Klamath Falls, Ore. – A Oregon Tech professor is focusing her sights on working to clear the air in the Klamath Basin.
Data from an air monitoring station by Peterson Elementary School helps determine if it’s a ‘red, yellow, or green’ wood burning day.
Dr. Addie Clark is working to map areas of highest smoke concentration. “Is there a difference spatially in the basin – is down in the valleys different than some of the places that are more up on the hill.”
Clark also wants to know the impact of each individual wood stove. “So that we can then help Public Health understand that they’ve got to change out 250 wood stoves for us to see an appreciable difference, or something like that.”
She also spearheaded an effort to build a solar powered air quality monitoring station on the Oregon Tech campus. “I really liked the idea of an air monitor that isn’t polluting while it’s collecting the data.”
While public health is the primary reason behind efforts to improve air quality in the Klamath Basin, there’s also a financial element.
If air quality standards are attained, some restrictions could be removed – and that could open the door to more industry coming to the area.
“If we can get the air cleaned up and bring some economic impact to the basin, that never hurts anyone.” Dr. Clark noted.
Clark says she hopes to have some air quality research completed by the end of the school year.
Klamath County Commissioners gave their approval Tuesday to Public Health Director Jennifer Little to pursue grant funding from the Environmental Protection Agency to improve air quality.
Grants of up to $10,000,000 are available.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970’s. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle’s job history is quite colorful.
He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90’s as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.
“The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story”.
When he’s not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.