Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ozone Update from 7-09

Just in case some of you read the Express-News front page article on Sunday, July 12th, here is my response:

1. The facts were well presented, but as usual, there were no additional perspectives on the subject matter, just one primary source...the Alamo Area Council of Governments.

2. Nowhere in the article did it talk about the fact that in the past 6 years, Seguin, with a population of 25,000, would have exceeded the new 75 ppb. eight hour standard 3 out of 6 years.

3. Nowhere in the article did it mention that Austin, which has vehicle emissions testing, has already exceeded the 4th highest ozone standard for 2009.

4. The Express-News article also did not question why the highest asthma rates in Texas are found in Midland-Odessa and some of the lowest rates are found in Houston, where ozone levels are often the highest in the country.

5. The article did not address the fact that 2 of our highest ozone days in San Antonio have been on weekends, when vehicular traffic is 40-60% lower than on weekends.

6. The reporter never asked AACOG why our ozone levels can be 33 ppb. on some days when our air temperature is over 100 degrees and there are almost no clouds in the sky, and fairly light winds and 90 ppb. on other days? Could NE winds make a difference?

7. The article also never mentioned that 64% of our locally measured VOC's are biogenic...produced my nature.

8. Lastly, I would have liked the reporter to have asked our local government officials why they are going to sit back and allow San Antonio to go into non attainment without a legal battle? Our city stands to lose millions in potential government funding and could lose future business opportunities because of the "non attainment" status that will occur sooner, rather than later. The EPA has lowered the ozone standard to a level that is completely unobtainable and should be pursued legally, just like the environmental groups did to reduce the ozone standard to this level. There are several directions that can be challenged on the new standard...the most important one is asking where the evidence is that slightly elevated levels are harming San Antonio citizens? Surely it is not in any CDC findings. How much would it cost to do a thorough investigation into the matter? Surely, it would be less than sitting back and embracing a "non attainment" status!

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