Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

monsoon

Air Pollution Problems

11 posts in this topic

Looks as if Charlotte is predicted to have its first Code Orange air pollution day today. This is pretty early in the year for something like this to happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Yeah I posted my concerns about this yesterday in the Charlotte Weather forum. Uptownliving informed me the EPA has lowered its standards this year for what constitutes code orange, red, etc. Nevertheless, this is still very early in the year and does not bode well for the summer months.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was an extremely small change in standards and unlikely to change the number of code orange days. I saw that mentioned in the Observer as well as it was put forth in a way to suggest there is nothing wrong in Charlotte.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah the standard was lowered by about 4%. Not much...but it does make a difference. We'll have to wait till tomorrow to see what the numbers end up being but we are forcasted for an AQI of 109 today which if they were using last years scale that would be an AQI of 105...the trigger for code Orange is AQI 100.

While these change might seem minimal it could have huge implications for Mecklenburg County. The air pollution forecast models that are used by CDOT and NCDOT show that Mecklenburg will not meet this new standard set by the EPA. This means we will lose all Federal Transportation funding until we come up with a plan the EPA approves that will take us below this new standard. Not good news at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^Thats what I heard as well, uptownliving. Except that when this happens we loose highway funding and we're forced to invest in transit like Atlanta has been made to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It may be that the ozone action levels have adjusted per EPA action on the future ozone regs, but to be clear, the standard for EPA ozone compliance (current law) is unchanged at the moment (80 ppb or 0.080 ppm), and if the region cannot show that it can produce a transportation plan that will reduce ozone in that sector (mobile sources), the feds will freeze nearly ALL new transportation project funding, including new transit appropriations, until a plan can be developed to address the problem. Any ongoing federally funded projects would be unaffected. The EPA did recently approve a new ozone standard of 75 ppb, but it will take a couple of years to negotiate with the states and set the areas that will be affected. It is a near certainty that Mecklenburg and a few other regional counties will be among them.

These are the SE US counties currently designated non-attainment (does not meet the 80ppb standard) for ozone:

r4redesig.gif

Here's a good overview of why the new 75ppb standard was set (health reasons).

This shows EPA's estimates of which counties could be designated non-attainment under the new/future 75ppb rules: Mecklenburg, Union, Lincoln, Rowan, York.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Metrolina is in a pickle with meeting the 1997 EPA Air Quality standards. We are the ONLY metro region in the State to not meet these standards...and if things dont change for the better and VERY quickly then all transportation funding (roads and transit) will be cutoff from the Feds.

City Council will be receiving a briefing from NCDAQ which is reposnsible for improving our air quality. You can get a preview of that presentation here. Good review of our situation and what the future might hold.

(Presentation Starts on Page 4)

http://www.charmeck.org/NR/rdonlyres/epkle...kshopAgenda.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Metrolina is in a pickle with meeting the 1997 EPA Air Quality standards. We are the ONLY metro region in the State to not meet these standards...and if things dont change for the better and VERY quickly then all transportation funding (roads and transit) will be cutoff from the Feds.

City Council will be receiving a briefing from NCDAQ which is reposnsible for improving our air quality. You can get a preview of that presentation here. Good review of our situation and what the future might hold.

(Presentation Starts on Page 4)

http://www.charmeck.org/NR/rdonlyres/epkle...kshopAgenda.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Metrolina is in a pickle with meeting the 1997 EPA Air Quality standards. We are the ONLY metro region in the State to not meet these standards...and if things dont change for the better and VERY quickly then all transportation funding (roads and transit) will be cutoff from the Feds.

City Council will be receiving a briefing from NCDAQ which is reposnsible for improving our air quality. You can get a preview of that presentation here. Good review of our situation and what the future might hold.

(Presentation Starts on Page 4)

http://www.charmeck.org/NR/rdonlyres/epkle...kshopAgenda.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To be clear, these are not "threats." Federal agencies such as EPA merely enforce adopted federal statutes set forth by Congress and signed into law by the President. The agencies can and do develop guidance on how to proceed, but at the end of the day, they don't pick and choose how to enforce these AQ regulations. The feds must also be keenly aware of the consistency of their actions, as what they do in one metro area or state, can be considered setting a precedent for other areas in the country. Do not underestimate this as an emerging problem for the region over the next few years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.