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motonenterprises

Greenville-Spartanburg air pollutions

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No weather expert here, but this is what I've heard, and it makes sense.

I think because GV/Spartanburg are tucked against the Blue Ridge, there is an effect know as "damning". The polutants get trapped against the mountains, the winds coming over the mountains aren't able to blow through the area freely. The mountains act as a barrier to the winds. This keeps polutants somewhat trapped during various times of the year and during various weather conditions. Supposedly, this is the same reason GV can have a 95 degree day and then a cool 70 degree evening. Cool air gets trapped against the mountains and can't rise. Not sure about all of this, but it's what I've heard.

I lived in Birmingham, Alabama, which sits in a valley. In the summer, the pollution there was awful and it was attributed to the mountains....they trapped the pollution.

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A very basic answer, which might not be completely true: for one, the metro lies at the foot of the mountains, which traps some bad air over the area. Also, as people in Asheville complains - pollution from upstream industries flows over the mountains & settles.

The other reason - & you won't like this one, primarily b/c the metro is divided into multiple nodes: Greenville & Spartanburg being the primary ones, commuting patterns result in car traffic that travels large distances. Also this commuting & multiple nodal urban pattern results in low density housing that covers a large area.

Just as the case is with Charlotte - it isn't neccessarily that Greenville or Spartanburg are sprawling cities - it's that they are in metros that are.

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This is a map for air quality yesterday. Take a look at Greenville-Spartanburg. Why do we have this problem so much and other regions in the state don't.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You ask an interesting question and one that I've often asked myself. Since I'm "roads-scholar" and not "air quality scholar" I don't really have an answer. I've seen the reports from EPA; scratch my head and wonder why our region fails to meet the standards.

If you're implying that our road system and traffic problems are a major factor I would have to respectfully disagree. I'm not suggesting we don't have traffic problems but there is not a single road in the upstate that I would characterize as "gridlocked". I-85 is busy but rarely congested.

Again, I only know what I read about air quality standards but I do know that air quality depends on many factors.

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Certainly you all have valid points. However, I'd like to point out that yesterday was a particularly stagnant day. Check out the three days before:

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Our air isn't as bad as the government makes it out to be. I heard from one of you that one of the monitering devicec was located very near a polluting facility which may make the air appear worse than it is.

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Not an expert - but wouldn't driving long distances, even in a non-gridlocked environment, cause a greater level of emissions into the air?

Just curious, but I would agree that the weather has a larger effect than automobile traffic. Though 85 isn't always grid-locked, the volume of traffic is very considerable, from Anderson to Spartanburg it might not be a traffic jam, but busier than most interstate highways.

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Certainly all of the pollution in any given area can not be blamed on automobiles, but they are definitely a factor. Los Angeles has greatly reduced its number of smog alert days in the last 10 years due to improved pollution controls, especially those on motor vehicles. Newer cars are much cleaner than old ones, but many more people are driving and most of them are driving longer distances than ever before (in the Upstate and everywhere). Throw in the average consumer's preference for larger vehicles and the benefits of improved emissions are offset.

As pollution becomes less of a regional problem, weather patterns in the northern hemisphere will become more of a factor in determining where the pollution collects. Personal automobiles aren't going to decline in use anytime soon. Americans love their cars and increasingly, so do people in the rest of the world. I just hope that the upstate can be part of the solution with the focus on alternative fuels and better solutions to the problem of personal mobility. I have high hopes for ICAR in this regard as market forces shift automakers in a "greener" direction.

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Certainly you all have valid points. However, I'd like to point out that yesterday was a particularly stagnant day. Check out the three days before:

8p-ncsc.gif

8p-ncsc.gif

8p-ncsc.gif

Our air isn't as bad as the government makes it out to be. I heard from one of you that one of the monitering devicec was located very near a polluting facility which may make the air appear worse than it is.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think that was me, I mentioned that one of the monitors is in a low income neighborhood near County Square in Downtown Greenville. In the winter the residents in this neighborhood burn wood and coal to heat their homes and this from what I understand has been cuasing this one meter to show elevated levels of pollutants.

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I am new to this forum, but would like to add that the air pollution problem can be misleading. Many times it is the inappropriate or unrepresentative placement of the air quality sensors that creates the perception of bad air quality. If all of the sensors are placed at main traffic corridors and represent the rest of the county, the results are definitely skewed. There have been many conversations concerning this topic and how the bad results will impact future developments in the area.

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