Begging for Immediate WYO “Dirty Air” Designation
June 30, 2008
Pinedale, WY – A 911 call has been made to the Environmental Protection Agency. Those who live in Sublette County, along with several environmental groups, are asking the EPA to step in immediately to protect people who are breathing unsafe levels of ozone. State monitoring there has shown ozone levels higher than in Los Angeles or any other big city. And while papers have been filed and studies are scheduled, citizens have been told it could be five years before there are any improvements.
Linda Baker with the Upper Green River Valley Coalition says if the pollution is unhealthy now, action needs to happen now.
"We don't have five years. We have some people in town now who are experiencing severe reactions to the high ozone levels."
Ozone causes lung damage and has been linked to deaths. Baker notes technology is available to cut down on ozone pollution associated with energy development. Actions can include simple things like not allowing trucks to idle. Some energy companies say pollution blowing in from other states is the main cause.
Baker also notes the EPA is familiar with the high ozone pollution levels in Sublette County, so the agency should be able to help right away.
"They've visited us a couple times, and met with local residents to hear their concerns. We feel that they've been very responsive, so we're hopeful that they will respond now."
An official petition for immediate action has been filed with the EPA. City council members, business owners and residents signed the petition.