EPA Study Paints Picture Of Grand Valley Air Quality

An Environmental Protection Agency study of air quality in Grand Junction provides some interesting conclusions. So much so that the study has been extended for several more years. Grand Junction was chosen, along with Denver, as one of two monitoring sites for air quality in a 2001 study that was extended for another four years.

Air quality specialist Perry Buda with the Mesa County Health Department says the E.P.A. study provides a snapshot of air quality, not just in Grand Junction, but of many American cities of similar size. Many of the air pollutants are at relatively safe levels, but a few, including some heavy metals, may be of concern.

Buda says one chemical in the Grand Valley air is a concern. Formaldehyde is a known cancer–causing agent used in wood products and emitted by wood burning and natural gas. Buda says the levels are not yet consistently at a level the public should worry about them.

He says many pollutants reach serious levels only when the valley experiences a temperature inversion and the Grand Valley should not have serious problems with air pollution until the valley reaches a population of 250-300,000 people.

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