2010 Feb. 20: IA Muscatine: Air-quality forum set, particulate levels measured in Cedar Rapids & other cities

Air-quality forum set for Feb. 20

Chris Steinbach | Posted: Wednesday, February 10, 2010 10:10 am

MUSCATINE, Iowa -An air-quality forum will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20, at the Garfield Elementary School gymnasium, 1409 Wisconsin St.

The forum, which is being presented by the Iowa Environmental Council and the Iowa chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, will feature short presentations by experts from the University of Iowa. There will also be a round-table discussion on how to improve Muscatine’s air quality.

The program will be led by Rep. Nathan Reichert, D-Muscatine; Paul Deaton of Iowa Physicians for Social Responsibility; and Leland Searles, air quality program director at the Iowa Environmental Council.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week issued a pollution warning across much of eastern Iowa, including Muscatine.

Fine-particulate pollution levels of at least 35 micrograms per cubic meter, the maximum allowed by the EPA, were measured at Cedar Rapids, 39; Clinton, 42; Davenport, 40; Iowa City, 41; Waterloo, 42; and Muscatine, 35.

Fine particles are emitted by vehicle traffic and other combustion sources, including industries, and are formed by chemical reactions in the atmosphere. Stagnant air masses do not allow the fine particles to disperse, and pollutant levels rise.

EPA’s national air quality map is available online at http://www.airnow.gov.

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