Posts tagged: ozone

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Everyone has The Right To Breathe clean air. Watch a video featuring Earthjustice Attorney Jim Pew and two Pennsylvanians—Marti Blake and Martin Garrigan—who know firsthand what it means to live in the shadow of a coal plant's smokestack, breathing in daily lungfuls of toxic air for more than two decades.

Coal Ash Contaminates Our Lives. Coal ash is the hazardous waste that remains after coal is burned. Dumped into unlined ponds or mines, the toxins readily leach into drinking water supplies. Watch the video above and take action to support federally enforceable safeguards for coal ash disposal.

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unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders.

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View Brian Smith's blog posts
03 March 2011, 5:56 PM
The latest cluck from clean air "Chicken Littles"
The sky is falling again

The National Petrochemical & Refiners Association put out a press statement today. As they have for the last 40 years, the pollution lobby warns that stronger standards will cause massive disruption.

"It [new ozone standards] will have a great, and again potentially very negative, impact on the prospects for job creation and retention over the next decade. And its impact on American citizens – the motorists, truckers, farmers and families that drive our great nation – will be felt for years to come."

The NPRA advises the EPA to do nothing. Keep the old standard. They promise to develop cleaner fuels without new regulations.

Just a few problems with this line of argument.

View Liz Judge's blog posts
18 February 2011, 4:15 PM
House lawmakers continue to slash essential protections for the American public

As I write this, members of the House of Representatives continue to debate and move their way through votes on hundreds of amendments to the chamber's government spending bill. The voting and debate has been a marathon process, stretching from morning through late at night for the last three days, and looks to carry on until late tonight or tomorrow.

Once the amendments are voted on and settled, the whole House will cast a final vote on the entire bill package with all the passed amendments. Then the Senate takes its turn, crafting a spending bill of its own. The two chambers must then confer and agree on one bill that funds the federal government by March 4 -- or the government must shut down until its spending and funding sources are settled.

The amendments that the House is currently considering are wide-ranging. They aim to cut government spending by cutting the funding streams of hundreds of government programs. So, instead of ending those programs through legislation and appropriate voting, many members of the House are seeking to delete the programs by wiping out the funds that keep them going.

View Jessica Knoblauch's blog posts
19 November 2010, 12:32 PM
Plastic parody, sewage-sucking trees, smog baby wipes
California recently adopted a law that requires cleaning companies to reduce their smoggy ingredients.

Plastic looks not so fantastic in parody rap video
On the heels of LA's new law banning single-use plastic bags, spiritual advocacy group Green Sangha recently released an anti-plastic bag rap video parodying Jay Z's "Empire State of Mind," reports Grist. Here's one tidbit that's musically on message: "Skip the bag, the cup and the spork, dude, convenience can kill you…ban bags made of plastic." See the rest of the video below.

 

Trees step in to suck up nation's sewage problem
Anyone who's spent time in New York knows that the city, well, stinks. But it's not just the overflowing garbage and mass of sweaty, hurried people. During heavy rainstorms, Manhattan's decrepit sewage system often discharges untreated storm-water and sewage into local waterways, a problem that's mirrored across the country, reports The Economist. But instead of building more pipes, NYC and other cities are planting trees and rooftop gardens to help suck up rainfall, green the city and raise property values, all under a lush canopy of leaves.

Window sprays and toilet bowl wipes to clean up smog
California recently adopted a regulation that requires about 2,000 household cleaning products, which contain smog-producing compounds known as VOCS, to be reformulated to help clean up the state's smogginess, reports Environmental Health News. The new law's effects are expected to reverberate across the nation, much like New York's recently enforced healthy cleaners law, which requires household cleaning companies to come clean on the health effects of their chemical ingredients. With any luck, Mr. Clean may soon look more like Mr. Green.

View David Lawlor's blog posts
07 October 2010, 10:23 AM
Event on Oct. 10 aims to catalyze action on climate change legislation

The Global Work Party organized by environmental activist Bill McKibben and his 350.org campaign may be the answer to life, the universe and everything.

In October 2009, the 350.org campaign orchestrated more than 5,000 rallies urging political leaders to make meaningful progress on climate change. The success of last year’s day of action spawned this year’s Global Work Party that takes place on a day with numerological significance.

In binary code (a computer system using the binary digits ‘0’ and ‘1’ to relay instructions), 10/10/10 translates to the number 42, which in the book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is offered up by the supercomputer Deep Thought as the “answer to life, the universe and everything.” The numbers have additional significance concerning the 10:10 climate change campaign.

And, speaking of numbers, why 350.org? The moniker refers to 350 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere, the number scientists have determined is the planet’s limit if significant climate change is to be averted.

Work party events are scheduled at locations globally, including throughout the United States. Those interested in taking part can check the 350.org site for work party locations in their area or register to host their own event. The 350.org campaign takes a sensible view of the event’s impact while stressing its overall importance. Their website explains:

The goal of the day is not to solve the climate crisis one project at a time, but to send a pointed political message: if we can get to work, you [government leaders] can get to work too--on the legislation and the treaties that will make all our work easier in the long run.

Word up.

View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
18 August 2010, 1:56 PM
EPA prepares move against those who pollute at our expense

Too often in the last two decades, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has gnawed big polluters like a toothless tiger. But 20 years after Congress endowed the agency with new tools to protect people from dangerous air pollution, the EPA is finally preparing to bite down hard.

The EPA is expected to finalize over the next few years a series of pollution control rules that could cut global warming pollution, improve air quality and protect the health of millions of Americans. But only if the agency gets it right—and big polluters will be fighting to make sure it doesn't.

This is especially true in the case of coal-fired power plants, which are targeted by many of the forthcoming rules. The coal and utility industries have retained an army of lobbyists and congressional champions to kill pollution controls and convince the American public that burning massive amounts of coal and protecting the environment aren't mutually exclusive.

But they are.

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View Liz Judge's blog posts
22 March 2010, 1:08 PM
Urge EPA to adopt strong ozone pollution standards today

As sure as April brings showers and May brings flowers, June brings ozone pollution warnings. These alerts come to us by way of air quality reports in our local weather forecasts, and they let us know when ground-level ozone pollution, the primary component of smog, reaches a dangerous level in the air we breathe. We see the alerts almost exclusively in the summer because sunlight and hot weather spur chemical reactions between air pollutants, thereby forming ground-level ozone and, in turn, smog.

Smog, then, fills the air until it's hard for some of us to breathe, especially babies and children, whose lungs are more delicate and less developed. Babies, children, senior citizens, and people who suffer from asthma, allergies, breathing problems, and lung disease bear the brunt of the suffering from smog, but scientific research shows us that no matter how healthy, we all are vulnerable to this dangerous pollutant.

Anyone who spends time outdoors in the summer may be affected, and millions of Americans live in areas where the national ozone health standards are exceeded. (Conversely, ozone in the upper atmosphere -- the good kind of ozone -- forms a layer that protects life on earth from the sun's harmful rays.)

Today until midnight, March 22, is final day of the EPA's public comment period for this ozone pollution standard. Please join tens of thousands of others and take a moment to send EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson a message, urging her to adopt the strongest possible standards for ozone pollution.

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View Molly Woodward's blog posts
05 February 2010, 11:05 AM
Ozone, salmon, household cleaners
Ozone-caused smog in Los Angeles

Some top stories from the past week at Earthjustice…

This week found Earthjustice attorneys in courtrooms addressing a variety of issues, from protecting wildlife to public health.

On Monday, David Baron was in Arlington, Virginia, testifying in support of stronger standards for ozone pollution. Ozone is the main ingredient in the gray-brown haze commonly known as smog that blankets cities across the U.S. Each year it sends thousands of people to emergency rooms. Its long-term effects actually prevented a witness from testifying. The good news is that the EPA might finally reign it in.

On Tuesday, George Torgun, Mike Sherwood, Erin Tobin, and Trent Orr were all in Fresno, California, defending salmon and other fish in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. California's largest water district has asked a judge to temporarily suspend protections for the fish from February through May, when baby salmon migrate from the Sacramento River to the ocean.

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View Terry Winckler's blog posts
16 June 2009, 1:48 PM
 

It's as close as our own backyards, as far away as the Arctic. It's affecting birds, boys, butterflies and bugs. Creeks are feeling it, and the oceans, too. It's here, it's now, and mostly it's caused by humans.

It's global warming and we have to take immediate, powerful counter measures to prevent massive planet-wide consequences, warns the federal government in a chilling report just released today.

Thirteen federal agencies and the White House collaborated in the study, which was put together by the United States Global Change Research Program with oversight from White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

View Brian Smith's blog posts
30 April 2009, 2:24 PM
 

Growing up in California's San Joaquin Valley, we spent our summer days at the community swimming pool and on the soccer field. Playing outside was one of the joys of growing up in a region where the days are warm, the grass is green and the sky is clear.

These days, elementary schools in the valley fly color-coded flags to alert parents of "bad air days" when their children should be kept indoors. Childhood fun in the valley is not what it used to be.

Despite recently approving a $857,500 public relations campaign to say otherwise, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District received yet another failing grade by the American Lung Association this week in the 2009 State of the Air report.

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View Ted Zukoski's blog posts
07 April 2008, 3:30 PM
 

Global warming, by definition, impacts the entire planet. But warming will likely have differing impacts on different areas. What does that mean for the climate of the American West?

A report prepared by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization and the Natural Resources Defense Council last month boiled the answer down to three words: hotter and drier.