No Clean Air Action DaysJuly 18th, 2013 at 9:11 pm by Bill Steffen under Bill's Blog, News, Weather
Have you noticed we haven’t had any Clean Air Action Days (formerly Ozone Action Days) this summer? Last year, we had 25 Clean Air Action Days. That was a record. This year, the zero total is also (obviously) a record, but a record low number. A Clean Air Action Day is declared when ozone levels (or could be another pollutant) can be harmful to people sensitive to the ozone. However, those levels have not been reached this year, despite the heat. Last year, we had stagnant air during our big heat wave. On our hottest day last summer, July 6th, the average wind speed in G.R. was 4.7 mph. The average wind in Holland that day was 3.0 mph. There were a lot of wind turbines that were not moving on a day when we were close to a record for power consumption. Over an 8-day period 7/6/12thru 7/13/12), the average wind speed in G.R. was 5.56 mph. The air was stagnant and (if you remember, it was a little hazy). Today the wind was WSW averaging 15.25 mph from 2 PM thru 8 PM and for G.R., the wind was missing the pollution sources of Chicago, Milwaukee and Gary, Indiana. So, we stayed below the Clean Air Action threshold (no free bus rides today in G.R. or the Holland area. They are free on Clean Air Action Days). Many pollutants have been reduced since the Clean Air Act was signed into law by Republican President Richard Nixon. “The long-term trend is positive and headed to much cleaner air,” said Janice Nolen, assistant vice president of national policy and advocacy for the American Lung Association. Even CO2 emissions in the U.S. are falling.