Air Quality In The Yuba Sutter Area

1491 words - 6 pages

Bad air quality has struck several cities around the world in recent years. It is an important environmental issue that should be dealt with because it is significant to our health. Local areas are especially susceptible to these horrible conditions because of their small stature. The Yuba-Sutter area has had this environmental issue for several years. It is a recurring issue which seems to affect our area every year specifically during the warm months. Some years are better than others, but it is still a problem that should be solved. Solving a problem as big as this one can be no easy task, but with the help of the community anything can be possible. Our community can help improve its air quality by implementing several solutions to help benefit the air.
Air quality is an important issue in our Yuba-Sutter area. Usually during summer, the air is low-quality. Most of the time this is caused by wildfires in distant areas which reach our area by wind. Wildfires cause the air to become smoky, ashy, and difficult to breathe in. These conditions can last for days until the fire is put out. Living in this unhealthy air can leave damaging effects to our health. Although this problem has become better over the years, it is still an issue that should not be taken lightly. When the air is bad it causes health problems to become apparent. People with and without asthma find it hard to breathe in these circumstances, and they may even need medical help if exposed to the air for long amounts of time. For example, The Feather River Air Quality Management District commented on the smoke from two local wildfires, “The very small particles in smoke can irritate the lungs of even healthy people, but are especially dangerous for seniors, children and those with lung and heart disease” (Appeal-Democrat Staff Report). Although we cannot change Mother Nature, we can create solutions that can help our communities understand the air quality and find ways to improve the air.
Rice field burning is another common cause of poor air quality in the Yuba-Sutter region. This event happens after the rice is harvested, so the land can be used again for the next rice season. The time of the burning depends on the forecast and the wind direction. Chris Brown, an air pollution control officer stated, “Burning is allowed based on expected wind direction and other factors, but sometimes Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate” (Olmsted). If the wind direction does not comply with what the farmers expect it to be then that is when we experience the smoky air in the cities. Although farmers can only burn a limit of 25% of their fields annually, it still affects our air quality. Although this is a common practice among farmers, there are always alternatives that we can consider that can help the environment. There are two other methods that can be used instead of burning rice fields: disking and stomping the rice fields. Disking is more common than stomping; it involves cultivating the...

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