Here in CT, we are entering the months where unhealthy air quality emerges with the heat levels this summer. The American Lung Association has released an new advertising campaign featuring TV, online and billboard ads announcing the new State of the Air® smartphone application. The app, available for iPhone and Android, allows users to view EPA collected data on the air quality at their current location or at any other location of choice. Read this post to learn more about this data. The app is being praises as a user-friendly resource for people for low air quality affects most profoundly, those living with lung disease (such as asthma, people with heart disease or diabetes and the elderly and children.
ALA of the Northeast President and CEO, Jeff Seyler, was quoted to say, “We are excited to be able to provide this innovative tool so those with lung disease, and without, can effectively monitor their local air quality and limit their exposure to dangerous levels of pollution.”
The State of the Air app provides both the current and next-day air quality forecasts. Users can set alerts to notify them when the local air quality fails to a code orange, which is unhealthy for sensitive groups. Along with the quality information, the app provides tips on what activities are to be avoided depending on the current conditions.
The television and online messages are aimed at young people. They feature Alvin Grimes, an air collector, who collects air samples in glass jars. The promos tie into the ALA tagline "What are your lungs collecting?" "Alvin" has his own, twitter account and facebook page where he shares tips and information on air and air pollution. The TV spots can be viewed on his youtube page (one example below).
To learn more about Ozone and how it is generated at ground level, check out this story and its follow-up piece!
Image and Video - courtesy of the American Lung Association
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a standard for carbon pollution from new power plants, as required by the Supreme Court’s 2007 ruling regarding the Clean Air Act.
This is the first Clean Air Act standard to address power plant carbon emissions. The carbon pollution standard, now open to public comment, reflects the existing move in to building plants that use clean-burning and take advantage of more efficient technologies. It also allows for the use of new technologies that will emit less carbon pollution but still burn coal. It is important to note that this standard applies only to new generating units, not those already operating, being built or that will begin construction within the next year.
Speaking about the proposal, EPA Administrator said, “Right now there are no limits to the amount of carbon pollution that future power plants will be able to put into our skies – and the health and economic threats of a changing climate continue to grow. We’re putting in place a standard that relies on the use of clean, American made technology to tackle a challenge that we can’t leave to our kids and grandkids.”
The proposed standard gives a good deal of flexibility, and it can be met by facilities using a variety of methods, including natural gas technologies and coal with implementation of emissions reducing technologies. Since existing plants and those being built within the year are not subject to this standard, EPA did not project any additional cost to comply with this standard.
A number of statements from legislators, environmental and health groups and business people have been released regarding this proposal. Just a few of these are below. To read more, please visit the EPA.
Ranking Member of the US House of Representative’s Committee on Energy and Commerce, Henry A. Waxman, released the following, “The proposal is a breakthrough. It sets achievable limits on dangerous carbon pollution, spurs investments in new clean energy technologies, and provides certainty for industry. And it shows the President is listening to scientists, not extremists who deny the existence of climate change. Today’s action will reduce pollution, make families healthier, promote innovation, and help us compete with China and other countries that are investing in clean energy.”
The Sierra Club urged its member’s to send messages to EPA Administrator Jackson to urge implementation of these protections, stating “For the first time ever, the Obama Administration and the EPA are proposing national limits on carbon pollution. Carbon pollution is linked not only to climate disruption, but also to significant health hazards like the smog that triggers asthma attacks. Right now, 158 million Americans live in counties with unacceptable air pollution levels. By supporting the EPA's effort for clean air, we can make sure they go the distance and put new protections in place.”
Ralph Izzo, Chairman and CEO of Public Service Electric and Gas (PSEG), released a statement, “While we would have preferred that Congress enact legislation limiting greenhouse gas emissions, the EPA took an important step today in addressing the significant environmental threat posed by climate change.
The Agency’s action establishes a logical and modest standard for new electric power plants and provides the industry with much needed regulatory certainty. The EPA provides a framework for the industry to confront this problem in a cost effective manner.
We understand that the EPA continues to evaluate regulatory options for already existing plants that may be affected by the Clean Air Act and we look forward to working with the Agency to evaluate the best approaches for achieving meaningful greenhouse gas reductions in as flexible and economic manner as possible.”
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(EPA Image - https://www.facebook.com/EPA)
(Congress Image - Wikipedia)
Yesterday at EPA Headquarters, the President's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) FY 2013 budget request was announced by Administrator Lisa Jackson and her senior staff. The proposal allocates $8.344 billion, with is a reduction of $105 million from the approved FY 2012 budget. Elimination of completed programs and consolidation of others accounts for $50 million of that reduction.
In reaction to the proposal, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson echoed the President's message of "an America built to last." Jackson said, “This budget is focused on fulfilling EPA’s core mission to protect health and the environment for millions of American families. It demonstrates fiscal responsibility, while still supporting clean air, healthy waters and innovative safeguards that are essential to an America built to last.”
The EPA calls out eight key areas in the FY2013 proposed budget:
Support of States through grants to allow implementation of front line projects under the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts ($1.2 billion, an increase over FY 2012)
Protecting America's Waters primarily through funding of wastewater and drinking water programs as well as infrastructure projects including green projects ($2 billion)
Contaminated Site Clean-up through funding of the Superfund Cleanup programs (both emergent and remedial), and will focus on compliance ($755 million)
Research and Innovation in the Science and Technology in a wide variety of arenas ($807 million)
Continued Support of "Economically and Environmentally Vital Water Bodies," including the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay ($373 million)
Harmful Chemical assessment and risk reduction ($68 million, an increase of $11 million over FY 2012)
"Next Generation Compliance," which focuses on electronic reporting, data collection and monitoring, with a goal of cost savings, improved compliance and transparency ($36 million)
National Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas Standards program funding to research new biofuel and renewable technologies and for compliance and certification of fuel economy and emissions, all with the goal of reducing dependence on oil ($102 million, a $10 million increase over FY 2012)
Jackson reviewed the EPA will continue to streamline so that while working with less, they can maintain the commitment to the EPA's core goals.
You can view the announcement on the EPA's site, including a brief Q&A, or read more here.
Image - Still from EPA Announcement: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/20429324