DEEP Statement on Connecticut Air Quality Inquiries
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (“DEEP”) has a statewide air quality monitoring network in place that constantly monitors the air we breathe and a practice of issuing air quality alerts if we have reason to believe our air quality will be impaired.
We have been tracking potential air quality impacts to Connecticut in light of the Feb. 3 Ohio train derailment and Feb. 6-8 controlled burn. DEEP has not seen any evidence of air quality impacts to Connecticut from this event, based on an analysis of forward wind trajectories from the site of the derailment.
We are aware of local reports from this morning regarding “sooty” matter on parked cars and have not been able to determine any singular source, such as a forest fire, power plant, or transportation-related emissions, that would cause this. Mid-level air flows – measured at an altitude of 1,500 feet – over the past day have predominantly followed the I-95 corridor northeasterly into Connecticut.
While DEEP forecasted “good” air quality for today, Friday, February 17, 2023, with respect to fine particulate matter (PM2.5), observed readings from air quality monitors from Washington D.C. northeasterly through New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, and westerly to Albany, NY, are showing moderate levels of PM2.5. Today’s cold front and rainfall are expected to reduce PM2.5 back to “good” levels by later this afternoon.
With moderate levels of PM2.5, unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion. (Pollutant-Specific-Cautionary-Statements.pdf (ct.gov))
People interested in Connecticut’s air quality monitoring network monitoring can visit: Air Monitoring Network (ct.gov)
People interested in information on EPA’s ongoing air monitoring efforts in and around East Palestine, OH, can visit: Site Profile - East Palestine Train Derailment - EPA OSC Response