By ROBERT S. MERRILL
Air pollution levels in Franklin County have been worse this winter than last because of an early snow cover in the valley and persistent high pressure systems that have trapped pollutants on the valley floor.
“The county has experienced 29 burn-ban days since the first part of November,” said Melissa Gibbs, airshed coordinator with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality.
When pollution levels reach a certain point it triggers wood-stove restrictions and a ban on open burning in Franklin County.
These burn bans remain in effect until air quality improves, according to Gibbs. She said the DEQ will continue to monitor particulate matter levels in Franklin County and will post updates on its website and email listserv.
The DEQ issued its very first air quality advisory for Franklin County on Dec. 31, which triggered wood-burning ordinances enacted by the county and several municipalities last year. The woodstove restrictions and burn ban applies to all areas of the county when it is issued, according to Gibbs.
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