Tuesday, June 22, 1999

Smog alert returns




BY BEN L. KAUFMAN
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Continuing glorious weather has drawn another smog alert.

        It was declared Monday afternoon and will continue through evening rush hour Wednesday.

        The alert will be reassessed then because forecasters see a possibility of cleansing rain on Thursday, according to Sarah Brugger, spokeswoman for Hamilton County Department of Environmental Services.

        Tristate residents can reduce pollutants that cook into breath-taking ozone by driving less, using mass transit more and deferring refueling and lawn care with gas-powered mowers until after 6 p.m.

        It already has been a rough spring for children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems who all suffer most from ozone in the smog.

        Glen Brand, spokesman for the Sierra Club in Cincinnati, said the region has had at least 10 days this year when the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed new ozone standard was violated. That standard averages ozone readings over eight hours; anything over 84 parts per billion (ppb) is too much.

        Even the current limit of 124 ppb for one hour has been violated twice, Mr. Brand said, citing monitoring data from the county's environmental services.

        “It's sick that our chronic air pollution problems continue to threaten Cincinnati's families,” he added.

        “If we are going to improve Cincinnati's serious air quality problem, we are going to have to adopt smart-growth alternatives to control suburban sprawl and give people more transportation choices, including efficient, cost-effective mass transit — light rail and expanded bus service — for the region.”

        The AccuWeather forecast for today calls for sunshine, with few clouds and less humidity. The high will be 86 degrees, with a low of 66.

        On Wednesday, the high will again be 86, with more humidity and sunshine.

        Thursday will be very warm and humid, with a mixture of clouds and sunshine. The high will be 88 degrees and the low 68 degrees.

       



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