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?