Weather Primary Influence On Ozone

Monday, July 16th 2007, 1:43 pm
By: News On 6

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) _ Despite human efforts to battle pollution, the state Department of Environmental Quality says the biggest factor controlling ozone pollution in the greater Baton Rouge area still seems to be the weather.

DEQ's June summary for ozone levels in the five-parish area around Baton Rouge shows two days where at least one air monitor had ``unhealthy'' readings.

Another 10 days had monitors measuring ``moderate'' levels of ozone and an additional 18 days the air quality index for ozone was in the ``good'' or ``green'' level.

Ozone pollution forms when air emissions from industry, cars and other sources combine during hot and sunny weather. When there is little wind, this ozone can accumulate in an area and cause health problems.

Chris Roberie, administrator of DEQ's air quality division, says new federal air pollution rules and state efforts to reduce industrial emissions are expected to have some effect. However, the data seem to suggest that weather still plays the biggest role in the amount of ozone the state's air monitoring system measures.