Gov. Nixon announced Springfield Area received a $17,420 subgrant for air monitoring

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Volume 37-259 For Immediate Release: Aug. 13, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY, MO, -- Gov. Jay Nixon announced the Missouri Department of Natural Resources has awarded a $17,420 subgrant to the Springfield Health Department's Air Quality Control to continue monitoring and tracking fine particulate matter or PM2.5. During tough economic times, this infusion of grant funding will help Springfield protect citizens and the environment by continuing to collect air samples in the Springfield area.

The award will fund the monitoring through March 31, 2010. The Department will use these samples to help judge whether the area is in compliance of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards or NAAQS for fine particulate matter. The PM2.5 network provides high quality data for NAAQS compliance, Air Quality Index reporting and source distribution.  This data is used to promote public health by monitoring NAAQS compliance, reducing visibility impairment in scenic areas and providing Air Quality Index reports for susceptible people whose health can be affected by air pollution.

"Data collected through this monitoring allows the Department to determine whether air quality in the Springfield area is meeting the fine particle ambient air quality standards," said Department of Natural Resources Director Mark Templeton. "This monitoring is an important part of protecting air quality for all Missourians."

Particles in the air are a mixture of solids and liquid droplets that vary in size and are often referred to as "particulate matter." Some particles, those less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, pose the greatest health concern because they can pass through the nose and throat and get deep into the lungs.  These are known as fine particles. Micrometers 2.5 in diameter are just a fraction of the diameter of a single human hair. Particles larger than 2.5 micrometers are not usually inhaled deeply into the lungs, but they can cause some other health effects.  Particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter but more than 2.5 micrometers are known as coarse particles.

Currently, only the St. Louis Metropolitan area has one site over the annual PM 2.5 standard, which is in Illinois.  Several other sites are near the standard.  Springfield, Kansas City, including Kansas sites, and all outstate areas are in compliance with the annual standard.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Region 7, through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, has provided funding for this project under Section 103 of the Clean Air Act. The Department is committed to working closely with communities to assist with funding efforts that improve air quality in Missouri.