Once the pandemic ends what will be the ozone picture in the San Joaquin Valley?

There is just no way to know what way the air-quality pendulum will swing for California’s San Joaquin Valley (or simply, “the Valley”) post-COVID-19, well, not at this juncture, anyway. But, by looking at air-quality trends of the past this could provide a clue. So, two points of reference: 2005, prior to the onset of … Read more

At home: Ah, to have that deep-woods pine-forest smell inside!

Self-emptying or self-flushing toilets: Pretty amazing stuff, right? Now, take that and add to it a self-cleaning aspect and a provision for purifying air and what’s been invented is a self-emptying, self-cleaning, smell-removing commode. Who could ask for more?! Did someone say more? On the Air Quality Matters blog from time to time, covered have … Read more

Decision rendered by TX appellate court, transformative! Texas Central deemed both ‘railroad company and interurban electric railway’

The below May 7, 2020 press release is from the Texas Central Railroad. Today, the Thirteenth Court of Appeals of Texas ruled in favor of Texas Central, holding that it was both a railroad company and interurban electric railway. The Memorandum Opinion, authored by Justice Nora Longoria, held “Having found that the appellants (Texas Central … Read more

What will it be surface-transport profile-wise, once the pandemic ends? – 2

So, let’s explore this idea some more. Part 1 can be read here. Speaking of which, in the earlier installment it was duly pointed out that sold in the U.S. each year are approximately 17 million new cars with at least 850,000 of those, or five percent, being of the zero-emissions-vehicle variety. Post-pandemic, will that … Read more

What will it be surface-transport profile-wise, once the pandemic ends?

No one knows with absolute certainty what transportation patterns in the United States will be like once over the Corona Virus pandemic or whether we’ll return to travel patterns exactly the way they were pre-pandemic. Speaking to this, a team of researchers from two universities (Vanderbilt and Cornell) got to work to consider several possible … Read more

California’s electric-trucks rule will aid in state air-quality improvement, if passed

The below Apr. 28, 2020 press release is from Earthjustice. Today the California Air Resources Board (CARB) released an updated draft of the nation’s first electric truck standard. The rule asks manufacturers to build zero-emission vehicles that would help strengthen public health in vulnerable communities, and is key to tackling California’s longstanding air quality crisis. … Read more

Keystone XL key permit ruled invalid: What decision may mean for wildlife, waterways, communities along route

The below Apr. 15, 2020 press release from the Center for Biological Diversity. A federal judge today ruled that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated the law when it approved Nationwide Permit 12, a water-crossing permit critical for TC Energy’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and many other pipelines nationwide. The ruling invalidates Nationwide … Read more

On air quality matters: In looking ahead, will clear skies prevail?

It’s been amazing! Around-the-world reports have been pouring in about how clean air in many parts of the world has become. Countrywide lockdowns and stay-at-home/shelter-in-place orders instituted during the COVID-19 outbreak have led to tremendous reductions in not just driving, but public transit use, shipping (on navigable waters) and flying. All of them combined having … Read more

Under COVID-19 cover, mercury emissions increase in air okayed by Trump EPA

Today [Apr. 16, 2020], the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized their plan to gut the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS), which regulates toxic emissions from coal- and oil-fired power plants. Since MATS was put in place in 2011, it drastically reduced mercury and other air pollutants, which are linked to breathing illnesses, heart disease, … Read more

Toxic air U.S.: Levels in nine western cities at record high, 150 million affected

If you thought air in the United States was dirtier than it’s been at any other time in the country’s recorded history, that is, before the Corona Virus outbreak, then this wasn’t your imagination running wild. The point is this is fact! And, if you believed the air in nine cities in the west experienced … Read more