Counties with the Worst Ozone Air Pollution in Each Stategreenspun.com : LUSENET : Unk's Wild Wild West : One Thread
-- Cherri (email@example.com), May 17, 2001
What's your point??? Next you'll be claiming they all became polluted only since February 2001, and were pristine wildernesses prior to that. ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
-- libs are idiots (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 17, 2001.
Gary North went to school at UC Riverside, Riverside California, does that help any?
-- (email@example.com), May 17, 2001.
Who does this "grading"? What are the criteria for grading? What is the source for this data? How does it change from year to year? How can Rockingham NH have an F when it has 1/16 the levels of San Berdoo, CA which also has an F? What are the levels for the numerous regions not even mentioned (Indy, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, Denver, Jacksonville, Tampa, Miami, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, any foreign cities)?
-- Lars (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 17, 2001.
Legitimate questions Lars!
But apparently you have never been to SanBerdo, oh boy talk about smog, whew.
-- (email@example.com), May 17, 2001.
Glad you asked :o)
Who does this "grading"? American Lung Association
What are the criteria for grading? What is the source for this data? How does it change from year to year? How can Rockingham NH have an F when it has 1/16 the levels of San Berdoo, CA which also has an F?
What are the levels for the numerous regions not even mentioned It is the worse counties in each state
(Indy, Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, Denver, Jacksonville, Tampa, Miami, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, New Orleans, any foreign cities)?
State of the Air 2001 looks at 1997-1999 data.
This represents the most recent available complete ozone monitoring data that has been fully reviewed by the EPA for quality assurance at the time this report was prepared. The hot summer weather of 1999 increased the amount of ozone in the air in many parts of the country, and made breathing more difficult for many Americans. But clearly there was no significant drop in emissions of the air pollutants that form ozone, also known as smog,to compensate for the increased ozone generated by the hot summer of 1999.
We will need a major reduction in emissions if we want our most vulnerable citizens to survive hot summers without having to struggle to breathe due to ozone pollution. Further, recent predictions of a trend toward hotter summers in the future for much of the United States due to the effects of global climate change will likely worsen the nationís ozone problem unless future reductions in ozone-forming pollution are sufficient to compensate for the warmer temperatures.
Last year, the American Lung Association initiated its State of the Air annual assessment to provide citizens with easy-to-understand air pollution summaries of the quality of the air in their communities that are based on concrete data and sound science. Air quality in counties are assigned a grade ranging from "A" through "F" based on how often their air pollution levels exceed the "unhealthful" categories of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agencyís Air Quality Index for ground-level ozone (smog) pollution.
The Air Quality Index is, in turn, based on the national air quality standards. The air quality standard for ozone used as the basis for this report, 80 parts per billion averaged over an eight-hour period, was adopted by the EPA in 1997 based on the most recent health effects information.
The grades in this report are assigned based on the quality of the air in areas, and do not reflect an assessment of efforts to implement controls that improve air quality.
Overview of Ozone Sources. Ozone is a highly reactive gas that is a form of oxygen. It is the main component of the air pollution known as smog. Ozone reacts chemically ("oxidizes") with internal body tissues that it comes in contact with, such as those in the lung.
Ozone is formed by the action of sunlight on carbon-based chemicals known as hydrocarbons, acting in combination with a group of air pollutants called oxides of nitrogen (NOx). Hydrocarbons are emitted by motor vehicles, oil and chemical storage and handling facilities, and a variety of commercial and industrial sources such as gas stations, dry cleaners and degreasing operations. Oxides of nitrogen are a by-product of burning fuel in sources such as power plants, steel mills and other heavy industry and in motor vehicles.
Wind can carry NOx hundreds of miles, so people who donít live in areas with high levels of NOx emissions arenít necessarily safe from these emissions. EPA has been tracking NOx and five other major air pollutants since 1970, and found that while carbon monoxide, lead, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, and volatile organic compounds have decreased significantly, NOx emissions have increased approximately 10 percent.
Sign the American Lung Association Clean Air Petition to President Bush and Congress!
New Diesel Regulations. In January 2001, the Environmental Protection Agency issued new regulations that will help millions of Americans, especially children with asthma, breathe easier. The regulations significantly limit tailpipe emissions from heavy-duty diesel vehicles.
The new rule will cap sulfur levels in diesel fuel at 15 parts per million (ppm) and impose tough new emissions standards on all heavy-duty vehicles. This will result in a more than 90 percent reduction in emissions of harmful pollutants like particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). Particulate matter has been linked to premature death and worsening asthma, and nitrogen oxides are a principal component of ozone smog.
The oil industry had tried to water down the rules by offering an alternative proposal with higher sulfur levels. That plan would have severely weakened the program and precluded significant reductions of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter pollution. In response to the new sulfur in diesel fuel regulations, the National Petroleum Refiners Association filed a lawsuit challenging the new EPA regulations in February 2001. The American Lung Association has intervened in this lawsuit to support the EPA heavy-duty diesel regulations.
Public opinion stands behind the clean up of dirty diesel buses and trucks. In a recent American Lung Association survey, nearly nine of ten voters (87 percent) favored requiring production of cleaner diesel fuel and 84 percent of voters said it is personally important to them to require the production of cleaner diesel fuel. Likewise, nearly nine of ten (85 percent) of voters favored requiring 18-wheelers and other big diesel vehicles to use the best available pollution control technology, even if it costs them more money.
In addition, voters also believe cleaner diesel fuel can have a positive impact on our nationís air quality. More than three fourths of voters (77 percent) believe cleaner diesel fuel will make a difference in cleaning up air pollution.
Voters also favored diesel fuel cleanup even when told it would increase costs to consumers. After hearing statements on both sides of the issue, two-thirds of voters (65 percent) agreed with the statement that "cleaner diesel fuel is necessary to significantly reduce air pollution from big trucks and buses and is worth it even if it costs consumers a little more," versus only 16 percent who agreed that "cleaner diesel fuel for big trucks and buses will be too expensive resulting in higher costs which will be passed on to consumers." 19
Non-road Heavy Duty Engines. While new rules to regulate emissions of on-road heavy-duty diesels will make a great deal of difference in the quality of our air, these rules alone will not be enough. EPA must also take steps to control non-road heavy-duty diesel engines, such as construction equipment, and clean up the diesel fuel used in these engines. In fact, non-road heavy-duty diesel engines are a more significant source of emissions than on-road heavy-duty diesels.
PM 10 emission from non-road vehicles and engines accounted for 64% of transportation source emissions and 16% of total emissions; for NOx, they account for 40% of transportation source emissions and 22% of total emissions.
Non-road heavy-duty diesel equipment can benefit from the technological advances that will occur in order to meet the 2007 on-road standards - but only if low-sulfur diesel fuel, which is necessary for these technologies to operate, is available for the non-road sector, as well.
Thatís why the EPA should adopt emission standards and a sulfur cap for non-road heavy-duty diesels and fuel that are equivalent to those for on-road heavy-duty diesels, and in the same time frame.
National Air Quality Standards.
On February 27, 2001, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the EPA process of setting air quality standards was constitutional, and that costs could not be considered in the standard-setting process. At issue are 1997 standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for ozone (smog) and particles (soot). The EPA estimates the standards will each year prevent thousands of premature deaths, tens of thousands of hospitalizations and other illnesses for respiratory and cardiovascular causes, and millions of days of missed work and school. The standards were challenged by industry and three states.
In 1999, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled that the EPAís interpretation of the Clean Air Act represents an unconstitutional delegation of Congressí legislative authority. The American Lung Association intervened to oppose the challenges and filed briefs in support of the EPAís appeal to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court also heard oral arguments in a related case in which industry argued for the Court to reverse a long-established legal precedent that bars inclusion of pollution control cost factors in the air quality standard-setting process. The Lung Association, which was a party in this case as well, strongly opposed the industry position as bad public health policy and also directly contravening the Clean Air Act. The Supreme Court did rule that EPA must reconsider how implementation of the 1997 eight-hour standard will be reconciled with implementation of the 1979 one-hour standard.
It is crucial that EPA revise the ozone standard implementation process quickly in order to minimize any further delay in protecting the public from ozone pollution. EPA also must expeditiously classify those areas that violate the eight-hour ozone standard so that states can move forward with identifying and implementing the pollution control strategies needed to meet the standard.
Based on 1997-99 monitoring data, a report by the Clean Air Network estimated that almost 117 million Americans live in 333 counties that violate the eight-hour ozone standard. 20
No other single source of pollution poses so much danger to health and the environment as do coal-burning power plants. The damage continues to mount as the emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide have increased and the emissions of mercury, a toxic contaminant, and carbon dioxide, the foremost pollutant linked to global climate change, have continued unabated. Since 1970, the Clean Air Act has exempted the oldest, dirtiest coal-burning power plants from complying with modern emissions standards.
As a result, these older power plants are permitted to emit as much as 10 times more nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide as that of modern coal plants. Even worse, the entire industry is currently allowed to emit unlimited amounts of mercury and carbon dioxide. Power plants are the only unregulated source of toxic mercury air emissions. This loophole in the Clean Air Act is now allowing power companies using these older facilities with outdated pollution controls to gain a competitive cost advantage over their competitors who are more environmentally friendly. As a result, the power industry is relying on these old plants more than ever: between 1992 and 1998, there was a 15.8% jump in the amount of electricity generated from old coal-fired power plants.
Legislation has been introduced in Congress that would finally close the 30-year old loophole for power plants and that would set reasonable and achievable caps on the four major pollutants. CLICK
-- Cherri (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 18, 2001.
Having seen real pollution such as the smog in the counties of southern California, I was quite suprised to find Escambia County, (Pensacola) Florida graded with the same "F" as San Bernardino,Ca. I do not see smog here and was under the impression our air quality was no worse than any other mid-sized city in the country. It appears my suspiciouns about this "report" were justified.
I was listening to a local radio talk show today which, coincidently, was discussing the ozone situation in this area along with recent EPA (and the American Lung Association) reports. Here's the "REST OF THE STORY"...
The ALA claims Escambia has an avg of 9 days per year when ozone is at an "unhealthy range". What they fail to say is that 8 out of 9 of those days are only listed in the unhealthy range because of those people who have a pre-existing respiratory problems (such as emphasyma). In other words, only 1 day per year on avg is the ozone level in Escambia County considered in the "unhealthy" range for the general public. To put it another way, 356 days per year, the ozone level in this county is considered to be in the good or moderate range for *everyone* living here. For this the county is given an air quality grade equivelant San Bernardino!? That's nonsense. How much more misleading could they possibly be? Hmm... Do ya suppose these exaggerations and misleading statements by the ALA (and by extension, Cherri for posting this biased report) are twisted that way in order to support the agenda they're trying to push?
-- CD (email@example.com), May 18, 2001.
Seattle is only 38th. Whenever I go through there it looks like it ranks only second to Houston!
-- unbelievable (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 18, 2001.
I am not surprised to see Fulton County, GA in the top three. I am also not surprised to see a heap of other Georgia counties included in the later list. I travel a great deal in my work, and when I fly into out out of Atlanta, I can see a dirty cloud hanging over the city. As near as I can figure, the "dirt boundary" is somewhere around 8,000 feet. When flying in on a jet, passengers have to be seated at altitudes under 10,000 feet, and we enter to dirt cloud shortly afterwards. I swear, it's like putting on sunglasses when we fly into that mess.
-- Georgia Bidnessman (email@example.com), May 19, 2001.
I hear that Antarctica has a shortage of ozone. Maybe LA could fill that hole.
-- Lars (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 19, 2001.