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newsrel -- ARB showcases air-quality emergency response team for fires, industrial accidents

Posted: 23 Aug 2012 14:52:06
ARB experts on call to assist local air quality emergency
responders. 

SACRAMENTO:  Today the Air Resource Boardís Office of Emergency
Response showcased the agencyís ability to assist Californiaís
emergency and public-health officials confronting air-quality
emergencies. 

ARB has on-call a mobile emergency air-monitoring team dedicated
to reducing public health threats from air-quality emergencies.
These air-quality experts are trained to use advanced modeling
tools and specialized mobile air-monitors to quickly and
accurately assess toxic threats caused by explosions and fires.

ďARBís chemists, meteorologists and engineers stand ready on a
momentís notice to provide minute-by-minute air-quality
monitoring to help local officials develop tactical emergency
responses, and protect public health,Ē said ARB Chairman Mary D.
Nichols.

In the past ARBís emergency response team has been used during
gas pipeline explosions as well wildfire assessments.  It is
expected to be used more frequently in the future. A recent study
released by the California Energy Commission finds that, due to
climate change, the state can expect extreme weather that will
contribute to more severe fire seasons. Knowledge of what is in
the plume of smoke and which direction the wind is carrying it
can make evacuation and shelter decisions more targeted and
effective.

ARBís emergency response team will also serve those responding to
industrial accidents and fires.  The team, in coordination with
Californiaís emergency management structure, will assist by
capturing air samples, determining their contents, recommending
protective measures, and accounting for wind direction to
identify evacuation areas. 

For more information about ARBís emergency response capabilities,
see http://www.arb.ca.gov/carpa/carpa.htm

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