New air quality monitoring plan concerns Loudon Co. residents
By ANN KEIL
6 News Reporter
COUNTY (WATE) -- Loudon County is already struggling to meet the EPA's
air quality standards. However, some fear a plan by the state Department
of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) may make cleaning the air even
TDEC has two air quality monitoring systems in Loudon County, but it
plans to dismantle the part of the system that monitors toxic
chemicals at both locations.
Some fear that would be a big mistake.
"You can talk about what this plant's putting out or what the vehicles
are putting out, but the ability to know what it is you're breathing
requires that you measure it," says Michael Crosby, with the Loudon
County Air Quality Task Force.
"You have an ozone monitor and you also have a toxic monitor and you
have a particulate monitor," Crosby says.
"These monitors check every one of these chemical that's in the air so
we know if they're at levels deemed acceptable," says concerned resident
In response, TDEC officials say the data from the monitors
doesn't indicate a problem so it doesn't justify the expense of the
Each monitoring system costs the department approximately $45,000 a
Still, the task force is waiting for TEEC to respond to a
letter objecting to its decision.
"If we lose the monitor, we have no way of knowing if the efforts we're
putting forth are producing any possible results."
TDEC officials intend to dismantle the part of the air quality
monitoring system that measures toxic chemicals at one location by the
end of this year.
The other will be dismantled in another year.
In that time, one of the county's plants will have installed more air