"USEDA" (formerly know as the US Environmental Protection Agency) is proposing revisions to decades-old air quality regulations that will make it easier for coal-fired generation plants to obtain construction and operating permits for sites where air quality is currently good: in and around national and state parks. Must be a coincidence. For you AQ techies, the proposed rule changes would:
•Substitute an annual average of emissions for the current "maximum" emissions that is measured over a few hours, up to a single day.This story exemplifies why US "environmentalists" developed, early on, a reputation for hard nosed legal advocacy in defense of natural resources. And while this story is off our focus on green design and alternative energy, we think it's worth considering for those of you who were convinced that traditional "environmentalism is dead." Dead indeed. The fierce green fire flickers around the boundaries of every Class 1 airshed.
•Exclude from pollution estimates output from existing industrial emitters that have been granted variances.
•Switch from calculating emissions using the two most recent years of data to any time period "more representative" of normal operations.
•Grant discretion to state regulators to use whatever data and information in their judgment would be most reliable in calculating emissions.
National Park Service might consider resurrecting the old Smokey The Bear character...but rename him in honor of the new rules "Smoke-out."
Via::Christian Science Monitor, "Why national parks, coal-fired power plants may be neighbors"
Image credit::Maryland, Howard County, Sierra Club, vistas of Old Rag Mountain, VA