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:

aqi-201611

 

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Upcoming Pediatrics Conference

ped.jpg

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 Lfhall@carilionclinic.org. CarilionClinic.org/calendar

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October 12: Roanoke College offering evening Forum on Natural Gas Pipelines

Via coalition member Roanoke Valley Cool Cities Coalition:

FORUM ON NATURAL GAS PIPELINES: DO WE NEED THEM? AT WHAT COST?

WHEN:     Wednesday, October 12, 2016, 6 PM

WHERE:   Roanoke College, Colket Center, main ballroom (3rd floor)

http://www.roanoke.edu/about/visit/maps_and_directions

Free and open to the public

A Pittsburgh-based shale drilling company (EQT) and its partners have filed to build the 300+-mile, 42” natural gas transmission Mountain Valley Pipeline in Virginia and West Virginia. Numerous new large pipelines have been proposed on the East Coast, including as many as five in Virginia. This event updates pipeline status and research since the March 2015 Forum on Natural Gas Pipelines held at Virginia Western Community College, including major research projects completed in the past year.

The program will be moderated by Rupert Cutler. Presenters will include:

Presenter who was involved in development of “An Expert Report on the Geologic Hazards in the Karst Regions of Virginia and West Virginia: Investigations and Analysis Concerning the Proposed Mountain Valley Gas Pipeline”

Spencer Phillips, PhD, lead author, “Economic Costs of the Mountain Valley Pipeline: Effects on Property Value, Ecosystem Services, and Economic Development in Virginia and West Virginia”

Roanoke College students will display research projects related to the MVP in the lobby prior to the event, starting at 5:40 p.m. and refreshments will be served.  Both supporters and opponents of the project have been invited to speak.  Audience members who wish to speak will have a chance at the end of the event.

Questions? Contact Valerie Banschbach, Chair, Environmental Studies, Roanoke College

banschbach@roanoke.edu or (540) 375-4906

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Free Online Asthma Class

Coalition member Dr. Stuart Tousman is offering a free, online, asthma management course.  Details are below.  To get involved, contact Dr. Tousman at satousman@jchs.edu or 540-985-8371.
asthmaflyerc

 

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Suspension of Ozone Alerts

Via the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality:

Seasonal suspension of daily ozone forecasts as of September 23rd; Daily particle pollution forecasts continue year-round

Seasonal suspension of daily ozone forecasts as of September 23rd; Daily particle pollution forecasts continue year-round

As we enter fall, days grow shorter and temperatures cool. And ground-level ozone concentrations remain in the good or, at worst, moderate range. As a result, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality will suspend daily ground-level ozone forecasts for Richmond, Hampton Roads, Winchester and Roanoke as of Friday, September 23rd (the last ozone forecast will be issued on Thursday, September 22nd). However, daily air quality forecasts for particle pollution will continue through the fall, winter and spring for Richmond, Hampton Roads, Roanoke and Winchester. They will continue to be emailed daily and posted at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Air/AirQualityForecasting.aspx. Ozone forecasts for Richmond, Roanoke, Winchester and Hampton Roads will resume in Spring 2017 when warmer, ozone-conducive weather returns.

Dan Salkovitz
Meteorologist
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
8th floor, Air Division
Mailing address: P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23218
Street address: 629 E. Main St., Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: (804) 698-4404 Fax: (804) 698-4510
Phone toll-free in Virginia: (1-800) 592-5482 ext. 4404
Daniel.Salkovitz@deq.virginia.gov
Access the Air Quality Forecast Webpage:
http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Air/AirQualityForecasting.aspx
Access the Office of Air Quality Assessments Webpage:
http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Air/AirQualityAssessments.aspx

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New Virginia Law Bans Smoking in Car

A Virginia law went into effect July 1 banning smoking in a car with a child under 8 years old.  The law only affects lighted smoking equipment, so doesn’t appear to cover vaping, and is only a secondary offense.  So, to be charged, one has to be pulled over for a second, primary offense, such as speeding.

 

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Lead Safe Roanoke

We wanted to share some information from our friends at Lead Safe Roanoke about their free lead abatement program:


Free!

The City of Roanoke’s Lead Safe Roanoke Program performs improvements to remove lead-based paint hazards from owner-occupied and rental homes. These improvements may include new windows, gutters, paint, and much more!

Lead-based paint poisoning is harmful to both children and adults; however, children are especially at risk for lead poisoning. Therefore, if you meet all of the requirements below you are encouraged to take part in this exciting and FREE program:

  • Your house must have been built before 1978.
  • You must have a child under the age of 6 years living in or frequently visiting the home.
  • You must meet income guidelines.

 

Call 540-853-5682 today to see if you qualify or visit us at

www.roanokeva.gov/leadsafe

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Smog and Blood Pressure

U.S. News and World Report reports that there are increasing connections between smog – the type of pollution we deal with most in the Roanoke Valley – and high blood pressure.  Meaning it’s not just your lungs that are struggling when it gets hazy outside – your heart may be working harder as well:

From the article:

In the short term, he noted, a few days of increased air pollution could lead to more emergency hospital visits due to temporary spikes in blood pressure. In the long term, those living with consistently high levels of air pollution could end up with chronically high blood pressure.

High blood pressure is a key risk factor for stroke and heart disease, the number one cause of death worldwide. And high blood pressure itself is associated with about 17 percent of fatalities globally, the study authors pointed out.

It is urgent to take more actions to protect our environment and clean the air quality,” said Liu.

Follow the link above for the full article.

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Air Quality Data Updated for June

June air quality data has been updated for the Roanoke Valley.  Find the current spreadsheet here.

AQI-201606

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Code Yellow Air Quality Forecast

Via Virginia DEQ:

Air quality forecasts for June 14, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Kristen Stumpf, (804) 698-4414 or Mike Kiss, (804) 698-4460

Air quality forecasts for June 14, 2016

More detailed information is available on the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality web site at http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Air/AirQualityForecasting.aspx

Hampton Roads
Color Code: Yellow – Moderate air quality
Primary Pollutant: Ozone

Richmond
Color Code: Yellow – Moderate air quality
Primary Pollutant: Ozone

Roanoke
Color Code: Yellow – Moderate air quality
Primary Pollutant: Ozone

Winchester
Color Code: Green – Good air quality
Primary Pollutant: Ozone

Health Information
Code Orange: Active children, teenagers, adults, and people with heart or lung disease (including asthma) should limit or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities.

Code Red: Active children, teenagers, and adults should limit or reschedule strenuous outdoor activities. People unusually sensitive to air pollution, especially those with heart or lung disease (including asthma), should avoid strenuous outdoor activities.

Code Purple: Active children, teenagers, and adults should avoid prolonged strenuous outdoor activities. People unusually sensitive to air pollution, especially those with heart or lung disease (including asthma), and older adults should avoid all outdoor strenuous activities.

High air pollution levels can impair breathing, cause lung damage, coughing and eye irritation and put extra strain on the heart. Air pollution also can aggravate asthma, bronchitis or emphysema.

Kristen Stumpf
Meteorologist
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
Phone: (804) 698-4414
Work Email: Kristen.Stumpf@deq.virginia.gov
Air Quality Forecast Webpage:
http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Air/AirQualityForecasting.aspx
Office of Air Quality Assessments Webpage:
http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/Air/AirQualityAssessments.aspx

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