pollution

NHPR

On Monday Governor Hassan joined Democratic governors from seven other Northeastern states in asking the EPA to clamp down on emissions drifting over their borders from other states. The petition targets states upwind from the Northeast, which Governor Hassan says produce the vast majority of ozone-causing pollution in New Hampshire, wafts across our borders from the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic

“If we took every single car off our roadways, we still could only reduce ozone by three percent,” Hassan told reporters during a conference call.

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Dear EarthTalk: Why is it that airplane exhaust is so much worse for the environment than engine emissions on the ground?-- Winona Sharpe, New York, NY

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For years doctors and health officials have been trying to warn consumers about the risk of mercury in fish.

The new short film “Mercury: From Source to Seafood” is trying to aid in that effort by filling in a bit more of our understanding of how mercury ends up in fish.

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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

Courtesy The Work of 1000 Civic Engagement Program

June is National Rivers Month, which means it’s a good time to talk about a recent film chronicling the effort to clean up the Nashua River. It’s called “Marion Stoddart: The Work of 1000” and has been screened at a number of environmental film festivals.

Susan Edwards is the film’s producer, and she talks with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about, the film, Marion Stoddard and the Nashua River.

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Dear EarthTalk: Iunderstand the Environmental Protection Agency recently took steps to limit pollution from power plants. What are the details?-- Maddie Samberg, via e-mail

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Dear EarthTalk: Diesel exhaust from trucks, buses, large ships and farm equipment is especially unhealthy. What progress has been made in curbing diesel pollution?-- Jackie Mitchell, Barre, MA

The Environmental Protection Agency's new air pollution rules for the oil and gas industry may seem like odd timing, as President Obama has been trying to deflect Republican criticism that he overregulates energy industries. But the rules weren't the Obama administration's idea.

Several years ago, communities in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming complained about air pollution from natural gas booms in their local areas.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced new rules Wednesday to control the problem of air pollution coming from wells being drilled by the booming oil and natural gas drilling industry.

Currently, waste products from the drilling operations, which include a mix of chemicals, sand and water, can be pumped into open enclosures or pits, where toxic substances can make their way into the air. The new rules will require this fluid to be captured by 2015, and flared — or burned off — in the meantime.

The man who warned us that aerosol spray-cans could destroy the earth's protective ozone layer has died.

F. Sherwood Rowland, better known as Sherry Rowland, was a Nobel-prize winning chemist at the University of California, Irvine. And he didn't just keep to the laboratory: He successfully advocated for a ban on ozone-destroying chemicals called CFCs.

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Dear EarthTalk: I was in Los Angeles recently and the smog was not nearly as bad as when I visited 15 years ago. Is it really better now, and if so, how did it get that way? Or did I just happen to visit on a good day?-- Marjorie Hicke, Atlanta, GA

 

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Dear EarthTalk: How is it that Latino communities are among those hardest hit by air pollution? -- Miguel Aragones, Los Angeles, CA

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Dear EarthTalk: I was horrified to read recently that our oceans are actually becoming acidic, that the continued burning of fossil fuels is changing the chemistry of our seas. What’s going on?  -- Kim Richardson, San Diego, CA

 

The twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are the busiest in the nation. They also have some of the dirtiest air, thanks to thousands of cargo trucks that pass through each day.

But this month marks the beginning of a new era, as tighter emissions standards go into effect.

'100 Percent Clean Energy'

A common trope in environmental stories is to put things in terms of jobs vs. the environment. But that's not what happened in the case of the ports.

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Dear EarthTalk: I understand that some Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic U.S. states have banded together to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions. Can you enlighten?   -- Bo Clifford, Cary, NC

 

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.