2010 April 14: IA Muscatine: fine particulate pollution exceeds EPA standards
April 14, 2010 by editor
Fine particulate pollution in the vicinity of Garfield Elementary School, Muscatine, exceeds the air quality standards designed to protect public health, according to the 2007-2009 monitoring results released Tuesday (April 13) by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).
Particulate matter of 2.5 microns and smaller (PM 2.5) at the Garfield School monitor "shows non-attainment" with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 24-hour standard of 35 micrograms per cubic meter, according to the IDNR. The 24-hour value at the Garfield monitor, located near Grain Processing Corporation, was 38 micrograms per cubic meter.
All other monitoring sites in the state, including three in Davenport and two in Clinton, had design values below the 35 microgram standard, according to the report.
However, the monitor near Blackhawk Foundry, Davenport, was the second highest in the state with a 33 microgram design value for the 3-year average, followed by Chancy Park, Clinton (32 microgram average), Grout Museum, Waterloo (29 microgram average), Hoover Elementary School, Iowa City (29 microgram average), and Adams Elementary School, Davenport (29 microgram average).
For the complete fine particulate monitoring report with readings from each of the 16 monitoring locations in Iowa, CLICK HERE.
Both Muscatine and Scott counties narrowly averted being classified as "non-attainment" for PM 2.5 in 2009. The 3-year average (2005-2007) for PM 2.5 placed both counties on the EPA’s list for "non-attainment" designation, but the state was able to submit 2008 data in January 2009, lowering the 3-year average (2006-2008) below the 35 microgram design value.
In 2009, both Blackhawk Foundry and Grain Processing Corporation promised to make plant upgrades which would lower their PM 2.5 emissions. Blackhawk Foundry has since been sold and was expected to end operations at its west Davenport facility last month.
In a related matter, PM 2.5 exceedances of National Ambient Air Quality Standards at Iowa monitor locations totaled 55 through March 23 of this year. That compares to 34 exceedances in all of 2009. For the most recent PM 2.5 exceedance report by the Iowa DNR, CLICK HERE.