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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Quick Thoughts About NAM's Hyperbolic Report on Smog

I know few of us are thinking about smog on a day like this. But I see that the good people of NAM are – out with yet another hyperbolic report about the alleged impact of cleaning up the air. http://www.nam.org/ozone/

Here are a couple of very quick thoughts to put these scare tactics into perspective:

As you can see, NAM has produced a very florid map purporting to show areas of the country that would be out of compliance with an ozone standard of 65 parts per billion, down from the current level of 75. (As I am sure you know, this is the most extreme outcome of EPA’s proposal, which was a range of 65-70).

But this map appears to be based on old information – data from 2011-2013. It apparently does not factor in one basic reality – that the air will be cleaner a decade from now than it is today because of various in-the-works pollution controls such as the Tier 3 clean-car, clean-gasoline standards.

EPA’s own projections conclude that outside California, only 9 counties in the entire country would be out of compliance with a standard of 70 in 2025, and that an additional 59 counties would fall short of a 65 standard. http://www.epa.gov/glo/pdfs/20141126-2025datatable.pdf

By the way, I believe many if not most of these counties would meet a standard of 65 if EPA adopted tougher standards to reduce smog-forming nitrogen oxides from new big-rig trucks. California is looking at exactly such a strategy. (Parts of California might not have to meet a new standard until as late as 2037.)

Another huge flaw in NAM’s logic: the business lobby contends that tougher air quality standards equate to “no growth.” All you have to do refute this notion is look at the facts:

IF NAM were correct, there would be “no growth” today in current dirty-air areas such as Texas and California. I offer for your consideration the most recent data on economic growth from the U.S. Department of Commerce http://1.usa.gov/1MUYZlf Growth was very high in such “nonattainment” states as Texas – and was pretty strong even in California!!

Perhaps NAM has decided to appropriate a line from Groucho Marx: “Are you going to believe me, or what you see with your own eyes?” http://quotations.about.com/od/funnymovieandtvquotes/a/grouchomarx1.htm


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Clean Air Watch to EPA on Smog: We Deserve the Right to Know When the Air is Unsafe to Breathe

Testimony of Frank O’Donnell, President, Clean Air Watch
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hearing on ozone, Arlington, TX
January 29, 2015

GOOD MORNING.

I AM FRANK O’DONNELL, PRESIDENT OF CLEAN AIR WATCH, A NATIONAL NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION DEDICATED TO PROMOTING CLEANER AIR AND BETTER PUBLIC HEALTH CHIEFLY THROUGH EDUCATION.

THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME TO SPEAK TODAY ON EPA’S PROPOSAL TO UPDATE AIR QUALITY STANDARDS FOR OZONE, COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS SMOG.

AS YOU KNOW, THE AIR QUALITY STANDARDS ARE THE HEART – AND THE LUNGS – OF THE CLEAN AIR ACT. THESE STANDARDS HAVE HELPED BRING CLEANER AIR TO NORTH TEXAS AND THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY. BUT CLEANER IS NOT THE SAME AS CLEAN.

I AM HERE TO TELL YOU THE CURRENT SMOG STANDARDS ARE TOO WEAK TO PROTECT OUR HEALTH. THEY ARE TOO WEAK TO PROTECT CHILDREN, TOO WEAK TO PROTECT SENIORS, TOO WEAK TO PROTECT THE VULNERABLE, INCLUDING MILLIONS WITH ASTHMA.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Six Things That Green Companies Do Differently; The Everyday Practices That Set Them Apart

Clean Air Watch periodically accepts guest submissions of pieces we think might be of general interest.  Today's article is by Jon Wikstrom


Every green company strives to help the environment. They consider it as a sense of responsibility to do their bit in saving the planet. But what sets them apart from normal companies and manufacturers?
We compiled a list of six such practices that green companies follow on a daily basis that distinguishes them from any average company.

Clean Air Watch in the News

Learn more about the Clean Air Act

The Clean Air Act is the law that defines EPA's responsibilities for protecting and improving the nation's air quality and the stratospheric ozone layer. The last major change in the law, the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, was enacted by Congress in 1990. Legislation passed since then has made several minor changes.