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Air pollutants, aviation, asthma, and aging power plants in the Midwest

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  • P. Neuman self only
    ... Midwest power plants linked to pollution in area By ROGER WITHERSPOON THE JOURNAL NEWS (Original publication: April 30, 2004) Strenuous efforts by
    Message 1 of 1 , May 3, 2004
      --------- Forwarded message ----------
      Midwest power plants linked to pollution in area
      (Original publication: April 30, 2004)

      Strenuous efforts by Westchester and surrounding counties to reduce air
      pollutants can only make a dent in regional air quality because most of
      region's contaminated air blows in from out of state or unregulated
      air quality and health officials said yesterday.

      "New York has a particular problem with air pollution," said Peter
      head of the environmental protection bureau for the State Attorney
      Office. "Even if we turned off every factory and parked every car, the
      quality would still not meet federal air quality standards. Over 80
      of the air pollution in this state comes from out-of-state sources."

      The assistant attorney general was the featured speaker at a sparsely
      attended symposium on the county's air, sponsored by the Federated
      Conservationists of Westchester County at the County Center.

      Lehner provided a litany of air-quality problems facing the region,
      beginning with the enormous toxic output from Midwestern power plants.

      The majority of the pollutants responsible for acid rain, high ozone
      and mercury deposits in the state's lakes and rivers emanates from huge
      coal-fired power plants in the Midwest.

      "Just five of these plants," Lehner said, "emit two percent of the entire
      world's emissions of carbon dioxide, and one plant alone emits half as
      nitrous oxides as the entire state of New York."

      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency decided this month not to
      aging power plants to install anti-pollution controls.

      That decision is being challenged by the attorneys general of New York
      the New England states. But additional pollution comes from diesel car
      exhaust and jet planes.

      "The EPA should start treating airports like the major pollutants they
      said Lehner, "but airplanes are largely exempt from pollution controls."

      Planes lack the type of pollution controls found on automobiles, and they
      dump large amounts of toxic material in the air around the airport as
      burn fuel during takeoffs and landings.

      Westchester County Health Commissioner Joshua Lipsman said the county has
      aggressively tried to reduce air pollutants, which cause asthma in about
      percent of the county's children. But there are severe limits on what the
      county can do.

      "We have aggressively gone after fleet operators who let their vehicles
      idle," Lipsman said, "and we reach out to homeowners and consumers,
      encouraging them to consider fuel-efficient alternatives to riding
      power boats, and other items in their control.

      "But these are small measures, and the ability of the county to
      substantially impact the region's air quality is limited. Long-term
      solutions will be dependent on the federal government," Lipsman said.

      ** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material
      distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest
      receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

      Jack Saporito, Acting Vice-president
      The American Working Group for National Policy
      Executive Director,
      The Alliance of Residents Concerning O'Hare
      Past-president, US-Citizens Aviation Watch Association (1997-2002)
      POB 1702
      Arlington Hts., IL 60006-1702
      Phone: (630) 415-3370
      Fax: (847) 506-0202
      Email: <jack@...>

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