2013 Feb. 11: NY: New York State measures wood smoke emissions in the Adirondacks

New York State measures wood smoke emissions in the Adirondacks‏

Nancy Alderman (nancy.alderman@yale.edu)

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11:49 AM

New York measures wood smoke emissions in the Adirondacks


Characterization of Valley Winter Woodsmoke Concentrations in Northern NY

Using Highly Time-Resolved Measurements

George A. Allen1*, Paul J. Miller2, Lisa J. Rector3, Michael Brauer4, Jason G. Su5
1 NESCAUM, Tel: 617-259-2035; Fax: 617-742-9162; gallen2@nescaum.org
2 NESCAUM, Tel: 617-259-2016; Fax: 617-742-9162; pmiller@nescaum.org
3 NESCAUM, Tel: 802-899-5306; Fax: 802-899-5305; lrector@nescaum.org
4 The University of British Columbia, Tel: 604-822-9585; Fax: 604 822 9588; mike.brauer@ubc.ca

5 University of California-Berkeley, Tel: 510-643-0102; Fax: 510-642-5815; jasonsu@berkeley.edu

There is ample evidence that residential wood combustion (RWC) emits significant quantities of pollutants that are

known to impact health, including particulate matter, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and a number of known human carcinogens, including benzene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (Naeher et al., 2007). According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), exposure to fine particulate matter (particles with an aerodynamic diameter equal to or less than 2.5 micrometer, i.e., PM2.5) from woodsmoke is a major health threat (U.S. EPA, 2009).

There is a large body of evidence showing cardiovascular and respiratory health effects associated with ambient PM2.5 concentrations (Brook et al., 2010). The U.S. EPA has set national PM2.5 ambient air quality standards for annual and daily (24 hour) averaging times, but sub-daily elevated periods of PM2.5 can also be of concern.

Recent work has identified adverse respiratory impacts specifically from sub-daily (4 hour) exposures to woodsmoke (Barregard et al., 2006; Barregard et al., 2008; Danielsen et al., 2008).

Further, wood burning appliances are typically operated inresidential areas so that a large fraction of emissions can result in concentrations to which people are actually exposed (Ries et al., 2009).

A key challenge in the assessment of woodsmoke conditions in rural areas is the location of wood burning

sources, compounded by landscape features such as valleys. These features can create significant PM2.5 spatial

variability, including “hotspots” of elevated concentrations on top of regional PM2.5 contributions. Regulatory ambient air pollution monitoring networks are typically not dense enough, particularly outside of major urban areas, to effectively characterize this spatial variability.

Nancy Alderman, President
Environment and Human Health, Inc.
1191 Ridge Road
North Haven, CT 06473
(phone) 203-248-6582
(fax) 203-288-7571

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One Response to 2013 Feb. 11: NY: New York State measures wood smoke emissions in the Adirondacks

  1. Good work. Former Governor Baldacci of Maine is quite impressed by the NYSERDA mapping showing pm2.5 at 50 mcg/m3 in the Hudson River Valley with 25 mcg/m3 from wood smoke. NH mobile monitoring checks it. My weighted ave calculation of pm2.5 from ME – EPA modeling and census data checks it although I am not a professional engineer. Other engineers and scientific people in NESCAUM are free to do what I have done, though and should. The work done by these people has been brought to the attention of the EPA Inspector General by me and their office has verbally said that they agree that the entire pm monitoring system does not guarantee the intent of the clean air act is being carried out due to the effects sited here. Point of law: the intent of the clean air act is to keep pollution below stds “ANYWHERE” like at victims houses next to burners.

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