Clean Air

Shane Torgerson

E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: The recent explosion at a West, Texas fertilizer plant that killed many people really alarmed me. Places like this must exist near many communities around the country. How do I know if my own community might be at risk of a similar disaster?    – Mary Cyr, Sarasota, FL

N.H. Residents Breathing Easy

Apr 24, 2013

A report out today from the American Lung Association says that New Hampshire’s air quality continues to improve.

The level of smog is falling in Hillsborough and Rockingham Counties. Both received a grade of ‘C’ this year compared to a ‘D’ in 2012.

Cheshire and Grafton earned an ‘A’, ranking them among the cleanest areas in New England. Coos County also saw its grade improve.

The figures come from readings taken by the Environmental Protection Agency between 2009 and 2011.

iStock Photo

E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: I was appalled by the pollution haze I saw on a recent visit to Acadia National Park in Maine, and was told by a ranger that it was from smokestacks and tailpipes hundreds of miles away. Is anything being done to clear the air in Acadia and other natural areas where people go to breathe fresh air and enjoy distant unobstructed views?-- Betty Estason, via e-mail


E - The Environmental Magazine


Hemera Collection/Thinkstock

E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: I read that car makers had agreed to up fuel economy standards to an average of about 55 miles per gallon by the year 2025, and that specifics were due to be hammered out by the end of 2011. Did this happen and where do things stand now?-- Scott Ellis, Norwalk, CA


Sam Evans-Brown

The American Lung Association announced a project that will pay individuals in Southern New Hampshire to swap out their old woodstoves.

The money for the program comes from a company’s settlement with the EPA.

The project provides consumers from Merrimack, Hillsborough, and Rockinghman counties vouchers  to replace old, inefficient wood stoves, with new clean burning ones.

The vouchers are worth anywhere from one to three thousand dollars, and can be used for pellet stoves, or wood-burning stoves.

 New Hampshire’s U-S senators helped defeat a measure to unwind new regulations to clean up air in the Granite State.

The Environmental Protection Agency is trying to prevent unhealthy smog and soot from coal fired power plants in 27 states from spreading to other states. The EPA’s cross-border pollution rule would force those states to drastically cut their emissions.

But tea party backed Kentucky freshman Rand Paul forced the Senate to vote on unwinding those new rules to protect his coal rich home state.