Thursday, July 05, 2012

Smog Siege! Clean Air Watch Survey Finds The Smoggiest June in At Least Five years

June wasn’t just hot and stormy – it was the smoggiest June in at least the last five years.

That’s the conclusion from Clean Air Watch’s latest Smog Watch Survey, the nation’s the first comprehensive snapshot of smog in the United States in 2012.

The survey found that in June, breathers in 41 states and the District of Columbia suffered levels of smog worse than the national ozone standard set by the Bush administration in 2008. These smog levels are labeled “Code Orange” or “Code Red” under the Air Quality Index system created by the federal bureaucracy.

Last month was by far the smoggiest June since the Bush standard was set in 2008.

During June , the survey found the national health standard for smog, technically ozone, was breached at least 2,110 times at state-run monitoring stations. By comparison, during June 2011, there were 1,240 such events, known in the jargon of the bureaucracy as “exceedances.” For 2012 as a whole there have been 3,112 of these dirty-smog readings, compared to 1,689 in 2011.

Clean Air Watch noted that the widespread nature of the problem underscored the dire need for new smog-fighting tools, including cleaner, low-sulfur gasoline.

Clean Air Watch also noted its survey understates the true extent of the smog problem. The EPA conceded more than two years ago that the Bush standard was too weak to protect children with asthma and other breathers http://1.usa.gov/lCsWTr . But in the face of oil industry pressure, the White House put off any effort to update the standards until at least 2014.

Oil pressure likewise has stalled a preliminary EPA plan to require oil companies to make cleaner, low-sulfur gasoline. EPA has testified to Congress that such a plan would cost refiners “less than one penny per gallon.”
http://bit.ly/K1s0yH A recent survey concluded that refiners would likely eat the cost – and that there would be no increase at the pump. http://naviganteconomics.com/docs/061212%20Economic%20Analysis%20of%20the%20Implications%20of%20Tier%203%20Sulfur%20Reduction%20Final_embargoed%20copy.pdf

Clean Air Watch pointed out that low-sulfur gas would mean that every car on the road today would immediately pollute less because catalytic converters would perform better to eliminate smog-forming emissions.

Oil lobbying has also prompted the House of Representatives to approve legislation that would prevent EPA from moving forward with cleaner gas. That legislation would also undermine the entire basis of the Clean Air Act. Health and environmental advocates refer to this as the GASP (Gutting Air Standard Protections) Act. http://bit.ly/JaYgh7

Here are some of the survey's grim details:

June exceedances during the past five years

2008 = 1560
2009 = 540
2010 = 570
2011 = 1240
2012 = 2110 (about 25% more than the next highest year)


Here is a state-by-state breakdown of dirty-air (Code Orange or worse) days

Ozone code red or code orange days 2012

41 states plus DC

State June 2012 Overall 2012

Alabama 6 9
Arizona 4 21
Arkansas 6 9
California 26 53
Colorado 5 12
Connecticut 6 8
Florida 2 6
Georgia 5 7
Delaware 7 9
District of Columbia 6 6
Illinois 11 18
Indiana 8 12
Iowa 4 5
Kansas 4 5
Kentucky 9 10
Louisiana 6 13
Maine 1 1
Maryland 9 11
Massachusetts 5 6
Michigan 8 14
Minnesota 1 2
Mississippi 3 6
Missouri 11 15
Nebraska 1 1
Nevada 3 11
New Jersey 7 7
New Mexico 1 2
New York 6 9
North Carolina 5 5
Ohio 11 20
Oklahoma 5 9
Pennsylvania 8 10
Rhode Island 4 4
South Carolina* 2 2
South Dakota 1 1
Tennessee 8 10
Texas 12 30
Utah 5 7
Virginia 7 8
West Virginia 3 3
Wisconsin 11 16
Wyoming 1 1

[*This may underestimate the problem in South Carolina because monitored information was not available during the last week in June.]

**
Top 10 list

The 10 cities suffering the highest ozone 8-hr averages in June 2012

#1 Houston, TX - 136 ppb
#2 Memphis, TN -124 ppb
#3 Atlanta, GA - 122 ppb
#4 Knoxville, TN - 121 ppb
#5 South Bend, IN - 117 ppb
#6 Baltimore, MD/Washington, DC (downwind at Blackwater Natl. Wildlife Refuge) - 116 ppb
#7 Charlotte, NC - 111 ppb
#8 (tie) Dallas, TX, Detroit, MI - 110 ppb
#10 Louisville, KY - 109 ppb

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

BREAKING NEWS - Clean Air Survey Records the Smoggiest June in At Least Five Years: http://blog.locustfork.net/2012/07/clean-air-survey-records-the-smoggiest-june-in-at-least-five-years/

Healthy Diet said...

Nice effort for clean air. thanks