Over concerns of oil industry smog-cleanup delay, conservation groups announce ‘intent to sue’ EPA

The fracked gas and oil industries are large contributors of photochemical smog.

So says who? Well, for one, information on Wikipedia supports this finding. “The major culprits [to smog formation] from transportation are carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NO and NOx), volatile organic compounds [VOC], and hydrocarbons [HC] (hydrocarbons are the main component of petroleum fuels such as gasoline and diesel fuel);” this is but a very small amount of written text published under the heading “Smog”.

And it isn’t just the online encyclopedia offering data. The Center for Biological Diversity (Center) conservation organization in an Oct. 23, 2019 press release provided additional related information of its own. The Center’s press release in question can be accessed here.

But, there is another part to this story as information in the Oct. 23, 2019 press release suggests: the intent by “conservation groups” to file a lawsuit concerning delay in cleaning up smog from these sources.

On this, “The Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Environmental Health filed a formal notice today [Oct. 23, 2019] of their intent to sue the Trump Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency for delays in reducing dangerous smog pollution from oil and gas drilling in 15 states,” the Center wrote.

Roughly 25 percent of the American public (or over 88 million people) call those zones affected (where they live) home, the states themselves arranged alphabetically being: Arizona, California, “Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland,” Massachusetts, New Hampshire, “New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.

“The conservation groups are calling on the EPA to ensure that areas violating air-quality standards for smog have plans in place to clean up one of the biggest contributors: the oil and fracked gas industry,” the Center in the release communicated.

The Center in the release offered pertinent, relevant and sobering data. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 13 people (25 million Americans) suffers from asthma. In 2013 children missed 13.8 million school days because of asthma – the top reason for children’s missed school days in the United States.”

That “[a]n EPA study in 2015 estimated that Clean Air Act programs that reduce ozone pollution would prevent more than 3,180 premature deaths and 390,000 asthma attacks in children,” is of no surprise. “The agency also estimates that the net economic benefit of fully implementing the 2015 ozone emissions limit – the current standard – is up to $4.5 billion.”

Ozone is a primary component in the formation of photochemical smog.

And, this isn’t exclusively a human-health-related matter.

“Beyond the human-health concerns, public-interest groups are also concerned about ozone pollution’s cumulative harm to wildlife and plants. Ozone exposure can stunt the growth of trees and damage their leaves, and also increases susceptibility to disease, harms from insects and harsh weather. Sensitive tree species at risk from ozone exposure include black cherry, quaking aspen, ponderosa pine and cottonwood,” noted the Center in the release.

“Ponderosa pine is habitat is [sic] critical to several species, including the threatened Mexican spotted owl and endangered California condor.”

The entire Center for Biological Diversity Oct. 23, 2019 “Lawsuit Launched Over Trump EPA’s Delay in Cleaning Up Smog From Oil, Fracked Gas in 15 States: Polluted Areas in States Like Pennsylvania, California, New York Are Home to 88 Million People” press release may be accessed here.

Image above: Eric Kounce/Wikimedia Commons

Note: As originally reported, what was stated here was:

Roughly 33 percent of America’s population – or 88 million people – call the affected zone (the places they live) home, the states themselves arranged alphabetically being: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, “New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The appropriate revised corrected changes have since been made.

This post was last revised on Nov. 1, 2019 @ 8:21 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time.

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