Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
AACOG Ozone Speech 1-27-10
My name is Mark Langford, citizen of San Antonio, owner of a small business for 26 years, editor of OzoneInformation.Com and MyWeatherPage.Com, but most importantly today, a person who has suffered from asthma for over 50 years.
I want to first of all apologize to this group and our audience. According to the EPA, I will be filling this room with copious quantities of CO2 as I deliver this speech for the next several minutes. As most of you may know, the EPA has now declared that CO2 is a pollutant and will now be regulating that gas in the future.
Speaking of regulation, if the EPA is successful in lowering the 8 hour ozone average down to 60-70 ppb. they will also be regulating almost every small, medium and large cities throughout the country. If this new standard is adopted, AACOG might as well shut down this division of operations, because all of this work will be futile and a total waste of taxpayer dollars.
As Peter Bella and Steven Smeltzer can show you, there is absolutely nothing San Antonio can do to achieve this new standard when our winds blow from the East or NE and transported pollution from natural and unnatural sources stream into our area. Ask Peter to show you the high ozone days that have occurred on Sundays through the past 15 years. On Sundays, there are 57% less vehicles on the road and most manufacturing and non retail businesses are closed. This demonstrates that even if we got our 57 percent of our residents to not drive to work, we would still not be able to stay within the new ozone averages.
Ask Peter Bella to show you the ozone recordings for Seguin. Seguin has a population of around 25,000 and is almost an hour east of San Antonio, yet they will not be able to stay within attainment if this new standard is adopted. And of course, neither will any suburban areas near San Antonio, including New Braunfels, Fair Oaks, San Marcos…the list goes on.
And San Antonio is not alone. If this committee will go to “Google Alerts” and create an alert for ground level ozone, you will be stunned on the volume of stories being published throughout our country right now on cities that are questioning how they will keep from going into non-attainment.
So. why is the EPA considering this new standard? Good question. As usual, they maintain they are doing this to “Save the Children and asthmatics” like me. Unfortunately, I believe the Federal Government has come up with a novel way to control and regulate almost the entire country without having to pass any “cap and trade” legislation.
And “Saving the Children and Asthmatics’? According to a 2002 report from the CDC, the highest asthma rates in Texas are found in Midland-Odessa with a 28% rate, yet as far as I know, they have no ozone problems in that area. In fact, I don’t even think they have an ozone monitor. On the other hand, one of the lowest asthma rates in Texas is Houston, the ozone capital of Texas, with a less than 10% rate of asthma. As you look at the national numbers, you will see no correlation between asthma rates and ozone. There are just as many small towns with high rates of asthma as there are large cities with high ozone.
As Forrest Mims has asked the Air Executive committee on numerous occasions, we need a local study done on respiratory hospitalizations during high ozone events, as compared with any other summer day. We need to also look at respiratory hospitalizations compared with winter. I am not alone with experiencing my worst asthma during pollen filled dry, cold air days during the winter and spring months. In fact, unfortunately I have been using my Albutural way too often over the past several weeks, during the worst of this cedar season and the very cold weather we have experienced.
So, what are we to do about this? Will we simply sit idly by and let the Federal Government regulate our future growth or will we do as the environmental groups have so successfully done in the past and sue the EPA to make changes. The only way for change is to quickly join a class action lawsuit with hundreds of cities and states and fight this unfair takeover by the Federal Government. There are many holes in the research, including studies done on asthmatics without considering pollen counts, using ozone counts of 250 ppb. on test subjects, not including the CDC report on asthma rates, unfair treatment of cities located in the south, who climatically have more 90 degree plus days than northern cities and a total lack of consideration for biogenic sources of volatile organic compounds, such as trees and kudzu plants. Most importantly, it will be a standard that cannot be achieved. That alone should be proven unconstitutional. Since when can any government create a law that cannot be obeyed?
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Sunday, January 3, 2010
It had to be Houston, Los Angeles, Phoenix or Dallas. With metro populations in the millions and motorists commuting to work on traffic clogged roads in their ozone producing vehicles, the first area to have four days above 75ppb. for an 8 hour ozone average just had to be one of these cities. Instead, it turned out to be barren, sparsely humanly populated, Joshua Tree National Park.
As of yesterday, April 22nd, Joshua Tree National Park recorded its fourth day of over 75 ppb. for an 8 hour ozone average. As recorded on their monitored ozone site, the park exceeded the new standard on April 18th, 20th, 21st and 22nd. Looking at their remote CAM site, you can see how the region looks as though it would be a great training area for NASA astronauts.
According to the park's website, Joshua Tree National Park encompasses almost 800,000 acres of land and is located at the crossroads of two deserts, the Colorado and the Mojave. Named for the Joshua trees that are found in the region, the park was originally named a national monument in 1936 and became a National Park in 1994. Home to thousands of animals and plants, the park is also the home of high ozone during the summer months, due in part, to being located about 150 miles east of Los Angeles, where pollution is often transported into the area.
The following paragraph from their website describes the problem:
"Although the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated that the skies above our national parks be subject to the most stringent level of protection, Joshua Tree National Park consistently exceeds the 120 ppb. ozone concentration levels set by the EPA for human health at it's monitoring station located in the northwestern part of the park. An additional monitoring station was recently installed at Cottonwood Spring to determine if the southern part of the park is also out of compliance with air-quality standards."
Joshua Tree National Park is a perfect example of why the new EPA ozone standard of 75 ppb. is not only unfair, but borders on the ridiculous. Will the EPA be meeting with park officials to draft an "emissions reduction" program? Will an emissions testing station be built to test the few vehicles owned by the park? Will the park lose federal funds because they can't clean up their air? If our national parks, with very few human footprints can't stay within the new standard, then how do we expect cities throughout our nation, who are trying to reduce their emissions, to stay within the new standard?
I've been hearing a lot of "buzz" on the radio today on why San Antonio "dodged" high ozone this summer.
First of all, I'm happy we did.
I've heard and read that the "Air Quality Health Alerts" were behind our success. While they might have helped, there is no record of them keeping us from going over 75 ppb. in the past and it is very hard to measure their impact. More often than not, they are issued when conditions either don't pan out or are not issued when ozone is already elevated.
While they might have helped, I have not heard anything mentioned about the fact that we had no low pressures (tropical storms or hurricanes) in the Gulf this summer, very few NE wind days, a slumping national economy and one of the coolest summers ever recorded in the northern parts of the country. These are more than likely the more important reasons that we stayed under 75 ppb. this year. While you did mention to the SA Business Journal that our local economy might have lead more people to driving less, there was no mention of distant coal fire plants and manufacturing plants in the NE polluting less, due to the economy. There was also less pollution from China this summer.
Even more interesting, is that this summer was the warmest and one of the driest ever recorded for San Antonio. Our electrical usage set many records and clear skies allowed an abundance of UV radiation (important in ozone formation) to rain down on us. Despite this, we stayed under 75 ppb. because our winds rarely blew from the East and NE. When we finally did get some early cool fronts, they came with clouds and moisture, protecting us from a high ozone event.
I really wish AACOG would do a better job in communicating these events with the media. While I realize it's human nature to want to give yourselves credit for positive ozone news, you still need to discuss other possibilities, in my opinion.
Story from SA Biz Journal:
We may be learning on January 6th, whether the EPA will lower the 8-hour Ozone Average to 70 ppb. By doing so, almost every small, medium and large city in the southern part of our country will fall into non-attainment. This will subject most of the country to being controlled by the EPA whenever any city wants to build new roads or add new industries.
Meanwhile, there will be little a city can do to lower their ozone averages, since background ozone levels are often higher than 70 ppb. due to transportation of pollution and natural sources, such as trees and plant emissions of volatile organic compounds.
Please visit my website for more information: www.ozoneinformation.com