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Old 06-04-2006, 09:06 PM
981 posts, read 2,159,199 times
Reputation: 1425


Does the Boise area have a growing smog problem along with its population size? Inversion layers are said to happen in winter months and Treasure Valley is supposed to have Idaho's worst air. How many days per year do residents notice bad air?

This article makes me think twice about Boise as a clean-air destination large enough to have a decent job market.


Does the State that elected Helen Chenoweth tend to vote against pollution controls unless the Feds force their hand? I see that many mountain areas still lack vapor-recovery nozzles on gas pumps because it's not been mandated. I'm sure someone did a cost/benefit analysis and decided that inhaling fumes from 3 feet is no big deal.

I'm concerned that Idaho will suffer the same growth problems (in miniature) as California without "liberal" laws to curb environmental problems. How true might that be?
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Old 06-11-2006, 08:54 PM
Location: out in the sticks
278 posts, read 1,061,891 times
Reputation: 90
More then you know. From living there I can say yes big big time and that is only the tip of the iceberg of messed up things and laws in the state! Also the reasons I do not call it home any more after living there! I was there for over ten years and each year it got worse. There also a right to work state. Meaning low paying jobs a plenty but no benefits. There a union busting state so no competition to help raise wages or benefits.
They also have laws that belie there family friendly statement they put out there not believe me. My kids and I got to live threw there so called family friendly state. Would I move back only if they change almost all there laws dealing with workers and families think about this more millionaires per capital then almost any other state and yet they are also one of the lest populated ones and yet the 13th largest . If there are so many rich people then some one is not making money and I can tell you it is the workers not the owners. If you enjoy poverty and not having a good family go to Idaho but if you love family good air and good jobs stay away believe me!!!
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Old 09-06-2006, 11:25 PM
Location: Austin, Texas
2,756 posts, read 5,597,788 times
Reputation: 4640
Default A cryin' shame!

It's indeed sadly ironic that Boise, the so-called City of Trees and also a town that prides itself on outdoor recreation, does in fact have some of the worst quality air in the country. I've lived here for eight years and it simply is getting worse, and now borders on intolerable.
During the winter months, we get the inversions, which act like a lid to trap in all the woodsmoke and car exhaust. Then in the summer, the smoke and ashes from nearby forest fires rain down like snow. I grew up in Los Angeles and never experienced air as bad as this. I'm moving to Wyoming!
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Old 09-07-2006, 08:04 PM
63 posts, read 344,914 times
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Worst air quality-what a bunch of crap. I live in Boise and have never seen ash "raining" down all over. Go ahead and move to wyoming--have fun.
The winter inversions are not as bad as SLC, or Denver, or LA. I have lived in all 3 cities.
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Old 09-07-2006, 08:13 PM
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I forgot to mention that the air is usually clean in Boise so when there is an inversion people freak out. When you drive into SLC for instance, anytime of the year, you will see a layer of dirty air. Not like this in Boise--just with inversions.
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Old 09-27-2006, 06:44 PM
Location: Austin, Texas
2,756 posts, read 5,597,788 times
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If air quality "isn't that bad" than why does the city post "burn bans" during the winter when we have inversions? And just a couple weeks ago, during the woodsmoke haze all outdoor activites were cancelled in the schools.
Trust me, these conditions are just going to worsen. Anyone thinking of moving to Boise for idyllic nature getaway should think twice.
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Old 09-27-2006, 08:24 PM
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Even before Boise started growing there would be "burn bans" in the winter (wood burning stoves) because any city built at the base of mountains especially with a river is going to have these problems during cold months. In the winter the air gets trapped against the mountains and becomes stagnant(usually a few times each winter). Even rural areas next to mountains have this problem. For the most part the winter inversions start out as fog since there is a river through the city and then it turns dirty after a few days. But then it blows out. Boise usually gets inversions just a few times each winter. Trust me a Boise inversion is not as bad as a Salt Lake or Denver inversion.
And Boise rarely gets Summer inversions, but the other cities mentioned do

People tend to think that everything is perfect in Boise and when issues arrise the problem is completely blown out of proportion.

As far as the fires in the forests this last month that created the smoke in the valley---give me a break--like this is the cities problem. You cannot control nature and if a forest burns it burns and the smoke gets trapped in the valleys. If anything it should be a reminder of how wild of a place Boise is and the wild land it is situated in and near---we have immense forests just over the mountains. THe exact same problem happens in other western cities when they have forest or wildfires nearby.
If I remember correctly, last summer we did not have smoke from a forest fire at all during the whole season, so what happened last month is not something that happens every summer.

The statement in the previous post about Boise having the worst air quality in the nation is not true at all. Boise did have very bad air during the forest fire inversion last month but that is far from normal. This was an extreme year for forest fires in Idaho and it was unfortunate that Boise got the smoke from a lot of fires. Granted the air is not as clean as a small town of 5000 would be, but for a metro this size we are doing great. There are no oil refineries in the area, and Boise does not have the large industrial areas that other cities have which cause pollution. Because of that fact Boise (the city) is rather pristine.

And anyone who is thinking of moving to Boise for our idyllic nature setting will be impressed. We have nature at our doorstep and she is beautiful. Some areas around Boise(to the south and north) are known as having some of the best areas to stargaze because of being situated in the cleanest air in the nation.

You may think I am trying to make things sound better than they are, which I am not, I am telling it the way it is. Some people who represent Boise tend to be very negative and make issues sound a lot worse than they already are because they do not want more people moving here.
I read letters to the editor everyday in the Boise newspaper and there is always a letter about somebody who cannot stand the growth and does not want anybody moving here and they complain about this and that trying to make Boise sound like a bad place and to try and deter people who may want to live here.

The local governments from the cities in the metro area are actually working on a master transit plan which will include light rail someday and a better bus system. Ada county already requires emission testing and Canyon county is supposed to start as well. The mayor of Boise is big on better public transportation and is working on a trolley system for downtown which should all help with auto pollution.

BTW, I did hear on the news tonight that light smoke is in the valley for the next few days until a cold front moves in. There are still some fires burning in Oregon and north of Boise.

Last edited by Pineboy; 09-27-2006 at 09:52 PM..
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Old 09-27-2006, 09:21 PM
171 posts, read 985,216 times
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I have noticed that there is a layer of grime over Boise many times now in the past two years, like today for example, that I had not seen in the past. I is not something that is evident when you are in the city, but is clearly seen from the foothills.
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Old 09-30-2006, 10:16 AM
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The air quality in Boise is getting worse. Inversions from all the cars in the winter and smoke from range and forest fires in the summer contribute to most of the problem. Most of the time the air is good but when conditions are right the air is dirty. Due to the causes there is very little that can be done about it. If you want clean air all the time stay out of Boise.
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Old 10-02-2006, 02:30 PM
Location: Boise
149 posts, read 1,036,881 times
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It all has to do with your point of reference.

Just like Pineboy said, air quality in Boise is better than SLC or LA. OTOH, air quality in Boise is worse than other places in Idaho (like McCall, or even Mt. Home).

However... air quality in Boise is not bad. There is an inversion during the winter where the air can be quite hazy, and people who have lived in Idaho their whole lives (esp. those that live outside of Boise) will complain about it and say "isn't this awful?"

Other people that have lived in other places (like SLC, LA, Boston, Atlanta) aren't even going to notice because it's such a non-issue.

Burn bans are there to keep the air quality from getting bad, not to keep the bad air from getting worse.
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