Posted on October 21, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
EPA challenged on decision to designate polluted region as unclassifiable
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Environmental advocates and the EPA are facing off in a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. today over air quality in Utah’s remote Uinta Basin, where ozone levels often exceed standards set to protect human health.
In a weird twist to the case, the fossil fuel industry is claiming that its own air pollution data is of poor quality and unreliable, and shouldn’t be used by the EPA to designate the Uinta Basin as a nonattainment area, despite the fact that the area regularly sees some of the highest ozone pollution levels in the country.
At issue in the oral arguments is the EPA’s refusal to designate the Uinta Basin as a nonattainment area despite monitoring showing serious air quality degradation in northeastern Utah. The EPA’s decision to designate the area as unclassifiable is a clear violation of the Clean Air Act, according to WildEarth Guardians, one of the groups involved in the case. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, energy, gas drilling, oil drilling, air quality, fracking | Tagged: oil and gas drilling, air pollution, air quality, fracking, public health, ozone, Uinta Basin | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 14, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Study shows how cutting carbon pollution pays huge dvidends by reducing health care costs.
‘Carbon-reduction policies significantly improve air quality’
FRISCO — Adopting a carbon cap-and-trade program would easily pay for itself — and then some — by reducing health care costs associated with treating asthma and other medical conditions resulting from air pollution, MIT researchers said in a detailed study that looked at the comparative cost and benefits of three potential climate policies.
Policies aimed at cutting carbon emissions from sources like power plants and vehicles, also lead to reductions in other harmful types of air pollution, the scientists said, publishing their findings last month in Nature Climate Change.
Overall, the study found that savings on health care spending and other costs related to illness can be big — in some cases, more than 10 times the cost of policy implementation. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: air quality, carbon pollution, global warming, health, health care costs | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 7, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Methane emissions: up, up … up.
EPA report shows the greenhouse gas dragon is far from tamed
FRISCO — The EPA may be putting lipstick on the methane pig by claiming that methane emissions dropped during the past year, according to watchdog groups who say the numbers put forth by the federal agency are misleading.
Overall, the EPA reported Sept. 30 that greenhouse gas emissions from large industrial facilities climbed by 20 million metric tons in 2013, up 0.6 percent from the previous year. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, climate and weather, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, global warming, oil drilling | Tagged: climate change, EPA, greenhouse gases, methane emissions | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 5, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Pollution doesn’t respect national borders.
Report shows declines in some of the most dangerous pollutants
FRISCO — A new report from the Commission for Environmental Cooperation tracks the changing face of industrial pollution between 2005 and 2010, showing a total increase of 14 percent in the five year span.
The comprehensive report includes more complete reporting by the metal ore mining and oil and gas extraction sectors in Canada, as well as data from 35,000 industrial facilities in Canada, the United States and Mexico. The CEC was formed as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, energy, Environment, fracking | Tagged: Commission for Environmental Cooperation, Environment, NAFTA, North America, pollution | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 1, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
Oil and gas drillers must to more to protect the airsheds they operate in.
Air quality worsening in rural areas affected by fracking
FRISCO — Dangerously high levels of winter ozone pollution in parts of Utah can be traced directly to chemicals released into the air by oil and gas exploration. The volatile organic compounds, common byproducts of fossil fuel exploitation, get trapped under atmospheric inversion layers and sunlight reflected by snow sparks the chemical process that forms the corrosive gas.
For example, in 2013, ozone in Ouray, Utah, exceeded the national air quality standards 49 times during the winter season. By contrast, in the densely populated, urban area of Riverside, California, the standards were exceeded about half that amount that same year, but during the summer. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: air pollution, air quality, Environment, Fossil fuel, fracking, ozone | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 8, 2014 by Bob Berwyn
U.S. airlines have long lobbied against any measures aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft, but they won’t be able to dodge new EPA pollution regulations developed under the authority of the Clean Air Act.
Agency targets spring 2016 to make initial findings
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — U.S. airlines may soon be required to at least start thinking about cutting their carbon footprint.
Aviation accounts for about 11 percent of carbon dioxide emissions from the U.S. transportation sector and is one of the fastest-growing sources of carbon pollution, rising between 3 percent to 5 percent a year. Carbon emissions from global aviation will quadruple by mid-century without action. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: air pollution, airlines, climate change, EPA, greenhouse gases | 6 Comments »