|Matt, thanks for the update on this issue. After reading your message, I'm concerned about the human impacts of pollution in northeast Ohio.
First and quite simply, I think that it's inadequate to expect networked monitors in a region as large as northeast Ohio to be able to compensate for each other's outages, and that it's a matter of opinion whether high particulate levels are unhealthy only if they persist for a 24-hour period. I'd say it's downright insensitive to claim otherwise, particularly for those who live in a relatively less polluted area.
Second and more core to my concerns, I think all of this points to inadequate attention and resources given to the environmental health and welfare of Ohioans. At a certain point, the profit made from polluting just isn't worth it anymore, and we have to look seriously at major pollution sources. For the compassionate, there are sick kids missing school; for the pragmatic, there are astronomical health bills. Also, I haven't heard of these kinds of ongoing technical problems in other places - does northeast Ohio just not getting the funding it needs, or have the state or federal programs not done their part?
In the interest of a sustainable economy and health communities, we need public officials to see these things and take action today to protect people and the environment tomorrow.
Beyond Coal Field Organizer, Ohio
Sierra Club, 131 N High St #605, Columbus OH 43215
mattie [dot] reitman [at] sierraclub [dot] org
614.461.0734 x316 (o) / 315.450.6628 (c)
On Wed, Aug 4, 2010 at 11:47 AM, Carroll, Matthew <MCarroll [at] city [dot] cleveland [dot] oh [dot] us> wrote:
The Air Quality staff have prepared this response to the questions you have raised, including a brief update since your June 22nd email regarding inaccuracies and lack of monitoring data. We were able to obtain use of a replacement monitor through USEPA which is a newer continuous dichotomous ambient monitor. We also had to make that monitor the index (main data collection) monitor when our continuous PM monitor was malfunctioning due to environmental factors. The switch was made on June 24th.
Because of the switch in monitors, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has the responsibility, assets and the software to make available raw data to the various agencies such as NOACA. Any changes in instrument designation, such as making an instrument the index (main data collection) must be made by and through them. Switching instruments to the index monitor must be done with care and consideration.
We looked at what you forwarded from Air Now which appears to be a forecast for July 29th. You are correct that there was no information showing on the NOACA website for the monitoring site because the USEPA replacement instrument which we have chosen to use as the index (main collection) data monitor which has been providing data since the switch occurred on June 24th until it started malfunctioning and was placed in maintenance mode on July 28th. Our technician responded immediately and has been working diligently along with conferring with technicians from USEPA to troubleshoot the instrument and make any repairs necessary to get it back up and running. On July 28th the AQI’s was in the moderate range.
In your email you also mentioned the air was unhealthy as you drove through the Flats. The categories for healthy or unhealthy are based on a 24 hour average. A one hour average of 40µg/m3 does not mean it is unhealthy, only when the average persists for 24 hours. For the most part the air quality in Northeast Ohio is considered the same with usually only minor differences in the results from the various monitors. If one or two monitors are not operating correctly within the network, they still have good representation from the other instruments to determine the AQI.
The continuous PM monitors allow us the opportunity to collect data in “real time” of possible events that can be used to get information to that segment of the population that may have health problems that may benefit from an early warning.
We continue to review possible solutions to maintain as consistent and reliable “real time” data stream. We are currently reviewing newer instruments on the market with higher reliability, less down time and can function better under less than ideal conditions. Our technicians will continue to maintain and operate the instruments in our inventory until such time as newer or additional assets become available.\
Please let us know if you would like to discuss further or if you need more information.
Thank you for your concern.
Matt Carroll, Director
Cleveland Department of Public Health
75 Erieview Plaza, 2d Floor |Cleveland, Ohio 44114
(office) 216-664-6790 | (fax) 216-664-2197|(mobile) 216-857-5099
mcarroll [at] city [dot] cleveland [dot] oh [dot] us| www.clevelandhealth.org
Cleveland Conserves - Do Your Part to Save Energy
From: Norm Roulet [mailto:norm [dot] roulet [at] gmail [dot] com]
Sent: Thursday, July 29, 2010 12:43 PM
To: Carroll, Matthew; Ryan, John (Brown); pamszoo [at] sbcglobal [dot] net; mattie [dot] reitman [at] sierraclub [dot] org; sgreenberg [at] ehw [dot] org
Subject: Fwd: Daily Air Quality Forecast for Cleveland-Akron-Lorain
This is already so far off today it may be regarded only as a sick, evil, stupid joke. We were in moderate at best at 12AM, even with the rain, wind, temperature and BP changes - I just drove through the Flats and the conditions South, East and West are clearly unhealthy.
And, even with all the monitoring data broken, we see our air is unheathy now via the incomplete data available via the EPA
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: EnviroFlash <enviroflash [at] sonomatech [dot] com>
Date: Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 4:51 PM
Subject: Daily Air Quality Forecast for Cleveland-Akron-Lorain
To: norm [dot] roulet [at] gmail [dot] com