MUSCATINE – The DNR’s Air Quality Bureau invites Muscatine-area residents to a public meeting Oct. 3 to discuss effects on the community after the city and nearby area dropped below federal air quality standards for sulfur dioxide.
Called nonattainment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified the city of Muscatine and adjacent areas as failing to meet the one-hour sulfur dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard.
When an area is in nonattainment, the federal Clean Air Act requires state and local governments to take steps to control pollution. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss timelines, requirements and preliminary plans to address sulfur dioxide pollution in Muscatine.
The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the Muscatine County Conservation Board’s Environmental Learning Center, 3300 Cedar St. in Muscatine.
The nonattainment designation goes into effect Oct. 4. The state has five years to reduce pollution and meet the sulfur dioxide standard. However, the state must submit a plan to EPA within 18 months showing how that will be accomplished.
According to EPA, monitoring at Musser Park in Muscatine showed that outdoor air exceeded the one-hour limits for sulfur dioxide. Short-term exposures to high levels of sulfur dioxide – from five minutes to 24 hours – have been scientifically linked with adverse health effects, including bronchoconstriction and increased asthma symptoms.
More specific information is available at www.iowadnr.gov/InsideDNR/RegulatoryAir/IowaNonattainmentAreas.aspx.
Please contact Jim McGraw at (515) 242-5167 or Jim.McGraw@dnr.iowa.gov, with questions about the meeting.
Muscatine is one of two areas in Iowa that are in nonattainment for air quality.