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EPA: Area School Toxic Emissions

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John Beagle View Drop Down
MUSA Official
MUSA Official

Joined: Apr 23 2007
Location: Middletown
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Beagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: EPA: Area School Toxic Emissions
    Posted: Dec 11 2008 at 2:55pm

From: Chris Korleski, Director, Ohio EPA

To: Ohio School Systems

This week’s USA Today Article on Schools and Toxic Emissions


You may have read or seen a recent media story about air quality in schools or about air quality at a

specific Ohio school. As a result, your school system, and the students and parents within your system, may

be concerned about potential health impacts from local sources of pollution.


We understand why anyone reading the article in USA Today (or viewing any follow-up local stories)

would be concerned about this issue. Indeed, it’s our job to evaluate and make sure that air quality across

Ohio is protective of public health. However, I must emphasize that before we could or would come to any

conclusions about possible localized health risks as a result of toxic chemical exposure, we would need to

conduct an in-depth study in the area in question, including conducting long-term monitoring of the air (as

opposed to relying upon one-time "grab samples" or modeling data.)


In preparation for its article, USA Today contacted Ohio EPA staff about an air study we conducted in

southwestern Ohio several years ago. This study was triggered after a local industry had several unpermitted

air releases. It involved months of air sampling at a specific school located across the street from the company

where the releases occurred. Such detailed studies are generally necessary to determine the precise state of

localized air quality and whether or not air quality might be impacting human health.


To reach the conclusions in its story, USA Today used a computer model utilized by U.S. EPA

that simulates air emissions and their effects on air quality. In addition, the newspaper conducted 100

one-time air samples nationwide. This reflects a quick snapshot of air data and estimates of potential

impacts on localized quality. We will be reviewing the data that USA Today utilized, and will use this

information as a starting point to evaluate what additional inquiries and investigations may be



When Ohio EPA conducts our detailed air toxics studies, we:


use rigorous air monitoring, drawing many air tests over time;


use meteorological data to determine where to place representative air monitors; and


set monitors at precise locations and at specific heights, following well-established U.S EPA



This type of rigor is not reflected in the USA Today sampling and data analysis.

Consequently, while we certainly agree that USA Today has raised a legitimate issue worthy of

further scrutiny, please do not assume your students are at immediate risk based on the

snapshot of data presented by the USA Today story.


We seek to protect you and your family in other ways as well:


Ohio EPA air pollution control permits issued to facilities are designed to protect our

most vulnerable populations (including children and the elderly);


Ohio EPA responds to inquiries and complaints about air pollution from factories,

businesses and open burning as well as diesel school buses and other mobile sources;



we work with the legislature to ensure Ohio’s air pollution laws protect the health of our



If you have specific questions about air quality in your community, please contact Ohio

EPA’s Public Interest Center at (614) 644-2160 and your call will be directed to the staff

member most familiar with your area of the state.


Questions about specific illnesses should be directed to your personal physicians, local

health departments or the Ohio Department of Health.



Ohio EPA is an Equal Opportunity Employer

John Beagle
Middletown USA
News of, for and by the people of Middletown, Ohio.
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tomahawk35 View Drop Down
MUSA Resident
MUSA Resident

Joined: Nov 18 2008
Location: Middletown
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tomahawk35 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 11 2008 at 10:52pm
John,Thanks for adding this info, I had read it and just wondered if anyone seen it. I t was an eye-opening article.
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arwendt View Drop Down
MUSA Official
MUSA Official

Joined: May 17 2007
Location: United States
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Points: 588
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arwendt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 12 2008 at 11:24am
I read this the other day but it's such a politically correct type of letter that in my opinion says so very little,,, that I could not even think of a reply.. Still having that problem.
“Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power.” Benjamin Franklin - More at my Words of Freedom website.
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