Updated U.S. EPA-issued PM 2.5 standard will help in protecting public health

A new national standard for fine particle pollution (PM 2.5 or particulate matter pollution 2.5 micrometers in diameter) was issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Dec. 14, 2012, set at 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air. This replaces the previous standard of 15 micrograms per cubic meter, established in 1997. By year 2020 projections are 99 … Read more

On beating back emissions, if not now, when?

On Dec. 9, 2012, I posted: “To meet prescribed emissions-reduction targets, San Diego must get transportation plan right.” As I see it, 18 California regions in all including San Diego, are mandated by law to get this right in that each must step up to the plate greenhouse-gas-emissions-reduction-act-wise, particularly as it has to do with human-health impact. Moreover, in my view, … Read more

Polluted air: The ‘heart’ of the problem

“‘We can no longer afford to consider air and water common property, free to be abused by anyone,’” espoused a determined Richard Nixon in one of his presidential speeches as conveyed in America Revealed, Episode 3: “ELECTRIC NATION,” a 2012 Public Broadcasting System presentation. Question is: In hindsight, could air (and water) afford such a … Read more

High price of breathing polluted air: Energy production and transportation in the cross hairs

In America in 2012, according to the American Lung Association (ALA), the good news is the air in much of the country has gotten cleaner. Credit improvement to Clean Air Act standards. The not-so-good news, on the other hand, is that since the ALA released its first State of the Air report in 2000, in other places polluted air … Read more

And you thought you had a bad-air day – Part 2: Lessons from the past

Progress, quality-of-life and standard-of-living matters are front and center in Part 1. In this, the second – and last – installment of this two-part air-quality series, I am going back in time – figuratively speaking, of course – to find reasons on how, when and maybe why this whole air pollution dilemma came to be. … Read more

Landmark California program could have huge emissions-reductions impact

In the United States, transportation accounts for about 28 percent of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In California’s San Joaquin Valley, GHG emissions are estimated to be as high as 40 percent. Compared to other sectors, emissions from transportation have been increasing more rapidly. “In fact, between 1990 and 2006, growth in U.S. transportation GHG … Read more