UPDATE 12/17/11 @ 6 PM: The Borough declared an air quality advisory for UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS at 5 pm.
UPDATE 12/17/11 @ 11 AM: Noting the poor dispersion forecast by the National Weather Service, DEC declared an Air Quality Advisory for Sat, Dec 17 at 6 am to Mon, Dec 19, 2011 at 5 pm, Air Quality Advisory 2011-28 Fairbanks area Valid Dec 17 to 19 2011. The Borough’s AQI was updated Dec 16, 2011 at 4 pm and still shows MODERATE for Fairbanks and GOOD for North Pole.
PM 2.5 air pollution became UNHEALTHY in Fairbanks again today, Dec 16, 2011. PM 2.5 was 66 µg/m3 at 8 am and 58 µg/m3 at 2 pm.
North Pole (at the elementary school) at noon today was 43.6 µg/m3, which is UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS.
Heading into the weekend, even though a strong inversion is forecast, neither the Borough nor DEC have issued air quality advisories to caution residents of the worsening pollution conditions.
In fact, this screenshot is from 3:37 pm today. How can anyone know there’s any air pollution problem at all?
There is a way: visit Real-time Monitoring for the latest PM 2.5 pollution levels from the Alaska Air Monitoring Network sponsored by DEC and the Anchorage Dept of Health and Human Services. View the latest PM 2.5 data rather than waiting for DEC or the Borough.
Table – Air Quality Index – Understand PM 2.5 levels and EPA’s cautionary statements. Only in an inverted universe–or in North Pole–could 43.6 µg/m3 be considered “GOOD”.