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Pinedale Online > News > March 2011 > Ozone readings hit 153PPB in Boulder March 1st

AirNow US ozone map March 1. Photo by AirNow.
AirNow US ozone map March 1
Red and yellow dots for the Upper Green River Valley on Tuesday, March 1, 2011. Graphic from the ozone monitoring website.

Boulder- 4:45PM - March 1. Photo by DEQ.
Boulder- 4:45PM - March 1
1-hour: 153 PPB 8-hour average: 90 PPB (Raw data, not validated)

Boulder 5:45PM - March 1st. Photo by DEQ Boulder monitoring station.
Boulder 5:45PM - March 1st
1-hour ozone: 145 PPB 8-hour average ozone: 102 PPB (Raw data, not validated)

Boulder - 7:30PM - March 1. Photo by DEQ.
Boulder - 7:30PM - March 1
1-hour ozone: 114 PPB 8-hour average ozone: 110 PPB (Raw data, not validated)

Pinedale - 8PM - March 1. Photo by DEQ.
Pinedale - 8PM - March 1
1-hour ozone: 84 PPB 8 hour average ozone: 78 PPB (Raw data, not validated)

Pinedale - 7PM - March 1. Photo by DEQ.
Pinedale - 7PM - March 1
1-hour ozone: 103 PPB 8 hour ozone average: 74 PPB (unvalidated raw data)

Ozone data for March 1st. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Ozone data for March 1st
Data collected from the DEQ air quality monitoring stations website. Data is considered "raw" and unofficial until verified.

March 1 - Ozone Chart - Boulder. Photo by DEQ Air Quality Monitoring Website.
March 1 - Ozone Chart - Boulder
1-hour and 8-hour ozone readings for Tuesday, March 1st. Chart created from data from the Wyoming DEQ air quality monitoring website. (Raw data, not validated)

Pinedale - March 1 - Ozone chart. Photo by DEQ.
Pinedale - March 1 - Ozone chart
Pinedale air quality monitoring station 1-hour and 8-hour ozone data for Tuesday, March 1st. (Raw data, not validated)
Ozone readings hit 153PPB in Boulder March 1st
Pinedale records 103 PPB (1 hour ) and 84 PPB (8-hour average)
by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online!
March 2, 2011

The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality issued Ozone Advisories for the Upper Green River Valley for three consecutive days this past week, Monday through Wednesday, Feb. 28 – March 2nd. Elevated ozone readings were recorded at several stations during this time period.

The highest readings were recorded on Tuesday, March 1st. The Boulder air quality monitoring station reached a high 1-hour reading of 153 PPB around 5:00PM. Pinedale reached a high reading of 103 PPB at around 7:30PM. Both stations eventually exceeded the 75PPB EPA standard by late in the day on Tuesday. Boulder’s high 8-hour average was 116PPB. Pinedale’s 8-hour average high was 84 PPB. Elevated readings typically hit over-standard levels by 4:00PM and continue to increase until about midnight, after which the levels begin to drop.

DEQ posted a disclaimer on their Boulder monitoring station webpage on Tuesday saying, "Notice: On March 1st, 2011, the DEQ Air Quality Division and contractor identified a data communication issue with the Boulder monitoring station and are working towards resolution. This message will be removed when the issue has been resolved."

In mid-February, DEQ posted a similar notice on the Boulder station website when it recorded unusually high readings, stating the ozone monitor was "malfunctioning" during a time it recorded readings of 106 PPB hourly and 88 PPB for the 8-hour average. DEQ stresses that all live data from these stations should be treated as preliminary and unofficial until it is validated by a specialist and confirmed. Reading spikes and data errors can and do occur in this kind of data collection process.

Industry companies in the Pinedale Anticline (Ultra, Shell, QEP) implemented their contingency operation plans effective Monday as a result of the Ozone Advisories from DEQ on Monday. DEQ media releases stated they anticipated the ozone-favorable weather would be a multi-day occurrence. Click on this link to learn more about the industry ozone contingency plans

An Ozone Advisory is issued by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality’s Air Quality Division when meteorological conditions are favorable for the formation of elevated ozone levels. An Ozone Advisory indicates the potential for elevated ozone levels. Advisories are issued at noon on the day prior to the day of the advisory and are based upon an evaluation of weather forecast data. The advisory remains in effect for a 24-hour period, but advisories could be issued on consecutive days.

Ozone is an air pollutant that can cause respiratory health effects especially to children, the elderly and people with existing respiratory conditions. People in these sensitive groups should limit strenuous or extended outdoor activities, especially in the afternoon and evening. More information on ozone and the health effects of ozone are available at the Wyoming Department of Health website,

While ozone typically is known as summer phenomenon in larger cities in conjunction with air inversions, the Upper Green River Valley has been experiencing elevated ozone levels as a winter phenomenon on bright sunny days in a county with less than 6,000 people. Ozone appears to be elevated in the Upper Green River Valley basin when there is a presence of ozone-forming precursor emissions including oxides of nitrogen and volatile organic compounds coupled with strong temperature inversions, low winds, and snow cover. It appears bright sunlight reflects off the snow cover creating a double dose of ultra violet radiation that accelerates the reaction with chemicals in the air that create ozone. The levels often have been elevated downwind of natural gas activity occurring on federal land in the Pinedale Anticline and Jonah Field south of Pinedale. In response to this phenomenon, DEQ and industry have placed numerous air quality monitoring stations around the valley and implemented several intensive monitoring studies.

In the Upper Green River Valley, elevated readings appear to be most often recorded at the Boulder monitoring station, just east of the Pinedale Anticline. However, under conditions which appear to be related to mild winds from the southeast, elevated readings over EPA standards for ozone have also been recorded this winter at Pinedale, Daniel and the Wyoming Range monitoring stations while the Boulder station had low readings below the standard.

Current information on ozone levels at the Air Quality Division’s monitoring stations at Daniel, Pinedale, Boulder, Juel Spring and the Wyoming Range can be found at the Wyoming DEQ website:

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  • Pinedale Online > News > March 2011 > Ozone readings hit 153PPB in Boulder March 1st

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