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Posts Tagged ‘air pollution’

Have Two Minutes? Call Congress, as the House is Voting on Whether to Paralyze the EPA

UPDATE, November 18, 6:30 PM (see below)

Today and tomorrow, the lame duck House of Representatives will vote on two disingenuous bills that would prevent the EPA from using the best available science to protect human health and the environment.

Please call your member of Congress and ask for a NO vote on the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act and the Secret Science Reform Act. More information and talking points are here. Read More

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Community-Driven Study Finds Unsafe Air Pollution Levels near Oil and Gas Facilities

Ever think that your rural backyard could face air pollution levels in excess of 100 times EPA health standards?  Jeff and Rhonda Locker of Wyoming didn’t think so either. But a new peer-reviewed study out in Environmental Health today suggests that such spikes in air pollution in your backyard are possible if you live next to an oil and gas facility. Read More

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EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee Comes to Agreement on Ozone Standard Recommendation

Today the EPA’s chartered Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) agreed on a recommendation to Administrator McCarthy regarding an update to the ambient air pollution standard for ozone (To get up to speed on the ozone standard update process, see my previous post on the topic). The deliberation of the committee and the Ozone Review Panel exemplified the challenges of translating science to policy and it was clear that the scientific experts on the panel had differing opinions on how this should be done. Read More

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The EPA, Human Studies, and Getting the Science Right

A few months ago, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology took interest in a small piece of the tremendous amount of research—and funding of research—that EPA does on air pollution and its health effects. What were the lawmakers concerned about? Read More

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Second Chance: Will EPA’s New Ozone Standard Follow the Science?

This week the EPA’s Clean Air Science Advisory Committee (CASAC) meets to discuss the science behind the national air pollution standard for ozone. The independent committee, which is comprised of air pollution and public health experts from a variety of institutions outside of the EPA, meets regularly to discuss the science on air pollution and health and to make recommendations to EPA on its air pollution rules. But this meeting in particular has greater interest from scientists, industry, and the public. Read More

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Fracking and My Community’s Air Quality: Is There Something in the Air?

with Daniel Tormey, Ph.D., P.G.; Technical Director, Cardno ENTRIX

Los Angeles, California

If you’ve been following the discussion of pollution risks around the unconventional oil and gas development that has been enabled by hydraulic fracturing and other technologies, then you’ve probably heard a lot about water contamination risks. These risks are certainly worth discussing, but discussion of air pollution risks also deserves some attention. We want to take the time to talk about air quality concerns—not just because this is where Gretchen’s past interests lie—but also because current research suggests there may be real risks from air pollution near oil and gas activities. Read More

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The House Science Committee and the EPA Fighting Over Data: Is That the Same as Secret Science?

Rep. Lamar Smith, Chairman of the House Science Committee seems to be implying that unless the raw data from two major studies are made available to him and his colleagues, that the science used by the EPA in crafting some air quality regulations is secret.  The Center for Science and Democracy at UCS was formed to advance the role of science and scientific evidence in public policy.  So should we be supporting Chairman Smith’s demand, which he has backed up by a subpoena? Read More

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EPA’s Remarkable New Air Pollution Monitors (I’m like a Kid in a Candy Store)

To a scientist, having new data to study is like a child having a new candy store to explore. With the EPA’s release of new air pollution rules, I’ve just learned of the Willy Wonka Factory of data in my field of study. The rules require new air quality monitors near major roadways in US cities. The new data will ultimately help us better protect from harmful air pollutants the millions of Americans who live, work, and play close to major roads.

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Sources of the Haze in Southeast Asia, Fires Are Quickly Located with Public GIS Data

Over the last two weeks, large numbers of fires have broken out on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, and once again this has led to massive air pollution, carried to neighboring countries such as Singapore and Malaysia. This time, however, people could see not only the choking, dangerous “haze,” but also the locations of the fires, including which ones were on lands used by companies to produce palm, oil, pulpwood, timber, and other commodities. GIS technology and publicly available data, rapidly analyzed by scientists, brought a transparency to the issue that is so sorely lacking in the air over Singapore.

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Russia Torpedoes Cleaner Shipping

Echoing back to classic Cold War struggles, Russia has blocked Western European and U.S. efforts by apparently scuttling international plans to reduce hazardous pollution from ships starting in 2016. The “Tier III” amendment to the International Maritime Organization’s MARPOL standards would have required new engines that power the largest ships to include pollution control devices. These devices — such as selective catalytic reduction (SCR) — dramatically reduce the amount of nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide (collectively known as NOx) gases leaving a ship’s funnels. Read More

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