The Department of Natural Resources Air Quality Bureau (DNR) will hold a public meeting Feb. 16 at 9:30 a.m. at the Council Bluffs Community Hall, 205 South Main Street, on a proposed lead nonattainment area in Council Bluffs. The purpose of the meetings is to provide more information on the proposed nonattainment area and seek input from the public, businesses and other affected stakeholders.
A nonattainment area is designated when outdoor (ambient) air pollution levels violate the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The lead monitor located in Council Bluffs has measured five violations of the NAAQS for lead, from data collected through October 2010.
In 2008 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lowered the lead NAAQS from 1.5 to 0.15 micrograms per cubic meter of air, measured as a consecutive three-month rolling average. EPA lowered the lead NAAQS due to recent scientific studies that indicate people’s health is impacted at lower levels than previously understood.
Because the monitor measures ambient air quality and not specific sources of lead pollution, the EPA has directed the DNR to make a nonattainment area boundary recommendation that will focus the DNR’s effort in planning to bring the affected area back into attainment by December 2016. Sources of lead emissions to the air include industrial combustion and ore and metals processing.
Please contact Jim McGraw at (515) 242-5167 Jim.Mcgraw@dnr.iowa.gov or Matthew Johnson at (515) 242-5164 Matthew.Johnson@dnr.iowa.gov with questions about the meeting. More information about the monitoring data is available on the Monitoring Ambient Air website.