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Toxic Air Pollution in Ohio

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Toxic Air Pollution in Ohio

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  • #453694
    Walker Evans
    Walker Evans
    Keymaster

    rus said:
    Point I was getting at: Perfect alternatives do not exist and public pressure doesn’t seem to be about accepting anything less than perfect. People let perfect become the enemy of good, in other words.

    I agree that perfect alternatives don’t exist.

    But I highly disagree that this is an instance of good being the enemy of perfect, because that would mean that last place in terms of toxic air pollution is a “good” place to begin with.

    #453695
    rus
    rus
    Participant

    Walker said:
    I agree that perfect alternatives don’t exist.

    But I highly disagree that this is an instance of good being the enemy of perfect, because that would mean that last place in terms of toxic air pollution is a “good” place to begin with.

    rus said:

    PS: Still not convinced the study isn’t total crap.

    #453696

    News
    Participant

    Plant pleads guilty to air-pollution charges
    Friday, July 29, 2011
    BY JIM WOODS
    THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

    Columbus Steel Castings Co. followed through yesterday with its agreement in federal court to plead guilty to six charges that accuse the company of violating the Clean Air Act.

    The plant at 2211 Parsons Ave., which has been around in some form since 1902, melts down scrap metal to make parts for railroad cars. Its South Side neighbors have complained for years about an odor like burning tires from the plant.

    READ MORE: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2011/07/29/plant-pleads-guilty-to-air-pollution-charges.html?sid=101

    #453697
    ColumbusTime
    ColumbusTime
    Participant

    This rating sounds like complete bullshit. Not only is Ohio #1, but its “toxic air pollution levels are 36 percent higher?” I don’t buy it. I’ll wait for a more reputable source and a definition of ‘toxic air pollution.’ As they say, you can prove anything with statistics.

    #453698

    DavidF
    Participant

    ColumbusTime said:
    This rating sounds like complete bullshit. Not only is Ohio #1, but its “toxic air pollution levels are 36 percent higher?” I don’t buy it. I’ll wait for a more reputable source and a definition of ‘toxic air pollution.’ As they say, you can prove anything with statistics.

    I don’t think Glenn Beck has such a rating.

    #453699

    SusanB
    Participant

    Ohio has such crappy air because the state EPA moves very slowly and has very little teeth. It took the South SIde 10 years to get the judgement listed previously. A lot of neighborhood people worked a very long time to get CSC to clean up.

    #453700
    ColumbusTime
    ColumbusTime
    Participant

    DavidF said:
    I don’t think Glenn Beck has such a rating.

    Well shows what a lazy ass he is. He could make one up to suit his objectives like the NRDC

    #453701

    News
    Participant

    Study Puts Ohio Among Most Toxic States
    By: Associated Press | NBC4
    Published: August 20, 2012

    A newspaper reports that a new survey puts Ohio near the top of the country’s top 20 toxic states. The Dayton Daily News reports that The Buckeye State was No. 2 on a list of 20 states that are responsible for a disproportionate share of toxic emissions from the U.S. electric sector.

    READ MORE: http://www2.nbc4i.com/news/2012/aug/20/study-puts-ohio-among-most-toxic-states-ar-1142663/

    #453702

    Analogue Kid
    Participant

    With the closing of many coal plants around the state and the new Utility MACT (Subpart UUUUU), emissions are going to be dropping dramatically in the next few years. They’ve already been on a downward trend for a while.

    Additionally, natural gas is very cheap right now which means a company with a choice isn’t going to run the coal plants as much and will rely more on less polluting gas.

    Still, No. 1 in toxic emissions makes for great headlines.

    #453703

    Rockmastermike
    Participant

    Analogue Kid said:

    Additionally, natural gas is very cheap right now which means a company with a choice isn’t going to run the coal plants as much and will rely more on less polluting gas.

    In the short run that will make far more difference than any government regulation on the issue. It already is. It will also probably prompt coal lobbyists to push harder for subsidies.

    In the long term, I’ve made my thoughts fairly clear previously about the overstated longevity of deep horizontal fractured wells.

    #453704
    Tom Over
    Tom Over
    Participant

    Manatee said:
    I don’t know about you guys, but I’m just so sick and tired of g*****n treehuggers releasing reports like this.

    Think of it this way: our air has MORE! It’s thicker and more substantial! Carve yourself off a slice of air and quitcher bellyaching.

    More oxygen tanks mean more jobs. YOU DON’T WANNA DECREASE JOBS DO YA?

    joev said:
    If you put up a butterfly net, you’ll catch enough lead and mercury to make yourself a fishing sinker.

    Satire frees up creativity, useful for helping to address this and other problems.

    Walker said:
    Serious question: Is the air pollution concentrated in certain areas more than others? I’ve never found Columbus to *feel* like the air quality is bad, but I could be wrong. I imagine it’s worse around power plants, but where is the closest dirty plant to Columbus?

    This is anecdotal and subjective, but pedaling my pedicab amid heavy automobile traffic at Fedex Field in Landover, Maryland and also in Baltimore, I’ve noticed I didn’t get that ever-so-slowly suffocating feeling or the scratchy feel on my throat that I often get pedicabbing without a particulate mask amid heavy traffic on High Street in the Short North or amid a crammed parking lot at the Schottenstein Center.

    My guess is emission standards for automobile exhaust (which only seven of Ohio’s 88 counties have) make a positive difference in air quality, at least in the immediate vicinity of motor vehicles.

    I’ve to order a replacement for my damaged particulates mask which has the brand name Totobobo. It likely doesn’t block the molecules of carbon monoxide or benzene, so it’d help if folk drove less unthinkingly, opting to use public transit, walk, cycle, skateboard, carpool, or use pogo sticks…etc

    The city, partnering with OSU and Nationwide, offers free safety classes for skateboarding, rollerblading, and using pogo sticks on icey, hilly roads.

    Twixlen said:
    Essentially, the issue is the kind of coal that is burned, and the nature of the plants that burn it. Add to that, many of these plants are concentrated in a relatively small land-space, generally all geographic valleys. Steubenville is the heart of it, and up and down the Ohio River.

    There really is a “cleaner” coal – it simply burns much more efficiently, which causes less off-gassing. Burn that cleaner coal at a fully-scrubbed plant, and you have the best-case scenario for coal. (Assuming the coal is mined via traditional ground mining, not surface-top, where the “good” coal usually isn’t found anyway.)

    To what extent are you factoring in CO2 and the evidence indicating its affect on Climate Change?

    These plants can’t be shunted – there isn’t an equal amount of power out there on the grid anywhere that can replace it. Scrubbers can be added – and I think every effort should be made to make the existing plants as “clean” as possible. But it costs a lot. A lot a lot.

    How does the high financial cost of ‘clean coal’ compare with the high financial cost of solar and wind ?

    I think AEP has a problem with their somewhat unique situation out of all utilities. We are blessed with cheap electricity – but at what actual cost?

    What is unique about AEP’s situation? Thanks for adding your voice to the question. What is the total cost (not limited to traditional economics) of our relatively cheap electricity? We might also ask about the ecological, political, and social costs of relatively cheap petroleum for motoring in the US of A.

    Glaze said:

    There isn’t much we can do about it in the short term. There are plenty of long term goals that would be nice, but people aren’t so good with long term goals. I’d like to see thorium reactors as a safer alternative to uranium,

    Plenty of reporting available on the internet casting doubt on thorium reactors as a saf-ER alternative to uranium.

    solar panels on rooftops to soften the draw of current at peak hours,

    Friend-o-mine, Eugene Beer, the Piano Peddler, is involved in the Clintonville Solar Co Op. Sounds interesting, but I don’t know much about it.

    more mass transit (which requires people to stop finding it icky),

    I cycle, cause I don’t wanna get crazy poor people juices on my clothes and I don’t want to get into my lungs air that was in their lungs. It’ll make me lazy and promiscuous, and watch trash TV at laundry mats, instead of newspapers.

    more bike paths, and shopping areas situated within walking distance of residential zones and which cater to people who walk and bike.

    Clintonville Commie Market, is nestled in a neighborhood. Call the police. There’s someone walking with groceries.

    Another nice idea would be a system where neighborhoods actively voice demands for an industry, and the database searches for a prospective business owner to fill that need (it could also work in reverse and allow the owners to search for a neighborhood willing to support them). This would help by lowering the need to drive cross-town to get some specific thing, and possibly nurture independence from brand name stores which are often big polluters and treat primary producers unfairly.

    As a proposed solution, this sounds overly complicated. It’s good to keep an open mind, but to me it reminds me of the oh-so-many gadgety brainstorms I’ve heard about over the years via blog and gabfests, leaving us with a hangover of cynicism after the euphoria wears off.

    Lowering air pollution is just getting started.

    What? Thought going green was just about not littering.

    That’s nothing compared to fishing down the food web (check the price of Cod at the grocery), worldwide droughts and freshwater shortages (talk to someone from Colorado), and a huge loss in oceanic phytoplankton and forest acreage (http://www.endgame.org/oldgrowth3.jpg). 2 or 3 billion people from Côte d’Ivoire, to India, to Australia have been seeing these changes take place drastically in the last decade.

    Relax, silly. We’ll invent a new planet when market factors make it cost-effective and lucrative to do so. As the financial costs of our current way of life rise, market forces will spur us on to create substitutes for air, soil, and water. Economies of the world can grow infinitely, as we create an infinite number of substitute planets.

    rus said:

    If you’re right that environmentalists and/or their concerns can be mitigated, then there’s a bit more hope for a different solution ( still a few years off and costly ).

    As for mitigating environmental problems while avoiding the variety of problems not having energy likely would create, distinguishing technological obstacles from the political ones may be useful. That is, the power of the fossil fuel industry over society might exacerbate those technological obstacles, as they seek to maintain their power. (I’m not sure how the fissile fuel industry factors in with all of this.)

    I’m a cynic, no doubt.

    Try skepticism instead.

    rus said:

    Perfect alternatives do not exist and public pressure doesn’t seem to be about accepting anything less than perfect. People let perfect become the enemy of good, in other words.

    How would you define good as it pertains to energy and the environment ?

    Analogue Kid said:
    With the closing of many coal plants around the state and the new Utility MACT (Subpart UUUUU), emissions are going to be dropping dramatically in the next few years. They’ve already been on a downward trend for a while.

    Additionally, natural gas is very cheap right now which means a company with a choice isn’t going to run the coal plants as much and will rely more on less polluting gas.

    When you say that gas is less polluting than coal, how much are you factoring in fracking?

    If we think in terms of the entirety of the process, from extraction to transport to end-use, we might draw different conclusions (about energy efficiency, economic cost, and ecological impact) when we compare coal with natural gas, or compare fossil and fissile fuels with wind, solar, or tidal.

    Rockmastermike said:
    In the short run that will make far more difference than any government regulation on the issue. It already is. It will also probably prompt coal lobbyists to push harder for subsidies.

    Where along a continuum of good vs bad do you see such a push from coal lobbyists?

    In the long term, I’ve made my thoughts fairly clear previously about the overstated longevity of deep horizontal fractured wells.

    Please link. Thanks

    #453705

    Analogue Kid
    Participant

    This is anecdotal and subjective, but pedaling my pedicab amid heavy automobile traffic at Fedex Field in Landover, Maryland and also in Baltimore, I’ve noticed I didn’t get that ever-so-slowly suffocating feeling or the scratchy feel on my throat that I often get pedicabbing without a particulate mask amid heavy traffic on High Street in the Short North or amid a crammed parking lot at the Schottenstein Center.

    My guess is emission standards for automobile exhaust (which only seven of Ohio’s 88 counties have) make a positive difference in air quality, at least in the immediate vicinity of motor vehicles.

    Maryland does require vehicle emissions testing, so it’s quite possible that your exposure in traffic is lower. Columbus may be getting emissions testing if the lawsuit by northeastern states rules that Ohio must reduce emissions further.

    When you say that gas is less polluting than coal, how much are you factoring in fracking?

    If we think in terms of the entirety of the process, from extraction to transport to end-use, we might draw different conclusions (about energy efficiency, economic cost, and ecological impact) when we compare coal with natural gas, or compare fossil and fissile fuels with wind, solar, or tidal.

    I’m definitely considering air emissions from fracking. Though studies are ongoing, what we know so far shows surprisingly little impact to air quality in areas where wells are being drilled and fractured.

    http://www.epa.state.oh.us/News/OnlineNewsRoom/NewsReleases/tabid/6596/articleid/220/early-air-quality-data-near-gas-drilling-site-shows-clear-air.aspx
    http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/airwaste/aq/aqm/docs/Marcellus_NE_01-12-11.pdf

    http://www.dep.wv.gov/oil-and-gas/Horizontal-Permits/Documents/Final%20Air%20Quality%20Report%20June%2028,%202013.pdf

    #453706
    Tom Over
    Tom Over
    Participant

    Analogue Kid said:
    Columbus may be getting emissions testing if the [url=http://www.ctmirror.org/story/2013/12/09/connecticut-7-other-states-seek-epa-crackdown-midwest-pollution]lawsuit by northeastern states[/url] rules that Ohio must reduce emissions further.

    Thanks for this

    I’m definitely considering air emissions from fracking. Though studies are ongoing, what we know so far shows surprisingly little impact to air quality in areas where wells are being drilled and fractured.

    http://www.epa.state.oh.us/News/OnlineNewsRoom/NewsReleases/tabid/6596/articleid/220/early-air-quality-data-near-gas-drilling-site-shows-clear-air.aspx
    http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/deputate/airwaste/aq/aqm/docs/Marcellus_NE_01-12-11.pdf
    http://www.dep.wv.gov/oil-and-gas/Horizontal-Permits/Documents/Final%20Air%20Quality%20Report%20June%2028,%202013.pdf

    So, it’s about how fracking affects water and soil, right?

    My point is that cited problems and proposed solutions often are compartmentalized, instead of holistic and systemic. We rob Peter to pay Paul or create 3 or 4 problems via superficial attempts to solve one. Trashing our water and soil to reduce air pollution probably doesn’t make sense.

    The political right seems more focused on energy, the Left, the environment. Each camp goes about it in different ways, but whichever political path we take, we come to generally the same conclusion when we get past the posturing.

    That conclusion is that humanity faces a serious challenge. On the one hand, stopping a fossil-fuel/endless-growth-based economy in its tracks would likely create a variety of social chaos and suffering. Yet, on the other hand, if we keep going along, we may render our planet increasingly less habitable. Where does that leave us?

    I’m not hopeless. Via turning my attention to ecology, I’ve somehow become more aware of my own left-vs-right delusions, finding common ground with conservatives and more meaningful ties with fellow progressives via, paradoxically perhaps, recognizing some of the contradictions within Progressivism (as it pertains to ecology.)

    #453707

    Analogue Kid
    Participant

    You didn’t say you wanted to discuss water and soil, you asked about air quality which is the topic of this thread. I believe there is a natural gas drilling thread already, so you might want to check that out if you want to talk about things from a multimedia perspective.

    #453708
    Tom Over
    Tom Over
    Participant

    Analogue Kid said:
    You didn’t say you wanted to discuss water and soil, you asked about air quality which is the topic of this thread. I believe there is a natural gas drilling thread already, so you might want to check that out if you want to talk about things from a multimedia perspective.

    I think you mean ‘multi-issue’, not ‘multi-media.’ I’m just writing here, not using photos, audio or video.

    We better understand the parts by recognizing the whole. Solutions regarding Ohio’s air quality require us to take into account the entirety of ecological concerns.

    That’s the reality reflected in our own existence. We don’t just breathe. We require food, water and a range of other ‘ecological services,’ as some ‘natural capitalists’ say.

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