Thursday, April 26, 2007

New Tool for Citizens to Monitor Air Quality

Press release from the City of Cleveland:

Cleveland Department of Public Health
Tamara McBride, Cleveland Department of Public Health
(216) 664-3921 or (216) 857-7472
Andrea V. Taylor, City of Cleveland
(216) 664-4171 or (216) 857-7998

For Immediate Release

April 24, 2007
Cleveland Department of Public Health Provides New Tool for Citizens to Monitor Air Quality

CLEVELAND --- Sunday’s fresh air and sunshine was a perfect day for Zoo visitors as they celebrated Earth Fest 2007. Among the organizations providing education and information, was the Division of Air Quality launching a new initiative, Citizens Air Monitoring Program (CAMP) at the Cleveland Department of Public Health (CDPH).

The Division of Air Quality (DAQ) is the “Local Air Agency” for Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. As an agent of the Ohio EPA, DAQ ensures that regulated air pollutants from industrial and commercial sources are in compliance with federal, state and local air regulations. CAMP is a new program that promotes citizen involvement and opportunities for residents to participate in resolving air quality issues directly.

CAMP allows residents to collect air samples personally with a vacuum canister, and DAQ arranges for lab testing to produce results that may help determine sources of air pollution.

“This program is an essential partnership between the Public Health and the community, says Matt Carroll, Director, CDPH. “We are enlisting the help of the community to capture evidence that may help verify complaints about odors and smoke. The impact of this citizen involvement could help us determine from where problems are being caused and how to create solutions.”

Training will be available to any resident who is interested in CAMP. The CAMP program will allow the community and public health to work together to find solutions to air quality problems together. For more information about CAMP, call 664-7432.

About Division of Air Quality

The DAQ is composed of three sections that work together to achieve the objective of meeting Federal clean air standards. The Field Monitoring Section measures air pollution levels at more than 20 sites in Cuyahoga County for six National Ambient air Criteria Pollutants. These measurements determine compliance to the overall air quality requirements in the city and county. The Engineering Section operates the permit system that requires all industrial and commercial sources of air pollution to register and obtain permits. The permit system identifies sources and establishes limits on the amount of emissions released into the atmosphere. The Enforcement Section conducts inspections and maintains surveillance on pollution sources and responds to complaints from the public about a variety of air pollution issues.

All sections work together on the common goal to improve the quality of life in the City of Cleveland, allowing Cleveland to be a desirable place to live and work.