WVDEP develops educational materials and activities for National Air Quality Awareness Week

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s (WVDEP) Division of Air Quality (DAQ) announces that National Air Quality Awareness Week will be May 4 through 8.

The DAQ encourages all West Virginians to check the Air Quality Index (AQI) to find the best time of day to be active outdoors, while maintaining proper social distancing.

The AQI calculates health effects for five major air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act – ground-level ozone, particle pollution (also known as particulate matter), carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. For each of these pollutants, EPA has established national air quality standards to protect public health.

The DAQ maintains a Statewide network for monitoring air quality. Air monitors located around the State record the concentrations of major pollutants. These raw measurements are then converted into an AQI value, using standard formulas developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The reported index is updated on DAQ’s website (www.dep.wv.gov/daq/air-monitoring/Pages/AirQualityIndex.aspx), Monday through Friday, and is also available at www.airnow.gov.

In support of at-home environmental education during these unprecedented times, members of DAQ’s outreach team have developed educational videos featuring:

  • Division of Air Quality (older students) – What we do and why we do;
  • History of Air Pollution (younger students) – Past issues of air pollution and the progress that has been made;
  • History of Air Pollution (older students) – The history of air pollution, early measures to correct it and disasters resulting from air quality problems;
  • DAQ Outreach Demos (all age groups) – demonstrations of air pollution control devices and acid rain mitigation; and,
  • Why is Coco Orange? (recommended for ages 4 to 8) – a read along with Coco and his friends as they solve a mystery and learn about air quality.

All videos are available at: https://bit.ly/2VNFd6V. For more information, contact Stephanie Hammonds, Information Management/Outreach Manager for the DAQ (Stephanie.E.Hammonds@wv.gov).

Additionally, the United State Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will post online activities, videos and print-at-home materials for students and teachers to celebrate Air Quality Awareness Week.  For more information, visit the AirNow Education Resources page at https://www.airnow.gov/education/.

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