Final Air Quality Report for 2017

Our air quality monitor volunteer, Mark Barker with the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, has provided the final air quality numbers for 2017:


You can visit our Air Quality page for a complete look at the region’s air quality performance.

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Flu Season Tips from Carilion Clinic

We wanted to pass along some tips from Carilion Clinic since we are deep into flu season.  It’s especially important to be vigilant since early reports are showing that this year’s flu is outpacing previous years, according to CNN.

Click the Flu vs You image below for more information:


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New VA Regulations to Limit Carbon Emissions

Check out this article from the Richmond Times Dispatch:

The Virginia State Air Pollution Control Board on Thursday unanimously approved a draft regulation to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and link Virginia to a carbon-trading network of nine other states….

If the rule is adopted, Virginia would become the 10th state to trade carbon allowances through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the 12th state to impose carbon pricing regulations on the power sector, according to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group in Arlington.

While the GRVAAQC doesn’t explicitly address carbon emissions, we recognize that the kinds of air pollution that have more local impacts often have the same source – power plant stacks and automobile tailpipes, for example – as carbon emissions.  Efforts to reduce one generally reduce the other.  Given that most of Virginia’s power is still generated from goal, and the local particulate and related emissions from the burning of coal are of significant concern when it comes to lung health, we will be interested to see how this regulation proceeds and the potential impact on overall cleaner air/

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Climate Change and Health

Coalition member Sally Southard had a good piece on the connection between climate change and health in a recent Roanoke Times.

[A recent study] paints a grim picture of a future without action to combat climate change, with alarming consequences for public health, including worsened air quality from rising temperatures, ozone pollution and wildfires; symptoms of lung disease and other chronic illnesses; higher risk of heatstroke and heat exhaustion; new threats of food- and waterborne diseases; and increased hospital admissions for cardiovascular disease.

Click here to read the full piece.

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Tomorrow: Health and Environment Forum

Great event tomorrow 5:30 pm at VT Carilion School of Medicine – health impacts of energy choices in our region. First, how renewables compare to fossil fuels. Then focus on impacts of natural gas pipelines on water and human health, including stress that appears to have already caused significant damage along the route. See this morning’s Roanoke Times for more


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Register for the 27th Annual RNS Educational Conference

Our coalition is pleased to be working with the Respiratory Nursing Society to co-host this year’s 27th Annual Educational Conference.  This is great opportunity to receive continuing education in the realms of asthma, COPD, and more.

Early-bird registration is over but there is still time to be a part of the conference.  View the full agenda and complete registration form here.

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Air Quality Spreadsheet Updated for August


Some notes from Mark Barker, our intrepid air quality data analyst:


  • 6 Yellow Moderate Ozone days and 2 Yellow Moderate Ozone days in July.
  • For the most part, the yellow days were just in the Moderate zone, just over the Green, good threshold.  Not bad considering all those hot days.
  • For the year so far, only 13 yellow ozone days and 8 yellow PM 2.5 days.
  • It has been over 5 years since the Roanoke Valley has registered an Orange, Unhealthy AQI for Ozone.
  • It has been over 9 years since the Roanoke Valley has registered an Orange, Unhealthy AQI for PM 2.5.
  • (Note:  Above 2 statements are based on the final 8 hour ozone and 24 hour PM 2.5 averages at the end of the day.  EPA Air Now may indicate brief Orange AQI hourly readings based on their Air Now calculations.)

Last Roanoke Valley Orange, Unhealthy AQI

  • PM 2.5: June 13, 2008  AQI 141   Concentration 59.7 – 60.2
  • Ozone: June 29, 2012  AQI 104   Concentration 77
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Register for Asthma Camp 2017

Sign up for Roanoke Camp Catch UR Breath!  The camp is for children with persistent asthma and will be held at the Virginia Western Natural Sciences Building from July 19th through 21st.  Contact Sally Southard at for more information.

asthma camp flyer 2017 3

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Air Quality Updated through November 2016

Our monthly air quality tracking spreadsheet has been updated through November of 2016.  Click the link to download the Excel sheet.

The summary can be found in the table below:



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Upcoming Pediatrics Conference


It Takes a Community To Improve Child Health

Friday, Dec. 2 | 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center
110 Shenandoah Ave., N.W., Roanoke, VA 24016

Join your colleagues for plenary and interactive sessions on a variety of inpatient and outpatient topics, including:

»» Violence and Neglect Track
»» Access to Care Track
»» Environmental Health Impact Track
»» Disaster Response Track

The American Academy of Pediatrics’ Karen Remley, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H., F.A.A.P., will open our conference with a look at the current national state of child health. We will also host speakers who discovered and helped diagnose the negative effects of the  contaminated water crisis in Flint, Michigan. We will then explore what we can do  regionally and locally to ensure the best pediatric health care. For more information, contact Loretta Hall, M.Ed., at 540-985-4094 or

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