Arlington County and the rest of the D.C. metropolitan area is under a Code Orange alert today (Friday) for its air quality.
With temperatures and humidity expected to build today and continue through the Fourth of July holiday, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments issued its alert, warning that sensitive groups could be affected and should avoid strenuous activity or outdoor exercise.
More from MWCOG and the National Weather Service:
The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments in association with Maryland Department of the Environment, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and District Department of Environment has issued a Code ORANGE Air Quality Alert Friday for the DC metro area.
A Code Orange Air Quality Alert means that air pollution concentrations within the region may become unhealthy for sensitive groups. Sensitive groups include children, people suffering from asthma, heart disease or other lung diseases and the elderly. The effects of air pollution can be minimized by avoiding strenuous activity or exercise outdoors.
For more information on ground-level ozone and fine particles… visit www.cleanairpartners.net.
MWCOG forecasts that the air quality will drop down to moderate levels this weekend.
Image via Environmental Protection Agency’s AirNow service
Cicadas Emerge in Droves — Cicadas are making an unexpected appearance in Arlington, the D.C. area and other parts of the eastern U.S. The insects emerged from the ground around trees earlier this month, evidence of which could be seen in the form of holes in the ground crunched carcases on nearby sidewalks. It’s believed that the cicadas may be early arrivals from a brood that was expected to swarm the area in 2021. [WTOP, WJLA, Cicada Mania]
Heat and Poor Air Quality Today — Near-record heat is expected today and tomorrow, with temperatures in the lower-to-mid 90s. The D.C. area is under a Code Orange Air Quality Alert, meaning that “air pollution concentrations within the region may become unhealthy for sensitive groups” like children, asthma sufferers and the elderly. [Capital Weather Gang, Weather Channel]
Photo courtesy Fred Cochard
Lander Apologizes for Insensitive Comments — School Board member James Lander has apologized for making insensitive comments about domestic violence yesterday on the “Arlington in the Morning” radio show. Lander has taken flak for appearing to engage in victim blaming when discussing the 2010 murder of UVA student Yeardly Love. In a statement, Lander said he made a “terrible communication mistake.” [Facebook]
Airport Contract Workers Win Pay Increase — Contract workers at Reagan National and Dulles International airports won their two-year fight for higher wages. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s board voted yesterday to require companies doing business with area airports to pay their workers a base hourly wage of $11.55 starting in January. Some of the workers currently make $7.25 an hour. [Washington Post]
More Passengers at DCA — More than 1.6 million passengers traveled through Reagan National Airport in February, which is a 2.6 percent increase over last year. [InsideNova]
Failing Air Grade — Arlington County earned an F grade in the American Lung Association’s 2017 “State of the Air” report. The region’s traffic created a lot of air pollution that contributed to a high level of smog in both Arlington and the District. Arlington did, however, receive an A grade in one category: particle pollution, also known as soot. [WTOP]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Arlington’s air again received an “F” grade for smog from the American Lung Association’s annual “State of the Air” report, with days of high ozone pollution increasing over last year.
ALA’s last report in 2013 said that Arlington experienced an annual average of less than 10 days of smog that were “unhealthy for sensitive populations.” In the most recent study period, that number jumped to 11.2 days per year. A weighted average of four days is considered a passing grade.
However, the Lung Association says that Arlington received an “A” in its particle pollution grade, registering no 24-hour periods of unhealthy levels of particle pollution. Last year it received a “B” grade.
The D.C. area was the 8th-most polluted metropolitan area in the country, according to this year’s report, up from 9th last year and 14th in 2011. Los Angeles was again the most smog-filled metropolitan area.
Images via ALA
Code Orange Air Quality — Hot and unhealthy air is in the forecast today. Code Orange air quality is expected today through Friday, meaning that pollution levels could be harmful to children, the elderly, or people with health problems. On this hazy and humid day, the heat index could reach as high as 107 degrees. [WJLA]
Arlington Girls’ Fire Camp Profiled — CBS News correspondent Chip Reid took a look at Arlington’s girls fire camp on the network’s morning show. The camp is an effort to help spark interest in the department among potential future female recruits. Percentage-wise, Arlington has more than double the national average of female firefighters. The county also hired the first paid female firefighter in the nation. [CBS News]
Board Approves Improvements to Parks — The Arlington County Board on Tuesday approved nearly $2 million in contracts to repair and upgrade Towers Park and Ft. Barnard Park. Towers Park will get new tennis courts and a basketball court, among other things. Ft. Barnard Park will have its playground and picnic shelter replaced. [Arlington County]
Yorktown Running Back Commits to UNC — Star Yorktown running back M.J. Stewart will play Division I football at the University of North Carolina. Stewart, a rising senior, will still play at Yorktown this fall. [Sun Gazette]
New Pilates Studio Opens — A new pilates studio recently opened in Courthouse. It’s the second Arlington location for the company, My Thrive Pilates. The studios are located at 1401 N. Adams Street and 2800 S. Randolph Street. [PRWeb]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
The organization released its annual State of the Air report today and Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax and the District of Columbia earned an “F” grade for ozone pollution — also known as smog. The D.C. area as a whole ranked as the 9th most-polluted city in the nation for smog, up from 13th last year and 14th in 2011.
The report suggests that the D.C. area has improved in terms of particle pollution in recent years.
“The air in Washington, DC is certainly cleaner than when we started the ‘State of the Air’ report 14 years ago,” said Kimberly Williams, Advocacy and Communications Manager for the American Lung Association, in a press release. “Even though the area experienced increases in unhealthy days of high ozone, the air quality is still better compared to a decade ago. But the work is not done, and we must set stronger health standards for pollutants and cleanup sources of pollution in the D.C. area to protect the health of our citizens.”
The full press release, after the jump.
(Updated at 3:00 p.m.) The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments has declared that the region’s air quality has reached the level of “Code Red” for today, meaning an unhealthy level of ozone pollution.
From a COG press release:
On Code Red days, active children and adults, and people with lung disease, such as asthma, should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors. Everyone else, especially children, should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion outdoors.
COG also advises that all area residents take the following actions:
- Sign up for air quality alerts at www.cleanairpartners.net
- Turn off lights and electronics when not in use
- Avoid lawn mowing or use an electric mower
- Use public transit
- Do not use chemicals on your lawn and garden
As of 2:50 p.m., the official temperature in D.C. reached 104 degrees. According to the Capital Weather Gang, that sets a new daily record and breaks the area’s all-time record for the month of June.