Patriotic pollution? Ogden monitoring station shows jump in particulates on July 4

Posted at 6:23 PM, Jul 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-02 20:23:33-04

OGDEN, Utah -- Every Fourth of July, air quality in Ogden takes a dramatic turn for the worse--if you just take the air filter's word for it.

In 2014, the Utah Division of Environmental Quality's air monitoring station showed fine particulate pollution at about 9 micrograms on July 3, and 82 micrograms on July 4.

No other station in Utah's system shows that kind of impact.

But Utah's top watchdog for air quality, Air Quality Director Bryce Byrd, said that doesn't really mean there's a problem in Ogden.

Instead, he says it means that there's a problem with fireworks.

"When we are using those neighborhood fireworks, if you can smell the smoke, you're getting those health impacts," Byrd said.

Byrd says the Ogden air monitoring station just happens to be in a residential area where a lot of people light off fireworks.