Understanding and dealing with air pollution’s fallout

There appears to be growing consensus world air quality is worsening. Recognizing polluted air is a problem is one thing. Cleaning it up is a whole ‘nother matter entirely not to mention doing so is easier said than done. “According to the latest research, a majority (56 %) of Europeans believe that air quality has deteriorated … Read more

EPA, Valley Air District PM 2.5 standards separate and unequal

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Dec. 14, 2012 announced it had adopted a national ambient air quality standard for annual fine particle pollution (particulate matter pollution 2.5 micrometers in diameter or PM 2.5) of 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air. On Thurs., Dec. 20, 2012, almost one week later, California’s San Joaquin … Read more

EPA’s new fine particle standard fuels debate

Since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Dec. 14, 2012 announced the health standard for fine particles (PM 2.5) and soot had been tightened from the previous standard of 15 micrograms per cubic meter of air set 15 years ago to 12 micrograms per cubic meter, this has prompted both discussion and debate. Sentiment is … Read more

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

Want a smaller carbon footprint? Think ‘inside’ the box

A little more than a month into this air quality discussion and noticeably lacking has been power generation. In this regard, change starts today. And what better place is there to begin than in my own home? I can think of none. It is helpful to understand the geography and meteorology of California’s San Joaquin Valley; the place I … 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

On cutting transport emissions, Europe gets high marks

Given the global energy picture, there is continued strong emphasis on fossil fuel use, in the transport sector especially, as its reliance on such is extremely heavy.1 It was this startling piece of information, though, from the Nov. 2011 International Union of Railways (UIC) report High Speed Rail and Sustainability that caught my eye. The … Read more

eMission control – Focus: Railways

At the end of “Cutting-edge transportation: Effective emissions-reductions approaches,” in closing, I wrote: “With that said, transit might just be the best thing going when it comes to mitigating negative environmental impact.” Well, time has come to expound upon that thought. For starters it is helpful to clarify “negative environmental impact.” In the context of … Read more

Updated approach to warn of unhealthy particulate levels draws fire

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think a region in updating its air quality alert system would spark criticism, but it has. According to an article in the Nov. 24, 2012 Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles region’s South Coast Air Quality Management District on Nov. 24th announced it had issued its “first-ever no-burn alert.” I blogged … Read more