Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Reason #237: Soot

While most environmental issues are nation-wide, or worldwide, here in Pennsylvania, you hear a lot about coal. Right now, federal regulators are in Philadelphia at an open forum to hear thoughts from the public on the possibility of tighter air quality standards from the EPA regarding the amount of soot in the air--specifically, lowering the standard from 15 micrograms per cubic meter to 12 or 13.

Usually air-pollution standards, at least that I've heard about, seem to be in terms of parts per million, so even "twelve micrograms per cubic meter" sounds pretty friggin' high, doesn't it? The bulwark of air quality that is the American Petroleum Institute wants the question on the EPA's table to be how much soot is acceptable, rather than how much is healthy--because apparently they see those as two different things--adding that "there's health evidence that cuts both ways. Right now, we don't think it is so compelling that EPA is required to tighten the standard right now," because if the facts are a wash, why not err on the side of less healthy, am I right?

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