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monsoon

Charlotte Metro Air Pollution and Environment

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All of those small California metro areas are bumping everyone off the list. I do remember Atlanta & Charlotte in the top 10 a few years ago (or I'm wrong). But still surprising to see Atlanta "drop" to 21, but I doubt Atlanta has really improved, just so many other metro's catching up. I do wonder if the rankings could have altered due to using the new metropolitan area's? I think they were using the old methodology just last year.

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In Winston-Salem the smog recording stations are right next door to major traffic intersections or busy highways. They have a flag pole on Fifth Street where they have the color code flag for the day telling you how clean the air is. I have always wanted to know if they record this data in places like this in every city or do they just do that here? It looks like this would give them inaccurate readings and inflate the numbers? They should at least balance it with a recording station in a residential neighborhood where there are children, seniors and those working hard outdoors. It is their health we need to be concerned about after all.

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I would have never expected to see Knoxville so high. I've heard Charlotte leaders want SC to require emissions testing and car inspections in Charlotte's SC metro counties.

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I would have never expected to see Knoxville so high.  I've heard Charlotte leaders want SC to require emissions testing and car inspections in Charlotte's SC metro counties.

East Tennesse has always had a problem with pollution. It's the home of TVA & Oak Ridge for a start. It's not an issue with urban development, it's mostly all the polluting plants that exist there.

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Why is Charlotte so high on the list? It seems that it is a clean city and Atlanta should be higher.

Sprawl is the answer. Think of all those people that drive to Charlotte to work, they are driving in from Chester, Stanley, Iredell, Cleveland counties - that is a long distance. And don't forget all the high polluting plants from E Tennessee & upstate SC. Not that Atlanta is improving, there are just more & more cities that are more car dependant than Atlanta is.

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Geograpy plays a major role here folks. Charlotte sits between 2 mountain ranges...the Blue Ridge and the Uwharrie Mountains...this creates a valley where the pollutants sit and get worse until a good storm comes through and cleans the air.

This is shown in the fact that the WORST air in the region is actually in Salisbury...also the air is considerably cleaner in SW Charlotte than it is in NE Charlotte.

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Sprawl is the answer. Think of all those people that drive to Charlotte to work, they are driving in from Chester, Stanley, Iredell, Cleveland counties - that is a long distance. And don't forget all the high polluting plants from E Tennessee & upstate SC. Not that Atlanta is improving, there are just more & more cities that are more car dependant than Atlanta is.

I guess that does make sense. Sprawl does have a tremendous affect on the city pollution. I am surprised why Jacksonville is not higher then.

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I guess that does make sense. Sprawl does have a tremendous affect on the city pollution. I am surprised why Jacksonville is not higher then.

1. Atlantic Ocean

2. Massive undeveloped area surrounding the city - all the swamps & woodlands.

3. Besides St Augustine & Brunswick - there are no other large towns that can develop as large exurbs nearby.

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I just returned from central Europe and wonder why windmill-generated power isn't more widely used in the East? I know that there was some discussion of creating (a) wind farm in the mountains and it (may have been?) shot down for aesthetic reasons...but, seeing how well the European wind farms are integrated into their historic and natural landscapes, it makes me wonder if we shouldn't be moving toward a more active role in this field of energy production...

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I just returned from central Europe and wonder why windmill-generated power isn't more widely used in the East? I know that there was some discussion of creating (a) wind farm in the mountains and it (may have been?) shot down for aesthetic reasons...but, seeing how well the European wind farms are integrated into their historic and natural landscapes, it makes me wonder if we shouldn't be moving toward a more active role in this field of energy production...

First of all, consider who is in office in DC ;). But more seriuosly, our political leaders have been under the influence of the oil lobby for nearly a century. And as European nations have been proactive in seeking new energy sources, our nation has been reactive, everytime we face an energy crisis, the solution is to mine more oil. Ironic considering we could free up large amounts of oil by switching, to not neccesarly hybrid vehicles, but simply disapproving of SUV's.

There have been numerous efforts across the country in establishing wind farms or other alternative energy plants - but if our government doesn't assist by exempting some of the costs, it's not going to happen because it's not economically feasible.

Consider the past history, in the south & South Africa just decades ago. These regions had a great thing going - free labor. There was no reason to free the slaves because otherwise it would cost more money to produce. But ethically & rationally the decision was made & another method of production was formed. We are that state - dependance on oil though it ethically & rationally makes no sense. We won't be able to ween ourselves off of oil because it makes economically little sense. We'll have to cut cold turkey.

Sorry, sometimes I go on a rant.

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I too saw those same Windmills....as windy as it is in the mountains...you would think that would be a viable source of energy in NC...especially at Windy Gap.

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First of all, consider who is in office in DC ;). But more seriuosly, our political leaders have been under the influence of the oil lobby for nearly a century. And as European nations have been proactive in seeking new energy sources, our nation has been reactive, everytime we face an energy crisis, the solution is to mine more oil. Ironic considering we could free up large amounts of oil by switching, to not neccesarly hybrid vehicles, but simply disapproving of SUV's.

There have been numerous efforts across the country in establishing wind farms or other alternative energy plants - but if our government doesn't assist by exempting some of the costs, it's not going to happen because it's not economically feasible.

Consider the past history, in the south & South Africa just decades ago. These regions had a great thing going - free labor. There was no reason to free the slaves because otherwise it would cost more money to produce. But ethically & rationally the decision was made & another method of production was formed. We are that state - dependance on oil though it ethically & rationally makes no sense. We won't be able to ween ourselves off of oil because it makes economically little sense. We'll have to cut cold turkey.

Sorry, sometimes I go on a rant.

Good points!

I would add that government policies specifically related to road standards contribute to our reliance on gas. Roads built to NCDOT standards sever neighborhoods from commercial areas and highways, without more frequent crossings divide whole towns forcing people to drive even when they might otherwise be able to walk!

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I too saw those same Windmills....as windy as it is in the mountains...you would think that would be a viable source of energy in NC...especially at Windy Gap.

The amazing thing, I thought, was the wind farms I saw were on relatively flat plains! If you stand on shore of Lake Norman, it always seems to be - at least - breezy. I wonder what kinds of wind speed make these facilities viable and then, how much energy do they produce?

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Did you guys read in the paper where the city is thinking of adopting a law that would require all employers of more than 20 people in Charlotte to chose from a list of ozone minimizing options on high ozone days. These options would be like, require employess to carpool/use transit, stager work schedules to minimize traffic ozone, fast food chains would be required to close there drive throughs, etc. Several companies are testing this plan this summer. If effective it could be required in summer 2005. We would see about 25 days a year affected by the policy. It said in the article that Atlanta enacted a similar policy during the olympics and saw a 24% decrease in ozone. I'm recalling all of this from memory so if your really curious you may want to find the article from The Observer.

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I was driving down 77 today and seeing Uptown soo smogy and hazy was just yuck

(i know that sounds hypocritical since I was *driving* haha)

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