Clean Air Board comments on EPA’s proposed ozone standard

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required by law to review and adjust its public health standards for critical air pollutants every five years.  This review is based on the latest scientific and medical information.  Last November, EPA proposed to move to an 8-hour exposure standard for ozone between 60 and 70 ppb (parts per billion) in the ambient air.

The current public health standard is 75 ppb.  If a new standard is adopted, the public would alerted to more “bad air” days — days during which the air quality is worse than the ozone standard.  These air quality action days would occur during the warmer months, when pollutants bake in the atmosphere to form ground level ozone.

Our members include many people who suffer ailments from breathing polluted air.  The Cumberland Valley is at the receiving end of an ozone transport corridor which originates hundreds of miles away.  Even on days when an ozone alert has not been declared, people can and do suffer respiratory problems due to ozone.

In our letter to EPA, we highlighted some of the more recent scientific and medical studies supporting a more stringent ozone standard. Many of these studies have identified strong links between long-term and short-term exposure to ozone to specific health ailments; other studies have linked air pollution to death rates in certain areas, or have begun to assess the negative impact of air pollution on health care costs and economic productivity.

We support a more stringent 8-hour ozone exposure standard which would better protect our health.

To view CAB’s comments to EPA, click here CAB comment ozone 2015

For more information from EPA, go to http://www.epa.gov/groundlevelozone/actions.html

AIR QUALITY ACTION DAY HAS BEEN DECLARED FOR SUSQUEHANNA VALLEY ON FRIDAY, JAN 23

 The Department of Environmental Protection has declared an air quality action day for Jan.23.
Tomorrow’s Forecast
Friday, Jan 23: 110 AQI Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)

Extended Forecast
Saturday, Jan 24: 81 AQI Moderate Particle Pollution (2.5 microns)
Current conditions: Clouds and fog are breaking up across the region as of 1 p.m. EST this Thursday afternoon. High pressure will slowly build into the area overnight tonight into Friday. We are concerned about very light winds near the surface as the high builds in with very little mixing expected. In addition, temperature inversions are likely to trap PM2.5 close to the ground. So for tonight, expect some clearing skies with very light winds. Fine particulate will increase into the code ORANGE range later on tonight as the temperature inversion develops. Low temperatures close to 20 degrees. Friday’s forecast: A PM2.5 Action Day will be declared for the day Friday as very light winds and some warming aloft will bring any mixing in the boundary layer to a halt. Code ORANGE concentrations of fine particulate are likely with this scenario. With some sunshine, afternoon temperatures will recover into the middle 30s. A storm system coming out of the deep South will then move northeastward towards us Friday night into Saturday, and with the current forecast track, we could be in line for a quick inch or so of snow during this period. Precipitation could briefly turn to a bit of rain by later Saturday morning as temperatures creep just above the freezing mark. While atmospheric mixing will be a little greater on Saturday, fine particulate concentrations will remain well into the moderate range. *** Extended forecast: The weather pattern will continue to be an active one as we move into the early part of next week. A clipper system will move eastward and affect the area later Sunday night into Monday with snow. Because the low is expected to track more to the south, precipitation could fall as all snow as cold air remains in place. Following this, a large area of high pressure builds in for Tuesday into Wednesday of next week with dry weather and light winds. Low moderate levels of PM will occur Sunday into Monday, but with high pressure building in next week with existing snow cover, we have to again be concerned with stronger inversions trapping fine particulates close to the ground.–McAuliffe

Climate Change – It’s About Carbon

Our next Clean Air Board community meeting will be held on Feb. 5, 7 pm.

Join us as we meet with Dr. Mort Rubenstein and Mr. Michael Mark from the Citizens Climate Lobby.  They will discuss “Climate Change: It’s About Carbon!”

Location: Second Presbyterian Church, 528 Garland Drive, Carlisle.

The New York Times reports on air pollution in major cities

A review of air pollution levels in the world’s largest cities.
http://nyti.ms/1CoXYdZ

Pollution Around the World: A Matter of Choices
Europe’s level of pollution may surprise some people, but it all comes down to a society’s priorities.

DEP to hold listening session on EPA Clean Power rule

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will hold a listening session Thursday, September 25 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to hear what you think of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Rule. This rule will limit carbon pollution from the nation’s power plants by 30% by 2030. The rule will require states to develop plans to reduce carbon intensity from electric generation plants. In July, EPA held public hearings in Pittsburgh on how to implement the rule.

The Clean Air Board recently sponsored a forum at Dickinson College to discuss the issues raised the EPA proposed rule. At that forum, DEP Deputy Secretary Vince Brisini presented his views on the proposed rule.

Now you have the opportunity to inform DEP of your views on reducing carbon emissions. Please sign up to speak at the DEP listening session.
You can register for the listening session by contacting DEP’s Tammey Adams at 717-772-2725 or taadams@pa.gov.

Getting Pennsylvania on board EPA’s plan to reduce Power Plant Carbon Emissions

EPA recently held public hearings on reducing the nation’s carbon emission from power plants by 30% by 2030. The Clean Air Board is sponsoring a forum to discuss the issues raised the EPA plan. Professor Michael Heiman (Dickinson College) will discuss the merits of the plan, followed by a panel discussion and questions and answers.

The talk will cover: How to Balance Effectiveness, Efficiency, and Equity. Why the Obama Administration Choose Direct Regulation to Address Carbon Emissions. What are Pennsylvania’s Options for Meeting the EPA’s Mandate? Professor Heiman will address the historic and current challenge in reducing carbon emissions to combat climate change. A panel of local experts will address the options Pennsylvania has to meet EPA’s targets.

Sept. 4, 7 pm. Dickinson College – Stafford Auditorium (Rector Science Complex), 301 W. Louther Street, Carlisle, PA
The community is invited. Parking is available across Louther Street by the Library.

To comment on the EPA rule, please follow this link: http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/clean-power-plan-proposed-rule-comment-guide

Please comment on the smog plan

Your comments on the DEP proposal can be submitted directly to the Environmental Quality Board by June 30, 2014. Read CAB’s comments below.

Online Comments

Comments, including the one page summary, may be submitted to the EQB by accessing the EQB’s Online Public Comment System at:

http://www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/RegComments

Note regarding the online system: If an acknowledgement of comments submitted online is not received by the sender within two business days, the comments should be re-sent to the EQB to ensure receipt.

Written Comments

Written comments and summaries can also be mailed to Environmental Quality Board, P.O. Box 8477, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8477.

All comments must be received by the EQB on or before the close of the public comment period, Monday, June 30, 2014

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