Air
Colorado Determined to Clear Its Air

Colorado Determined to Clear Its Air

Last summer, prior to the election for Governor in Colorado, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted the state an extension to meet the National Air Quality Standards — claiming that rapid growth was making it too difficult to come back into compliance.  Yesterday, the new Governor revoked the request and has pledged to move aggressively to get ozone air pollution under control. 

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Deer Park residents on edge after officials failed to warn them about petrochem fire health hazards

Deer Park residents on edge after officials failed to warn them about petrochem fire health hazards

Last week after a chemical explosion in Deer Park, Texas sent a plume of black smoke into the air, officials assured residents that the city had things under control. Over the weekend, however, a shelter-in-place order was issued for Deer Park residents due to concerns about air pollution from the massive fire. Making matters worse, […]

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Houston petrochem fire spews millions of pounds of pollutants into the air

Houston petrochem fire spews millions of pounds of pollutants into the air

A fire that erupted Sunday afternoon at the Intercontinental Terminals Company’s (ITC) petrochemical facility in Houston, TX is still burning and isn’t expected to be extinguished for two more days. As Grist reported yesterday, self-reported emissions data posted on the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s website showed that the blaze had sent more than 9 […]

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A rare bipartisan effort to stop weakening of mercury regulations

A rare bipartisan effort to stop weakening of mercury regulations

a bipartisan group of senators wrote a letter to newly appointed EPA administrator (and former coal lobbyist) Andrew Wheeler urging that the agency withdraw December’s proposed MATS rollback rule.

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Moms who mobilize for the planet

Moms who mobilize for the planet

Moms have emerged as serious activists on the front lines of air pollution, climate change, and environmental health and safety. Groups like the Mom’s Clean Air Force have rallied their members across the nation to crack down on everything from dirty oil refineries in New Jersey, to protesting the nomination of EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler, […]

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Methane concentrations are rising and scientists don’t know why

Methane concentrations are rising and scientists don’t know why

Levels of methane in our atmosphere are rising and scientists haven’t yet been able to pinpoint the cause. And while scientists love a good mystery this particular one is pretty starting considering that methane is a potent greenhouse gas. As the LA Times reported, twenty years ago the level of methane in the atmosphere stopped […]

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Coal dust causes black snow in Russia

Coal dust causes black snow in Russia

As CBS News reported, a pall of eerie black snow has covered several towns in the Siberian region of Kuzbass, which is home to 2.6 million people and one of the world’s largest coal fields. According to the Guardian and the Siberian Times, the snow is tainted with toxic black coal dust that was released into the air from open coal pits and improperly maintained factories in the region.

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Cruise ship emissions endanger passengers

Cruise ship emissions endanger passengers

Cruise ships are an extremely popular part of the global tourism industry and around the world, 24.7 million people take one every year, according to the Cruise Lines International Association. But large ships are one of the dirtiest forms of transportation and mid-sized cruise ship can emit as many emissions every day as 1 million […]

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One Just Thing: Fiat Chrysler To Pay $800M

One Just Thing: Fiat Chrysler To Pay $800M

Late last week, auto giant Fiat Chrysler agreed to pay out $800M to settle an enforcement action with the U.S. government and private lawsuits with car owners, after admitting that they installed emissions test-cheating devices on diesel Jeeps and trucks resulting in an additional 35,000 tons of pollution.  The company is also required to recall […]

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Virginia Regulators Ignore Environmental Justice Concerns, Grant Pipeline Permit

Virginia Regulators Ignore Environmental Justice Concerns, Grant Pipeline Permit

Ignoring the pleas of residents of the historic African American community of Union Hill in Richmond, the Virginia state air pollution control board voted unanimously to approve a natural gas compressor station there. 

Why This Matters:  The large and powerful fossil fuel industry always seems to have the upper hand — in DC and in state capitals around the country.  The ruling probably does not matter because the pipeline is mired in more serious federal court litigation.  But environmental groups were disappointed that Democratic Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, replaced two skeptical air pollution control board commissioners whose terms had run out, with two pro-pipeline commissioners.  Governor Northam, according to The Post, attended a political fundraiser with Dominion executives in recent days.  Yup.  It’s all about the money.  

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