It turns out that, even though Maine doesn’t generate the pollution, we still get the pollution from out of state. According to the American Lung Association, (see State of Your Air) several of Maine’s counties flunked air quality for ozone. That means that there are areas of California with better air in terms of ozone than we have here in Maine. It isn’t that they aren’t producing pollution, it’s just that they are downwind of the Pacific Ocean, whereas we are downwind from them, all the midwest, and even the mid-atlantic states.
Since this is Air Quality Week, according to the EPA, (see Air Quality info), we might want to figure out a way to stop the ozone emissions coming in. If we can track the signature of particles from Japan, it seems reasonable to track the signature of particles being emitted by up wind power plants. They aren’t getting the pollution because of high stacks, but we are. If they were polluting our water streams, we’d have a system in place to stop them. Why is it different if they are polluting our air streams? It’s a classic example of externalizing costs (health and cleanup) rather than taking responsibility to make the necessary changes. Maybe only a tiny portion of our pollution is from power plants, but I suspect we simply don’t know.
- And The Winner Of The American Lung Association’s ‘Most Polluted Air In The Country’ Goes To… Los Angeles (laist.com)
- Cities with nation’s best overall air quality were Honolulu and Santa Fe, New Mexico, (robbiz1978.blogspot.com)
- GOP Trying to Weaken Clean Air Laws While Half of All Americans Still Breathe Polluted Air (alternet.org)
- Report Names U.S. Cities with Foulest, Cleanest Air (nlm.nih.gov)
- How Bad Is The Air You Breathe? (huffingtonpost.com)
- Summer smog exists inside and out, read EPA findings (ees2001.wordpress.com)
- What’s the state of YOUR air? (cleanervalleycampaign.org)
- Half of US population breathes polluted air: report (news.bioscholar.com)
- Charlotte makes list as 10th most ozone-polluted city (charlotte.news14.com)
- The Link Between Air Pollution and Asthma (everydayhealth.com)
- American Lung Association: Minnesota’s Air Quality Scores Declining in Heavily Populated Counties (prnewswire.com)
- Air quality: Several Bay Area counties fail survey (sfgate.com)