Many Code Yellow Days in the Roanoke Valley

DEQ has forecasted a code yellow day for air quality in the Roanoke Valley tomorrow.  In addition, four of the of the worst air quality days this year were all in one week, which you can see in our updated AQI spreadsheet.

Top Ten PM 2.5 Concentrations
Date Concen. AQI
1 6/18 15.7 59
2 6/17 14.0 55
3 5/14 13.4 54
4 6/19 13.3 54
5 5/28 13.0 53
6 6/16 12.9 53
7 6/7 12.9 53
8 3/2 12.9 53
9 2/1 12.0 50
10 3/1 11.8 49

Pollution from coal-fired power plants likely increased during this time with lots of demand for air conditioning on hot days.  Coal-fired power plants, including those in SW Virginia, are one of the major contributors to PM 2.5.  AEP has said it will retire the Glen Lyn coal-fired power plant by Dec. 31, 2014 and will convert the Clinch River coal-fired power plant Units 1 and 2 to natural gas by Dec. 31, 2014 and retire Unit 3 by Dec. 31, 2014.

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