smoggiest summer in years
As of Friday, the Los Angeles region exceeded federal ozone standards on 44 days this year -- nearly as many as all of last year. In late June, ozone levels spiked sharply and have stayed high.
In inland valleys and mountains, ozone levels have soared to heights not seen in years. Air quality in the High Desert and Victor Valley is worse this year than last year, reversing a decade-long trend toward cleaner air.
A bout of unusually hot, stagnant weather prompted a Stage 1 smog alert in the San Bernardino Mountains in mid July, the first time such an alert was declared in the district since 1998. The alert was declared when ozone levels reached 0.21 part per million in the mountains northeast of Los Angeles.
During a Stage 1 episode, people with sensitivities to smog may experience headaches, nausea or shortness of breath. The effects on health usually are mild, but in extreme cases long exposure to very high smog levels can lead to premature death.
Experts say more smoggy days are anticipated for August and September, typically the worst period for ozone. "It’s worse than ever," said Olivia Michel, 63, of San Bernardino. Michel said she has allergies and the heat and smog keeps her from going out.
what's being done about it? not enough.
On Friday, the board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District voted 9-0 to pass a pollution-fighting plan which they then pointed out would not be enough to meet federal ozone standards. This weak plan still needs state and federal approval before anything happens. Jack Broadbent, regional air division chief of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said his agency favors voluntary programs for reducing emissions. anticrisis lynx latest comments