exceedingly high

mark Sunday of more than 90 ppb.

In fact, the day before, the AQD had predicted,

“No 8-hour elevated ozone values are

expected on Sunday, March 10, in the Upper

Green River Basin. … An Ozone Action Day

has not been issued for Sunday.”

Daily alerts have been leading up to Sunday’s

highs and Monday and Tuesday’s designations

as “ozone action days.”

On Friday, the AQD had predicted potentially

high hourly levels in its “ozone outlook”

alert for Sunday, March 10, through Tuesday.

Earlier, the AQD declared “ozone action days”

for March 5 and 6 and “ozone outlooks” for

March 7 and 8.

On an “ozone action day,” the energy industry

and public put into place contingency

plans to reduce ground-level emissions that

form the pollutant.

Since mid February, the Air Quality Division

has issued several ozone outlook alerts

for potentially high hourly levels of ozone to

exceed the federal standard.

The “winter ozone season” is observed

from January through March when winter conditions

include high amounts of snow cover,

bright sunlight, temperature inversions, volatile

organic compounds and nitrogen oxides.

Current information on ozone levels at

AQD monitoring stations at Boulder, Pinedale,

Daniel South, Big Piney and Juel Spring is at

www.wyvisnet.com. To see previous 1-hour

and 8-hour levels at any site, plot recent data

for the appropriate time period.

More information on ozone and its health

effects are at http://deq.wyoming.gov/aqd/ and

http://www.health.wyo.gov.


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