Wednesday, October 24, 2012

We can't change the weather, but....

Since I spoke to the AACOG Air Executive Committee in July, San Antonio has exceeded the Eight Hour Ozone Standard by averaging 80 ppb. at CAMS C58 and 77 ppb. at CAMS C23. Unfortunately, these high ozone events were beyond our control due to the weather. Early season cool fronts switched our winds into the NE, ushering in anthropologic and biogenic pollutants into our area. These pollutants reacted with our high temperatures and sunshine to give us several high ozone events in August and September.

As we all know, we haven't had much luck controlling the weather, but it is possible for all of us to control our leadership in Washington so that there might be a chance that either our current 8 hour ozone standard remains the same or goes back to the 85 ppb. standard prior to 2008.

The Obama administration has made it "not so secret" that they favor a standard that is between 60-65 ppb. Last year they halted the EPA from potentially lowering that standard and asked that the decision be "shelved" until 2013...after the election. Obama Halts Controversial EPA Regulation

If the EPA lowers the standard down to 60-65 ppb., according to an article in US News and World Report, "The proposal could render up to 96 percent of U.S. counties noncompliant, and by some estimates would impose economic damages exceeding $1 trillion."

Even more frustrating is the science, or lack of, behind the move to reduce ozone standards. I have two compelling studies posted on the main page of my website conducted by TCEQ, showing no link between high ozone events and hospitalizations.