Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Air Pollution News

Bill Preventing Air Pollution Regulations on Agricultural Production Moving through Senate

Senate Bill 3741, which would exempt emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and methane from agricultural production from regulation under the Clean Air Act, has been referred to the Environment and Public Works Committee. The bill is sponsored by Sen. John Thune (South Dakota).

St. Louis-Area Fails to Meet Air Quality Standards Says Environmental Protection Agency

Last moth, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 7 officially notified the state of Missouri that the St. Louis metropolitan area does not meet the daily standard for fine particle pollution, also known as fine particulate matter, or PM 2.5.

Franklin, Jefferson, St. Charles and St. Louis counties, along with the city of St. Louis, are included in EPA's designation for Missouri. The determination also includes the Illinois areas of Madison, Monroe and St. Clair counties, and part of Randolph County. EPA Region 5 officials will address the determination issues in Illinois.

The 24-hour fine particle standard is 35 micrograms per cubic meter of air. Fine particles can be emitted directly or form in the atmosphere from reactions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. Exposure to fine particle pollution can cause serious health problems, including respiratory and cardiovascular difficulties, and premature death.

The four Missouri counties and the city of St. Louis were determined to be contributing to violations of the air quality standards in Madison County, Ill. The Clean Air Act requires the designation of all areas in violation, as well as nearby areas that contribute to the violation.
EPA closely reviewed recommendations from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR) along with public comments before making its determination. The nonattainment areas include those where air monitors indicate violations of standards, and nearby areas that contribute to the violations. Missouri's DNR will be required to develop a plan and take steps to reduce the emissions that contribute to fine particle pollution.

Additional information:
EPA news release

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