Posted: May 7, 2013 9:18 PM by Shannon Davis
Updated: May 8, 2013 9:03 AM
BUTTE - Officials with the Butte-Silver Bow Health Department believe Butte's air quality issues stem from one location.
The Greeley School area is where poor air quality may originate, according to Paul Riley, director of environmental monitoring with the Butte-Silver Bow Health Department.
A chemical mass balance study was performed this winter. The study showed particulate matter was significantly lower throughout the valley compared to the data collected at the Greeley School site, Riley said.
Two studies are scheduled this summer. Both will try to identify the main causes of particulate matter in the air. One study will be a chemical mass balance study - the first of its kind to be conducted during the summer months. The second study will analyze existing data.
The health department is trying to work out an agreement with the EPA. If they can remediate the issues at the Greeley School site, they will ask EPA to consider the entire community nonattainment, Riley said. That means it meets the health standards for air quality.
"That's the avenue that we are trying to pursue," Riley said. "Whether it works out or not, we are not sure."
The chemical mass balance study will begin in June. The data analysis will begin this month.