The Environics, Inc. Post

The Importance of Ambient Air Quality Testing

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Fri, Dec 21, 2018 @ 08:21 AM

Ambient air quality testing is conducted to determine the gaseous or particulate concentration of air that may be released into the environment or breathed by humans. Dry air in the Earth’s atmosphere comprises a dynamic mixture of gases, primarily nitrogen (~78%) and oxygen (~21%). Smaller volumes of argon (~0.9%) and carbon dioxide (~0.04%) are also present alongside copious trace level gas species and various particulate matter.

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Tags: Ambient Air calibration

Top 5 Maintenance Tips from our Service Department

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Thu, Jan 11, 2018 @ 10:22 AM

We often receive calls and emails asking about the best way to maintain our mixers and dilutors. There are several important things that you can do to keep your unit running in top shape. They will also help you extend the life of your unit.

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Tags: Environics Inc, gas mixing, Ambient Air calibration, zero air generator, customer focus, Troubleshooting, troubleshooting6100, troubleshooting6103, Series 4040, Series 4020, Series 4000

Trace Level Monitoring - Ambient Calibration

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Thu, Nov 30, 2017 @ 11:56 AM

More and more, we are talking about trace level ambient monitoring.  This monitoring is in line with the measurement objectives of NCORE which is part of the Ambient Monitoring Technology Information Center of the US EPA.  According to the EPA website, "NCore is a multi pollutant network that integrates several advanced measurement systems for particles, pollutant gases and meteorology. Most NCore stations have been operating since the formal start of the network on January 1, 2011." The measurement standards, as set it 40 CFR Part 58 Appendix A, are:

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Tags: EPA, Ambient Air calibration, News, NCore

"Ozone Season"

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Thu, Mar 13, 2014 @ 01:04 PM

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Tags: ozone, air quality, ozone generator, Ambient Air calibration, ambient air calibrator, Zero Air, zero air generator, gas dilution, calibration, Service

Changes in Ambient Air Policy in China

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Mon, Feb 17, 2014 @ 01:04 PM

In a recent speech, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stated that climate change is one of the most serious issues facing our world today and that he considers it "the greatest challenge of our generation."  Following his visit to China last week,  Kerry focused back on the State of the Union address by U.S. President Barack Obama, stating climate change is an undeniable fact.  China, the top producer of greenhouse gas emissions, and the US will share "information and policies so that we can help develop plans to deal with the U.N. climate change negotiation that takes place in Paris next year."  

The condition of the air in China has long been a source of concern, brought to the forefront during the Olympic games in Beijing in 2008.  According to the World Health Organization, approximately 65%-70% of China's energy sources comes from coal and China is second only to the United States as an energy producer.  The Chinese government revised air quality standards which will progressively require cities to meet the restrictions by 2015.  The standard includes 8-hour standards for ambient air monitoring of ozone (O3) and particulate matter (PM) 2.5, which are considered "fine" particulates that are the most harmful.   As of 2013, two thirds of cities do not yet conform to the new standard.  Studies by the WHO and others show that a million Chinese die every year due to the effects of interior and exterior air pollution.

In response to the lack of willingness of the Chinese government to share detailed information, the U.S. embassy in Beijing began posting air quality measurements gathered at the embassy in real time, both on its website and through a twitter account (@BeijingAir).  Chinese officials had disputed the American data, however Chinese citizens and environmental groups continued to press for data to be gathered and shared.  Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy visited one of the most affected cities, Shanghai, back in December.  China is looking for help as the heavy pollution threatens to turn away foreign investors.  McCarthy discussed shale development and the use of natural gas to reduce pollutants.

It appears that the concern of the long term effects on not addressing pollution is beginning to instigate change.  Just this month, Beijing has ordered 15,000 factories to begin providing data regarding their emissions to the public in real-time.  Also, China's Cabinet announced $1.6 billion in incentives has been set aside for companies that are making strides to cut their emissions.  At the same time, the official Xinhua News Agency said 300 polluting factories were slated to be shut down in Beijing during 2014. 

Although these are excellent first steps, it will take international collaboration to clear the air because pollution wafts in from the surrounding regions.

To learn more, check out the WHO's site on China and the US EPA Collaboration with China

image source: Shanghai Rela Time Air Quality (2/17/2014 1:55 PM EST), http://www.semc.gov.cn/aqi/home/English.aspx

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Tags: ozone, Air Pollution, air quality, Ambient Air calibration, Emission Standards, China

News - EPA releases a series of PSAs on Climate Change

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Mon, Sep 16, 2013 @ 10:56 AM

The Environmental Protection Agency of the United States (US EPA) recently released a series of 30 sec and 1 minute public service videos on climate change. The videos discuss small changes people can make to their daily lives that have an impact on emissions. Citizens are encouraged to reduce the amount of energy they use to both cut their own utility costs and protect their health.  The cumultive effect of these small changes to the economy and environment are stressed. The series was developed in support of President Obama's Climate Action Plan, released in June.  In his plan, the President stressed the importance of reducing carbon pollution while simultaneously prepareing for the impacts of changes to the climate.

What do you think?  Do you give thought to how your actions may impact the climate?  What things do you do at work and home to minimize your carbon "footprint."

You can watch the videos here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBhfkkujnoRAgTFtLreccWDfpxBIspCGv

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Tags: USA Emissions, ozone, EPA, Air Pollution, air quality, Ambient Air calibration, Emission Standards

News : Ambient Air Quality in China

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Thu, Apr 04, 2013 @ 01:12 PM

A recent article on the quality of the air in China began with this frighening statistic: Outdoor air pollution contributed to 1.2 million premature deaths in China in 2010, nearly 40 percent of the global total.  Brought into the headlines during the Beijing Olympics, the poor quality of the air in China is nothing new.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Beijing_smog_comparison_August_2005.png

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Tags: ozone, Air Pollution, air quality, ozone generator, Ambient Air calibration, ambient air calibrator

EPA Extends Comment Period for new Greenhouse Gas Regulations

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Wed, Nov 21, 2012 @ 09:49 AM

Last week, the EPA announced an extension of the public comment period for "Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program: Proposed Amendments and Confidentiality Determinations for Subpart I."  The initial deadline for comment  was December 17, 2012 and has been extended to January 16, 2013.  In their announcement, the EPA stated that the reason for the extended comment period is the inclusion of two additional pieces of information.  First, the summarization of a conference call the EPA held with the Semiconductor Industry Association in late October.  The second is the EPA response to questions raised during that call about the calculation of Tier 2A emissions factors.

In brief, the amendment proposes changes to some of the calculation methods being utilized, provides some clarification of terms/definitions and adjusts the requirements for reporting.  The amendments affect all manufacturers of electronics including semiconductors, LEDs, MEMS, LCDs and photovoltaic cells.  The full proposal can be viewed here, and you can add your comments to the public record.

The EPA also has a fact sheet, which summarizes the proposal and can be viewed on the EPA site.

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Tags: EPA, State of the Air, Air Pollution, air quality, Ambient Air calibration, ambient air calibrator, Emission Standards

EPA Releases First Clean Air Act Standard for Carbon Pollution from Power Plants

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Tue, Apr 03, 2012 @ 09:22 AM

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.”

Subscribe to the Environics Post for updates on this and other EPA legislation!

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Tags: USA Emissions, EPA, Ambient Air calibration, ambient air calibrator, Announcement, Emission Standards

Ozone Regulation Revisited

Posted by Dr. Rachel Stansel on Thu, Feb 23, 2012 @ 11:33 AM

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Tags: ozone, EPA, ozone generator, Ambient Air calibration, ambient air calibrator, Emission Standards