Division of Air Quality

Environment
9:37 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Groups Protest Proposed Air Toxins Change

Credit eutrophication&hypoxia via Flickr, Creative Commons

A bill passed in the General Assembly last year could ease environmental restrictions on some industries including paper mills and power plants that are sources of air pollution.

If approved by state agencies, the measure would allow those industries to comply only with federal regulations and bypass separate state air toxins rules created in 1989. Environmental and community groups hope to stop the plan from going forward.

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Environment
5:00 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Hearings On Proposed Changes To Air Rules

Credit epSos via Flickr, Creative Commons

There are public hearings on proposed changes to auto emissions tests and toxic air pollutant rules this week in Raleigh.

A bill that passed the legislature would exempt cars and light-duty trucks from their first three years of auto emissions tests. Right now cars and trucks are exempt only during their first year. That hearing is Wednesday evening. And another hearing is scheduled for Thursday on a bill that would change the state's rules for controlling toxic air pollutants.

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Environment
1:30 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Study Shows How Trees Help CREATE Smog

Leaves produce a substance that exacerbates smog, a new study finds.
Credit Laura Candler

A new study from researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has revealed exactly how trees play a role in smog production. The question has been a source of scientific uncertainty for years, and the findings are a milestone in air pollution research, with potentially significant implications for public health.

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Environment
5:37 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Greensboro Air Quality Improving, But Still Receives F-rating

Greensboro received an F-rating for air quality.
Credit Derrick Matthews, via Flickr, Creative Commons

The American Lung Association’s annual State of the Air report is out, and it slots Greensboro as the 42nd most polluted metro area in the county.  The city received an F-rating.

Laura-Kate Bender, who worked on the report, says the news wasn’t all bad.

"Despite getting an ‘F,' the area actually got its lowest overall number of smog days," she says. "So even though it received a failing grade, it’s a significant improvement over last year."

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Environment
2:15 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Ready For Pollen Season? Here’s What You Should Know

Catkins on a pine tree
Credit Donald Lee Pardue, via Flickr, Creative Commons

It’s April, and the scent of flowers is in the air. Unfortunately for allergy sufferers, those flowers also mean that it’s pollen season.  North Carolina pollen counts have been mostly low so far this year, but in the past couple days the count has risen dramatically.

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Environment
6:00 am
Mon October 31, 2011

Ozone Levels Lower

State health officials say fewer emissions from cars and industrial buildings cut down on air pollution this year. The annual ozone season officially ends today. There were 26 days in which ozone exceeded healthy levels. That's well below the 10-year average of 41 days. Division of Air Quality spokesman Tom Mather says recent numbers are lower despite back-to-back hot and dry summers.

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Environment
9:10 am
Sat May 7, 2011

Schools Adopt Air Quality Flag System

More schools around the state are flying color-coded flags to let students and staff know about poor air quality conditions. The flags correspond with the Air Quality Index. Health officials say people with breathing sensitivities should be careful on code orange, red, or purple days. Allison Davis with the E-P-A says the Triangle usually gets several code orange days each summer.

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Environment
6:00 pm
Fri March 18, 2011

UNC Research Points To New Ozone Standard

Air Quality Forecasts

On warm days like today, pollution in the air can produce excess ozone near the ground. And air quality officials often issue ozone alerts - warning people with breathing problems to reduce activity or stay indoors.  But new research from UNC indicates the current acceptable ozone levels established by the Environmental Protection Agency might actually be too high. 

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