| clean air policy advances
Ozone standard meets Opposition
Senators lobby EPA to abandon lower target for air pollutant.
by rOBEr T UKEILEy
However, the EPA did not keep its promise. The New
York Times reported that the American Petroleum Institute lobbied the EPA to delay finalizing the new ozone
NAAQS. In addition, Sens. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) and George
Voinovich (R-Ohio) urged the EPA to give up its reconsideration of the Bush-era ozone rule. Joined by Sens. Kit
Bond (R-Mo.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Claire McCaskill
(D-Mo.), Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) and David Vitter (R-La.),
the politicians raised concerns about the economic impacts
if the more protective standard was finalized.
robert ukeiley (rukeiley
@ igc.org) is a lawyer
who represents environmental nonprofits in
clean air act litigation
affecting energy issues.
Under the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets levels of acceptable air pollution, known as National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). States then come up with emission
restrictions and other programs to keep air pollution below
the NAAQS. The act requires the EPA to update the NAAQS
every five years, because Congress understood that our scientific knowledge of air pollution impacts advances over time.
Ground-level ozone is the principal component of smog.
Ozone causes asthma and other health problems, as well as
damage to crops and forests. In 2008, the EPA under the
Bush administration revised the NAAQS for ozone down
to 75 parts per billion. The problem is that the EPA’s own
scientists were recommending that the standard needed
to be even lower to protect public health, agriculture and
native ecosystems. Thus, the EPA under the Obama administration promised to review the decision. In January, the
EPA proposed to lower the ozone NAAQS to between 70
and 60 parts per billion. While a five to 10 parts per billion reduction may not seem like much, it would actually
require hundreds of fossil fuel-fired power plants to install
pollution-control devices, curtail their operating hours or
even shut down. This would be another step toward leveling the playing field for efficiency and renewable energy
versus fossil fuel-fired generation. Thus, it was good news
that the EPA promised it would finalize the new standard
Let the senators know that delaying the
new ozone NAAQS is bad for business.
The politicians are right that there are economic impacts.
However, the politicians fail to point out that the economic
impacts are the billions of dollars and the hundreds of jobs
being lost in energy-efficiency and renewable energy projects. These projects, needed for reductions in pollution, are
not going to happen until the EPA finalizes the standard.
People in the energy-efficiency and renewable energy fields
in Indiana, Ohio, Missouri and Louisiana need to be heard
on this. They need to contact the senators listed above and
make sure their colleagues, friends and family do the same.
Let the senators know that delaying the new ozone NAAQS
is bad for business.
the city of Arvada, Colo., in northwest metro Denver, has installed what it claims to be the state’s largest commercial
solar thermal installation. The rooftop of the Apex Center, a city
recreational building that includes two NHL-sized ice rinks, four
pools and three gymnasiums, is now equipped with 296 Lumos
( lumossolar.com) E30 evacuated-tube collectors. At peak performance, the system will produce 12. 43 million British thermal
units per day, helping with both space and water heating. On
an annual basis, it is expected to offset 30 to 40 percent of the
building’s natural gas consumption.
Justin Howe, Apex Center building engineer, secured certification and oversaw the installation process. Leading a labor
force consisting of the Arvada Fire Department, several church
groups and the Apex Park and Recreation District staff, Howe
estimates he saved the city $1 million by keeping the installation
in-house. A grant from the Colorado Carbon Fund, a program
of the Governor’s Energy Office, helped defray an additional
$30,000 in expense. — MIkE kOSHMRl
city Installs solar thermal system
16 November/December 2010 SOLAR TODAY solartoday.org
Copyright © 2010 by the American Solar Energy Society Inc. All rights reserved.