Idahoans Can Fight Bad Air During Winter Inversions
Monday, December 23, 2019
BOISE, Idaho -- The winter inversion season is a reminder of the daily pollution seen in valley communities across the West.
Inversions are weather patterns that occur when warm air acts like a lid, trapping colder air in valleys and causing stagnation.
When it's unable to move, air quality suffers and can even be dangerous for sensitive populations, including children and older people.
Austin Walkins, a senior conservation associate with the Idaho Conservation League, says inversions on their own aren't necessarily bad, but are intensified by certain activities.
"Pollution that comes from vehicle tailpipes, from wood stoves, from industrial facilities, normally goes up in the air, mixes and then gets blown away and dispersed," he points out. "During inversions, all of that just gets stuck in these valley communities. And so, it starts to have a really significant impact on public health."
Walkins says folks can improve air quality during inversions by limiting what they burn in wood stoves and by driving less. He suggests taking public transit if it's an option.
Walkins says he hears resistance from people who say one less car on the road won't help. But he maintains getting everybody on board is integral to protecting public health during an inversion.
"Every single bit of air pollution that we can keep out of the air benefits everyone," he stresses. "So, we encourage folks to be that leader in their community and say, you know, 'I know that everyone else is still driving, but I'm going to take the bus, and then I'm going to challenge my friends and family to take the bus.'"
Walkins commends Valley Regional Transit in the fight against tailpipe pollution with its recent purchase of eight electric buses. The low-emission transporters coming to the Treasure Valley will be the first mass transit electric buses in Idaho.
Disclosure: Idaho Conservation League contributes to our fund for reporting on Energy Policy, Environment, Public Lands/Wilderness, Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
get more stories like this via email
LANSING, Mich. - High utility costs are a major burden for Michigan's low-income residents, and a new study says they have an impact on their health…
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A new report shows an effort by investor-owned utilities in the Sunshine State to block the growth of rooftop solar. The …
Health and Wellness
By Troy Pierson / Broadcast version by Mary Schuermann reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. As marijuana becomes more …
SALT LAKE CITY - With rising numbers of people targeted in hate crimes and related violence, a new report analyzes the hate-crime laws in each state…
BOSTON - Educators' unions are calling on the state to support their efforts to ensure in-person learning in the fall keeps students, teachers…
HARTFORD, Conn. - In Connecticut, more than 460,000 people care for close friends or family members who can't manage on their own - and their …
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Millions of Americans soon could find eviction notices on their front doors, but New Mexico renters will not be among them - as …
Health and Wellness
CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire advocates for affordable healthcare access want Congress to lower prescription costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate …