Posted on May 13, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
A new study raises more questions about public health risks in oil and gas development zones.
Findings confirm health risks to people living near oil and gas wells
FRISCO — Careful air sampling near active natural gas wells in Carroll County, Ohio showed the widespread presence of toxic air pollution at higher levels than the Environmental Protection Agency considers safe for lifetime exposure, according to scientists from Oregon State University and the University of Cincinnati.
The study reinforces the need for more extensive air quality monitoring in fracking zones around the country, where exposure to the poisonous emissions are likely to lead to increased risk of cancer and respiratory ailments. Continue reading
Filed under: energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: air pollution, fracking, Ohio, oil and gas, PAHs, pollution, public health | 2 Comments »
Posted on May 12, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Western U.S. counties violating current and proposed ozone air quality standards. Map courtesy Jeremy Nichols/ClimateWest blog.
La Niña weather pattern found to contribute to spikes in western ozone levels
FRISCO — Spring ozone formation in parts of the western U.S. appear to be linked with the hemispheric La Niña weather pattern, when the path of the jet stream forces high altitude ozone down to ground level.
After discovering the link, a team of researchers say their findings may help forecast harmful ozone episodes well in advance, which could have implications for attaining the national ozone standard. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, climate and weather, Environment, La Niña | Tagged: air pollution, air quality, climate, Environment, La Niña, ozone | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 2, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Village Green station in Durham, North Carolina. Photo courtesy EPA.
Five new solar-powered monitoring stations to be added this year
FRISCO — The EPA is bringing air quality data to the people with the installation of five new Village Green solar-powered air monitoring stations in different cities around the country. The monitoring instruments are fitted into park benches and will measure common air pollutants and weather conditions.
The project puts science into the hands of citizens, allowing them to access local air quality information from the benches through on-site displays and a mobile-friendly website. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, Environment | Tagged: air pollution, cities, Environment, EPA, Village Green | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 22, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Settlement with EPA, state health department should cut emissions of smog- and cancer-causing toxic gases
Smoggy skies. Photo courtesy NREL.
FRISCO — For years, thousands of storage tanks owned and operated by Houston-based Noble Energy leaked toxic smog- and cancer-causing gases into the Colorado’s heavily fracked Front Range.
When when state and federal environmental inspectors confronted the company with evidence of the leaks, executives shrugged, and said their systems weren’t designed to handle the sudden oil and gas boom across the region. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, Colorado, energy, Environment, fracking, gas drilling, oil drilling | Tagged: air pollution, Colorado, Environment, EPA, fracking, smog, VOCs | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 9, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Clean Power Plan under attack in Colorado.
Proposed bill up for a committee hearing today
By Bob Berwyn
FRISCO — Backed by the fossil fuel industry, Republican Colorado lawmakers are launching a preemptive effort to block or delay the state from implementing the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, aimed at reducing emissions from power plants. The plan has not been finalized yet, but that apparently won’t stop the misguided effort in the Colorado Senate.
Senate Bill 15-258, misnamed as the “Colorado Electric Consumer’s Protection Act.” would require the state to undertake burdensome and costly reviews of any Clean Power Plan rules adopted by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Air Quality Control Division — including a full evidentiary hearing before the Public Utilities Commission to evaluate impacts to electricity rates. Continue reading
Filed under: air quality, climate change, Colorado, Environment, global warming | Tagged: air pollution, ALEC, climate change, Colorado Senate, EPA clean power plan, global warming, greenhouse gases | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 28, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Sensitive instruments to track methane, VOCs and other airborne toxins from New Mexico to North Dakota
The Four Corners area (red) is the major U.S. hot spot for methane emissions in this map showing how much emissions varied from average background concentrations from 2003-2009 (dark colors are lower than average; lighter colors are higher). Image courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Michigan.
FRISCO — A recent study of satellite data showing a hotspot of potent heat-trapping methane pollution over the Four Corners region makes it clear that we’re digging an ever-deeper global warming hole by fracking every last corner of the country.
As NOAA put it, “Vast regions west of the Mississippi River are under development for oil and gas extraction … but while one focus is on what comes out of the ground, NOAA and Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences researchers and their colleagues are studying what escapes to the air—and how it is transformed in the atmosphere and affects air quality and climate.
Scientists hope to learn much more about the massive quantities of pollution escaping from fossil fuel development areas in the next few months as they launch this year’s Shale Oil and Natural Gas Nexus (SONGNEX 2015) field campaign, using airborne instruments to measure greenhouse gases and other toxic emissions.
Filed under: air quality, climate and weather, climate change, Environment, global warming | Tagged: air pollution, climate change, fracking, methane, ozone, smog, VOCs | 3 Comments »
Posted on March 26, 2015 by Bob Berwyn
Study links climate change and pollution with growing allergy epidemic
FRISCO — Global warming has already been implicated in the rising tide of allergies, simply because a warmer climate extends the growing season for many plants, or causes them to produce more pollen.
But there’s more to it, according to scientists, who say that a pair of air pollutants linked to climate change could also be a major contributor to the unparalleled rise in the number of people sneezing, sniffling and wheezing during allergy season. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, climate change, Environment, global warming | Tagged: air pollution, allergies, Environment, global warming | 3 Comments »