March 31, 2012-by John Blair, valleywatch.net editor
Although no warnings were issued, which is par for Evansville, fine particle pollution reached dangerous levels today just as people decided to get out and enjoy an otherwise marvelous day.
Our local pollution agency has a history of ignoring warning signs and failing to issue proper warnings, especially when they occur on the weekend since those whose job is supposed to protect us from this sort of pollution do not want their weekends interrupted by having to work to get that word out.
At 10 AM on March 31, the level of fine particles measured at Evansville’s official monitor registered a whopping 49.91 micrograms/cubic meter or 43% higher than the health based standard that is considered “unhealthy” for sensitive individuals. That category includes people with respiratory problems like asthma or COPD, children and the elderly.
As the picture above, taken fromMarina Pointe of the River industrial corridor shows, high levels of fine particles degrade visibility as well as health. These pictures taken around 1 PM (there was no data yet available when this was published for that hour).
In the past, community officials have oft been reticent to widely report such excursions of the health based standard lest it be a detriment to attracting additional polluting industry to the region.