Inversions negatively affect air quality in Missoula

MISSOULA COUNTY

Faith Cronin By Faith Smith, KECI Reporter, fcronin@keci.com
POSTED: 6:52 PM Jan 18 2013
Inversions negatively affect air quality in Missoula
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Unhealthy air quality has forced the Missoula City-County Health Department to put a Stage II air pollution warning into affect Thursday. 

First Alert Meteorologist Adam Painter explains that right now Missoula’s air is trapped in the valley due to strong inversions; he says this causes air pollution build-up.

This afternoon NBC Montana met Air Quality Specialist Ben Schmidt, who told us the health department expects air quality conditions to remain dismal over the weekend and into next week.

Schmidt wants to remind folks that because a Stage II warning is in effect woodstove restrictions are also in effect. This means you cannot use your fireplace or woodstove unless you have a special permit from the county.

Schmidt advises people with heart or lung disease, smokers, children and the elderly to limit prolonged exertion outside.

“Everything we generate on-site stays on-site,” said Schmidt.  “All of our driving emissions from our diesel to our gasoline cars, all of the emissions from all of our wood stove uses, any industrial emissions, they stay right in that very little narrow layer so basically there's a lid on that and nothing's escaping.”

Schmidt says all folks should avoid nonessential driving and he suggests carpooling or using public transportation until Stage II restrictions are lifted.

If you want to check the air quality in your area click here