Municipality of Anchorage and Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation Launch “Real Time” Air Quality Information Web Site
“Alaska Air Monitoring Network” web site provides current information
Contact: Steve Morris, MOA DHHS (907) 343-6976 firstname.lastname@example.org
Weld Royal, Alaska DEC (907) 465-5009 email@example.com
Residents of Anchorage, Mat Su Valley and Juneau can now find information on current air pollution levels on the world-wide web. The Municipal Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has worked together with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to create the new Alaska Air Monitoring Network web site which relays air quality data from three stations located in Anchorage, two in Mat Su and one in Juneau. DEC would like to expand the system in the future to include stations in Kenai and Fairbanks. A link to the web site can be found at http://www.anchorageair.info/ or the DEC Air Quality web page http://dec.alaska.gov/air/index.htm.
Diane Ingle, Director of DHHS, noted that the Alaska Air Monitoring Network website will be most useful during periods when smoke from wild fires, dust from wind storms, and volcanic eruptions affect air quality. “Residents will now be able to get information that is essentially real time about current air pollution levels where they live and work”. Ingle continued, “we’re glad that the State DEC has joined us in providing this service to Alaskans; we know that this information will be especially useful to those who suffer from respiratory conditions that are adversely affected by poor air quality”.
DEC’s Air Quality Acting Director Alice Edwards said there’s an important link between timely information about air quality and the health of Alaskans. “Having real-time access to air quality data from different locations will allow those with asthma and other lung conditions to take action to protect themselves from pollution. They can stay inside or avoid areas when air quality is degraded.”
Air pollutants measured by stations in the Alaska Air Monitoring Network include fine particulate matter (PM-2.5) like wildfire smoke, coarse particulate matter (PM-10) such as dust or ash, carbon monoxide (CO) and ozone. The web site also provides hourly updates of the Air Quality Index (AQI). The AQI was developed by the EPA as a means to evaluate the health implications of the various air pollutant levels being measured. DHHS will continue to provide updates and forecasts of the AQI for the Anchorage area at 343-4899.
Funds for this project were provided through an EPA grant to the Municipality. For more information on this website, please call MOA DHHS Air Quality at (907) 343-6976.