EPA monitoring air quality, perhaps anticipating the cracker plant

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It’s another indication that government agencies–including the Ohio EPA–believe the cracker plant is going to be built in Belmont County.

They’ve set up air quality monitoring stations in four places from Steubenville to Shadyside along the Ohio River.

The Ohio EPA has contracted out the work to Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Their team takes samples, then forwards them to the EPA.

The professor in charge says he believes they commissioned the Shadyside station to get a base line of air quality before the cracker is built.

It measures substances in the air that can potentially cause health problems.

“This is a size particle that can actually get into the bloodstream across the membranes in the lungs,” said Dr. Eric Haenni. “And so P.M. 2.5’s are really a good indicator of respiratory quality of the air. We also have continuous monitoring on this site with carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide and sulfur dioxide.”

The paid student interns will get valuable field experience.

Their professor says they will eventually be able to go into a job interview with an advantage.

They are biology majors with an emphasis on the environment.

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