Air Quality

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services is inviting the public to tour air monitoring stations throughout the state this summer.

Air monitoring program manager Kendall Perkins demonstrated equipment use, spoke about the state-wide monitoring network, and answered questions for Laconia residents at a facility tour on Wednesday morning. 

DES

Southeastern New Hampshire is under an air quality alert today as high temperatures continue.

The state says air pollution and ozone concentrations could reach unhealthy levels in Hillsborough and Rockingham counties due to hot, sunny weather, and with winds carrying pollution into the region.

Officials say children and elderly people—and anyone with a respiratory condition—should limit exertion and time spent outdoors

Ozone exposure can cause coughing, shortness of breath and pain when inhaling, even for healthy people.

The American Lung Association released its annual State of the Air report Wednesday, and New Hampshire is doing better than it has in two decades. 

Air quality in state has improved overall since last year’s report card. Jeff Underhill, a Chief Scientist with the state Environmental Services Air Resources Division, says that’s due to a handful of factors, including cleaner cars and pollution controls for power plants.

Amanda Loder, StateImpact New Hampshire

A report by the American Lung Association has found that New Hampshire's Rockingham County is the only one in the state that's received a failing grade for high ozone days. 

tuchodl / Flicker CC

Most counties in New Hampshire took home high marks for air quality in this year’s “State of the Air” report from the American Lung Association.

Two counties do stand out, however, as lagging behind the rest of the state.

Hillsborough county saw an elevated number of days with high levels of ozone or smog, which is produced primarily by automobile and power plant emissions. The trend generally in Hillsborough county has been toward less smog.

A report shows that progress on air quality has stalled in New Hampshire.

EPA Proposes Tighter Woodstove Emissions Standards

Jan 5, 2014
Woodstove 2006
Gord McKenna / Flickr Creative Commons

The EPA is proposing stricter emissions standards for wood stoves.  Manufacturers would have to build stoves that burn 80 percent cleaner than current models.  And for the first time, pellet stoves would be held to the same standards.  The EPA says pollution from these heaters is linked to asthma attacks, heart attacks, and stroke. 

The Department of Environmental Services blames cold temperatures and low winds for poor air quality in the valleys of Southwestern New Hampshire, including Keene.