Monday, September 20, 2021

Air quality unhealthy for some

Staff Report | July 31, 2021 1:00 AM

Air quality is unhealthy for sensitive groups in the Idaho Panhandle, according to the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

The agency issued an air pollution forecast and caution Friday to notify residents of Kootenai, Boundary, Bonner, Shoshone and Benewah counties outside of reservation boundaries of degraded air quality.

The pollutant of concern is fine particulate matter.

Sensitive persons — including those with heart and lung disease, older adults and children — may experience health effects due to degraded air quality.

They should limit prolonged or heavy exertion and limit time spent outdoors.

The general public is unlikely to be affected.

Impacts may be increased in the Purcell Trench, Silver Valley and Priest River Valley.

Because of changing weather and wind patterns, smoke impacts may vary widely throughout the day.

DEQ will issue another air quality update on Monday.