The Regional Air Pollution Control Agency, or RAPCA, is investigating several instances of elevated levels of PM 2.5, a fine particulate that contributes to air pollution. RAPCA is responsible for monitoring air quality in a six-county area and officials there say several days during the months of December and January registered higher than other places in the region.
"One of the primary sources of fine particulate matter is wood burning," says RAPCA's John Paul. "There's a lot of wood burning in the Yellow Springs area."
When Jude Whelley walks her dog in her front yard in Harrison Township, she often detects a syrupy-sweet smell, particularly on moist, foggy nights. Jude has lived in this neighborhood since 1985, and while the generally accepted wisdom is that the smell comes from the nearby Cargill factory, for years she's wondered "does [the smell] depend on what they’re making? Or does it depend on the weather? Is it dangerous, or is it just unpleasantly sweet?"