All pollutants, including historically problem pollutants ozone and PM2.5, are in compliance with the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) health-based standards when observing the most recent and up-to-date air monitoring period (2012-2014) data. The EPA has also officially designated the area for attaining all standards, including the latest and stricter PM2.5 standard.
The EPA has established April 27 – May 1, 2015 as National Air Quality Awareness Week. The Jefferson County Department of Health (JCDH) would like to make the Birmingham area public aware of the issuance of daily air quality forecasts and how they provide important health information.
“Air quality has significantly improved over the last 40 years and we strive to continue the improvement across the area,” states Matt Lacke, meteorologist at JCDH. However, due to the influence of the area’s weather and topography, there could be a few days during the upcoming summer months that could pose health concerns for those sensitive to pollution.
“Air quality forecasts are issued for every day of the year, so everyone can always know the state of the air quality and to be prepared to take action if they are sensitive to pollution,” added Lacke. Forecasts are available on JCDH’s website (www.jcdh.org), Twitter (@JCDH_AirQuality), on local TV feeds to the Weather Channel, telephone recording (205-933-0583), and email (sign up at http://birmingham.enviroflash.info).