After testing showed pollution in Muscatine, officials have been ordered to work toward correcting the problem.
According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified Muscatine as having dropped below federal air quality standards for sulfur dioxide.
On Friday, October 4, 2013, Muscatine will receive a nonattainment designation, meaning the city has failed to “meet the one-hour sulfur dioxide National Ambient Air Quality Standard.”
According to EPA, Musser Park in Muscatine was monitored and outdoor air exceeded the one-hour limits for sulfur dioxide. They said that short-term exposures to high levels of sulfur dioxide (anywhere from five-minutes to 24-hours) can have negative effects on health.
Click here for information on adverse health effects caused by sulfur dioxide, how to check readings, and more.
After the nonattainment designation begins, Iowa will have five-years to reduce pollution and meet the federal standards. Within a year-and-a-half Iowa must submit a plan to EPA showing how they plan to lower the pollution.
The Clean Air Act requires local and state governments to fix issues with pollution. Their first step will be a public meeting held by the DNR Air Quality Bureau on Thursday, October 3. The meeting will be held at the Muscatine County Conservation Board’s Environmental Learning Center at 6 p.m.
For questions about the meeting, contact Jim McGraw at 515-242-5167 or Jim.McGraw@dnr.iowa.gov.