PETERBOROUGH - Gov. John Lynch and state officials today unveiled an improved air monitoring station at the summit of Pack Monadnock, which will allow the state to better track air pollution entering New Hampshire from outside the state. Officials from New Hampshire’s Departments of Environmental Services and Resources and Economic Development, the University of New Hampshire and the US Environmental Protection Agency joined Gov. Lynch.
"New Hampshire’s natural beauty and healthy environment are part of why we all live here; they are also our state’s most important economic assets," Gov. Lynch said. "We have taken great steps to reduce air pollution within our boundaries and to put pressure on other states to do the same. This air quality monitoring station will help provide important information about where pollution is coming from, and aid in our efforts to fight polluters hundreds of miles away who are compromising our air quality."
New Hampshire’s air quality has been improving over the past few years. In 2002, New Hampshire experienced 13 days when the federal ozone standard was exceeded, compared to one day, four days, and three days in each of the following three years respectively. New Hampshire and other Northeast states air pollution have spent millions to control air pollution.
"New Hampshire has committed to working to improve our air quality, and we are seeing results," Gov. Lynch said. "However, a significant portion of our air pollution here comes from out of state. The federal government must maintain existing regulations and adopt additional legislation to comprehensively address emissions from power plants and other major sources of pollution in the Midwest."
The air monitoring station at the summit of Pack Monadnock Mountain has been operating since 2002 as a joint effort between DES, DRED, and the University of New Hampshire. It is one of more than 20 different air monitoring sites throughout the state. Recent enhancements include increased monitoring of ozone-forming pollutants, mercury, and carbon dioxide, and installation of educational displays.
"This monitoring station is another indication of the tremendous progress that has been made to measure air quality in New Hampshire over the past several years," said Robert Scott, Director of the Air Resources Division at DES. "We’ve been fortunate to work with DRED in locating and siting this high elevation station that is so critical to collecting data on air pollution transport. UNH has similarly found this site to be excellent in meeting research needs relative to predicting and analyzing regional air quality."
In addition to ozone and ozone-forming pollutants, real-time small particle pollution (particulate matter) is measured here, which affects public health and causes regional haze. A message board and electronic display screen showing real-time data being measured at the site are prominent on the side of the building for viewing by the public.
"Overall, this station is a successful endeavor in terms of partnerships, location, air quality reporting, statewide health protection, and tracking of air pollution transport," Scott said.