Thursday, March 13, 2008

EPA Tightens Limits for Ozone

(Link to Knoxnews Article...)

TVA's an easy target, but TVA has been installing major NOx controls for the last 10 years, doing more than other 'upwind' utilities in the Midwest. More blame lies on other utilities than TVA. But local consumption reduction programs can still help our air quality.

Mobile sources produce 50% more ozone-forming NOx than power plants in our area. Our issues are miles per driver has shot up nationwide, increasing population and sprawl. Our bad air pollution year was summer 2006, but I recall we had heavy interstate construction then, so it was a parking lot. If the summers don't get to hot, we might get back into attainment (climate change is working against us here, too).

IF we have to have a car testing program, we must take the time to research it and do it RIGHT. Washington has one of the best programs I've seen (no, they're not a client of mine):

Specific ideas they have incorporated:
  • Testing only every 2 years
  • Late model cars (1996+) tested by computer diagnostics, optionally through an ATM-like kiosk
  • Exception for hybrids
  • Testing is only $15, first retest is free
  • Efficiently designed testing stations
Knox County needs to have a seat at the table for this, and not leave it up to TDEC alone.

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