A Regulatory Rush by Federal Agencies to Secure Trump’s Legacy

With the president’s re-election in doubt, cabinet departments are scrambling to finish dozens of new rules affecting millions of Americans.

#air-pollution, #dudley-susan-e, #environmental-protection-agency, #executive-orders-and-memorandums, #homeland-security-department, #immigration-and-emigration, #labor-and-jobs, #labor-department-us, #murray-patty, #nessel-dana, #presidential-election-of-2020, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #schaitberger-harold-a, #traffic-accidents-and-safety, #transportation, #transportation-department-us, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government

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In India, Toxic Air Spells More Trouble for Covid-19 Patients

Every fall, air pollution spikes in India. Doctors worry what it will mean for coronavirus patients with breathing problems.

#agriculture-and-farming, #air-pollution, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #delhi-india, #india, #lungs, #new-delhi-india

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When the U.S. and China Fight, It Is the Environment That Suffers

The Trump administration’s moves to decouple the two economies means less leverage over Beijing’s green policies.

#air-pollution, #carbon-dioxide, #chengdu-china, #coal, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #environment, #gansu-province-china, #general-assembly-un, #global-warming, #green-climate-fund, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #hazardous-and-toxic-substances, #hong-kong, #india, #international-trade-and-world-market, #japan, #liu-he-1952, #obama-barack, #outsourcing, #pacific-ocean, #paris-agreement, #pew-research-center, #pollution, #steel-and-iron, #united-states, #united-states-economy, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government

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Is Air a Scam?

We love air! But boiling herbs and buying more plants will not improve your indoor air quality. Find out what will.

#air-pollution, #content-type-service, #filters, #rumors-and-misinformation, #your-feed-selfcare

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How Oregonians Survived the Fires

What do you do when your world is burning? In mundane and harrowing ways, you figure out how to survive.

#air-pollution, #animals, #oregon, #wildfires

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We’ll Have to Learn to Live With Smoke. Here’s Why.

There’s a huge fire debt in the West that must be paid off, experts say, either through controlled burns or out-of-control blazes. Either way, that means smoke.

#air-pollution, #environment, #global-warming, #portland-ore, #respiratory-diseases, #wildfires

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Is It Safe to Exercise if the Air Is Hazy With Wildfire Smoke?

Fast or slow? Is there a time limit? Can we bring the dog along? Expert advice for working out when the smoke gets in your eyes — and lungs.

#air-pollution, #athletics-and-sports, #content-type-service, #dogs, #exercise, #masks, #medicine-and-health, #protective-clothing-and-gear, #wildfires

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How to Protect Children from Wildfire Smoke

Even if flames are far away, smoke can travel and threaten kids’ health. But staying inside has trade-offs too.

#air-pollution, #asthma, #children-and-childhood, #hazardous-and-toxic-substances, #lungs, #masks, #respiratory-diseases, #wildfires

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‘This Does Not Look Good for Children’: Fires Pose Risk to Young Lungs

The wildfires blazing in the West could hinder developing lungs, worsen asthma and even lead to the condition in those who don’t have it but are genetically disposed to it.

#air-pollution, #asthma, #california, #children-and-childhood, #lungs, #pacific-northwestern-states-us, #research, #wildfires, #your-feed-healthcare

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Clean Air Was Once an Achievable Political Goal

The wildfires will force us to recognize the steep costs of incompetent, neglectful, uncaring government.

#air-pollution, #forests-and-forestry, #global-warming, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government, #wildfires

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As Trump Again Rejects Science, Biden Calls Him a ‘Climate Arsonist’

The president visited California after weeks of silence on its wildfires and blamed the crisis only on poor forest management, not climate change. “I don’t think science knows” what is happening, he said.

#air-pollution, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #california, #forests-and-forestry, #global-warming, #newsom-gavin, #presidential-election-of-2020, #suburbs, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government, #wildfires

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Wildfire Smoke Over Vancouver Prompts Air Quality Concerns

Residents retreated indoors after smoke from wildfires in the U.S. descended on Vancouver and other communities in British Columbia.

#air-pollution, #british-columbia-canada, #environment-canada, #forests-and-forestry, #national-parks-monuments-and-seashores, #vancouver-british-columbia, #victoria-british-columbia, #wildfires

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In Visiting a Charred California, Trump Confronts a Scientific Reality He Denies

A president who has mocked climate change and pushed policies that accelerate it is set to be briefed on the scorched earth and ash-filled skies that experts say are the predictable result.

#air-pollution, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #california, #carbon-dioxide, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #disasters-and-emergencies, #environment, #environmental-protection-agency, #fuel-emissions-transportation, #global-warming, #green-new-deal, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #national-oceanic-and-atmospheric-administration, #presidential-election-of-2020, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #science-and-technology, #states-us, #trump-donald-j, #united-nations-framework-convention-on-climate-change, #united-states-economy, #united-states-politics-and-government, #wildfires

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Wildfire Smoke Is Dangerous. Here’s How to Protect Yourself.

Smoke spreads misery, including health problems, far beyond fire zones. We have key facts and tips.

#air-pollution, #california, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #environment, #global-warming, #research, #respiratory-diseases, #wildfires

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Photos of California Wildfires

Across Northern California, huge plumes of smoke from a fire that blasted through the foothills of the Sierra Nevada billowed high into the atmosphere, turning day into an eerie twilight.

#air-pollution, #california, #san-francisco-calif, #san-francisco-bay-area-calif, #wildfires

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I Live in California. How Do I Know It’s Safe to Go Outside?

A high-tech sensor network brought me closer to the natural cycles of my environment.

#air-pollution, #california, #global-warming, #san-francisco-calif, #sensors, #wildfires

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How to Read California’s Air Quality Index

Here’s what you need to know about reading daily pollution levels.

#air-pollution, #california, #wildfires

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In the US, switching to EVs would save lives and be worth billions

Smog is bad.

Enlarge / Smog is bad. (credit: Steven Buss)

Common arguments about how electric vehicles cause more emissions than traditional vehicles when the electric grid is coal-powered are actually wrong. Still, it’s certainly true that a cleaner grid is needed to fully realize the benefits for climate change. Beyond the climate, part of the appeal of EVs is also the improved air quality, of course, and here the grid can be even more important. In the wrong situation, switching to an EV just moves the air pollution from the street to the power plant.

Building models

A team led by Northwestern’s Daniel Peters decided to have a particularly detailed look at this issue, examining several scenarios of grid generation and EV adoption in the US. The results show that even with today’s grid, switching to EVs produces significant benefits.

The researchers used simulated hourly air pollution data from vehicles around the country, along with emissions data for power plants. This went into a model of weather over the course of a year (2014, as it happens), which also simulated important chemical reactions and natural emissions of compounds that interact with pollutants. The resulting air quality simulations were applied to an EPA population health model to show the expected impact on human health.

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#air-pollution, #air-quality, #electric-vehicles, #science, #social-cost-of-carbon

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In face of federal inaction, California gets five automakers to cut CO2

Cars congest I-10 in Los Angeles late October 2006. That year, the state sued several US and Japanese automakers for their alleged contribution to global warming.

Enlarge / Cars congest I-10 in Los Angeles late October 2006. That year, the state sued several US and Japanese automakers for their alleged contribution to global warming. (credit: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)

On Tuesday, five automakers signed agreements with California’s Air Resources Board to implement cleaner emissions standards over the next few years. BMW, Ford, Honda, Volkswagen Group, and Volvo will reduce vehicle emissions between model years 2021 and 2026.

Unlike Europe’s rules, which fine automakers if they exceed a blanket fleet average for the amount of CO2 emitted per km, CARB has different targets for cars and light trucks based on their relative footprint. But each of the five OEMs has agreed to cut the amount of CO2 its vehicles produce per mile by about 17 percent by MY2026. The new agreement is broadly similar to one announced last year, although with a revised timeline that now runs through 2026.

Specifically, CO2 emissions from small cars would drop from 157g/mile in 2021 to 130g/mile in 2026, large cars from 215g/mile to 178g/mile, small light trucks from 195g/mile to 162g/mile, and large light trucks from 335g/mile to 278g/mile, with a formula to adjust vehicles that fall in between the small and large footprint areas. For context, the EU’s new fleet-wide average, which came into effect in 2020, heavily fines any automaker whose fleet average exceeds 152g/mile (95g/km).

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#air-pollution, #bmw, #california-air-resources-board, #carb, #carbon-dioxide, #cars, #climate-change, #co2-emissions, #ford, #honda, #volkswagen-group, #volvo

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With the Biden-Harris Ticket, Environmental Justice Is a Focus

Climate change leaders said the choice of Harris signaled that Democrats will try to ensure that communities burdened by pollution would benefit from a transition to clean energy.

#air-pollution, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #carbon-dioxide, #environment, #global-warming, #green-new-deal, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #harris-kamala-d, #income-inequality, #presidential-election-of-2020

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COVID-19 won’t impact climate much, but economic recovery could

India saw a notable decline in aerosol pollution in April.

Enlarge / India saw a notable decline in aerosol pollution in April. (credit: NASA EO)

Given the radical changes people have undertaken to limit the spread of COVID-19 (hello month six of quarantine-except-for-groceries), many have naturally wondered what impact this has had on pollution, including greenhouse gases and climate change. Some short-lived pollutants dropped noticeably during the strong lockdowns of April, as businesses shuttered and travel was reduced. But CO2 levels don’t fluctuate based on short-term events like that, so the long-term effect on climate change was expected to be trivially small—assuming economies rebounded fairly quickly.

A new study led by the University of Leeds’ Piers Forster (and his daughter Harriet) takes advantage of phone location data to re-examine the first six months of the year, tracking more than just CO2. While they ultimately find that the impact has been small, their results also highlight that the way economies choose to rebound could have a much bigger effect over the long term.

The work relies on mobility data made public by Google and Apple, covering 114 countries. Using that along with energy and emissions datasets, the researchers converted behavior changes into pollution changes. The phone data record changes in transportation use quite well, although purported changes in activity between residential, commercial, and industrial settings are harder to relate to energy. The researchers compared the changes they saw in their phone data to a May study that estimated April emissions using things like utility data. They found their phone-based estimate of home energy use probably overestimates the real change.

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#aerosols, #air-pollution, #covid-19, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #science

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Rising Seas Could Menace Millions Beyond Shorelines, Study Finds

As climate change raises sea levels, storm surges and high tides will push farther inland, a team of researchers says.

#air-pollution, #environment, #floods, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #hurricanes-and-tropical-storms

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Pollution Is Killing Black Americans. This Community Fought Back.

African-Americans are 75 percent more likely than others to live near facilities that produce hazardous waste. Can a grass-roots environmental-justice movement make a difference?

#air-pollution, #black-people, #discrimination, #factories-and-manufacturing, #hazardous-and-toxic-substances, #philadelphia-pa, #waste-materials-and-disposal

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Study Links Gas Flares to Preterm Births, With Hispanic Women at High Risk

Expectant mothers who lived near flaring sites had higher odds of giving birth prematurely than those who did not, researchers found. The adverse outcomes fell entirely on Hispanic women.

#air-pollution, #environmental-health-perspectives-journal, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #hispanic-americans, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #pregnancy-and-childbirth, #premature-babies, #research, #texas, #texas-oil-and-gas-assn

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How Much Will the Planet Warm if Carbon Dioxide Levels Double?

New research has sharply narrowed the range of outcomes.

#air-pollution, #carbon-dioxide, #environment, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #united-nations-framework-convention-on-climate-change

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Fracking Firms Fail, Rewarding Executives and Raising Climate Fears

Oil and gas companies are hurtling toward bankruptcy, raising fears that wells will be left leaking planet-warming pollutants, with cleanup cost left to taxpayers.

#air-pollution, #bankruptcies, #chesapeake-energy-corporation, #diamond-offshore-drilling-inc, #environment, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #hydraulic-fracturing, #methane, #natural-gas, #north-dakota, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #permian-basin-north-america, #united-states-politics-and-government, #whiting-petroleum-corporation

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Lockdowns Tamed Road Traffic. Here’s How Cities Aim to Keep It Down.

Officials are trying to prevent a return to urban gridlock and pollution as residents begin to travel again.

#air-pollution, #bicycles-and-bicycling, #buses, #congestion-pricing, #environment, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #roads-and-traffic, #sidewalks, #subways

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California set to ban all heavy diesel trucks and vans by 2045

A class-8 truck in the sunshine

Enlarge / This is the Volvo VRN Electric, the company’s first electric class-8 truck. (credit: Volvo)

The days of diesel delivery trucks and vans in California are numbered. On Thursday, the state’s Air Resources Board adopted a new rule that will phase out these most polluting of vehicles from the state over the next quarter-century. Beginning in 2024, OEMs that want to sell medium- and heavy-duty trucks in the state will have to ensure that some of those trucks are zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs). Over time, the percentage of those ZEV trucks has to increase, so that by 2045, any new truck sold in the state will be emission-free. Currently, CARB estimates that 2 million diesel trucks and vans are the cause of 70 percent of smog-causing pollution in the state.

“California is an innovation juggernaut that is going electric. We are showing the world that we can move goods, grow our economy, and finally dump dirty diesel,” said Jared Blumenfeld, California’s secretary for Environmental Protection.

The new rule excludes light trucks (8,500lbs/3,855kg and under), so the new Ford F-150 doesn’t count. But it does apply to pretty much anything bigger than that—class 2b (like a Ford F-250 for example) all the way through the biggest class 8 trucks and tractors. The mandate starts gently: in 2024, only 3 percent of class 2b and class 3 trucks, 7 percent of class 4 through 8 trucks, and 3 percent of class 7 and 8 tractors have to be emissions free. And in fact, for pickup trucks—ie trucks that came from the factory with a load bed rather than some other configuration—the class 2b-class 3 rule only kicks in during 2027.

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#air-pollution, #california-air-resources-board, #carb, #cars, #class-8-truck, #electric-trucks, #heavy-duty-truck, #medium-duty-truck, #zero-emissions-vehicle

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You’re Probably Inhaling Microplastics Right Now

A new study found plentiful evidence of these tiny particles in dust in the nation’s most remote places.

#air-pollution, #grand-canyon-ariz, #joshua-tree-national-park-calif, #national-parks-monuments-and-seashores, #plastics, #waste-materials-and-disposal, #western-states-us, #wyoming

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Pandemic’s Cleaner Air Could Reshape What We Know About the Atmosphere

Coronavirus shutdowns have cut pollution, and that’s opened the door to a “giant, global environmental experiment” with potentially far-reaching consequences.

#air-pollution, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-reopenings, #environment, #fuel-emissions-transportation, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #national-oceanic-and-atmospheric-administration, #ozone, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government

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California Set to Require Zero-Emissions Trucks

The new rule, expected Thursday, would mean more than half of trucks sold in the state must be zero-emissions by 2035, and all of them by 2045.

#air-pollution, #buses, #california, #california-air-resources-board, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #e-commerce, #electric-and-hybrid-vehicles, #environment, #factories-and-manufacturing, #fuel-efficiency, #fuel-emissions-transportation, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #lobbying-and-lobbyists, #los-angeles-calif, #nichols-mary-d, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #san-bernardino-calif, #states-us, #transit-systems, #trucks-and-trucking

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Toxic Ghosts

My father and I worked for years at a factory that became a Superfund hazardous-waste site. We’re still feeling the repercussions.

#air-pollution, #chemicals, #colitis, #digestive-tract, #factories-and-manufacturing, #hazardous-and-toxic-substances, #pcb-polychlorinated-biphenyls, #prostate-gland, #superfund, #waste-materials-and-disposal, #water-pollution

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Climate Change Tied to Pregnancy Risks, Affecting Black Mothers Most

Women exposed to high temperatures or air pollution are more likely to have premature, underweight or stillborn babies, a look at 32 million U.S. births found.

#air-pollution, #black-people, #environment, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #pregnancy-and-childbirth, #premature-babies, #race-and-ethnicity, #stillbirth

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The Scientist, the Air and the Virus

Most of us had never heard of aerosol science before the pandemic. Then Virginia Tech’s Linsey Marr showed up and became our tour guide to the invisible world of airborne particles.

#air-pollution, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #masks, #protective-clothing-and-gear, #quarantines, #science-and-technology

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Where’s Airborne Plastic? Everywhere, Scientists Find.

There’s “no nook or cranny” on the planet where it doesn’t end up, the lead researcher on a new study said.

#air-pollution, #environment, #plastics, #research, #science-journal, #wilderness-areas

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Pandemic Lockdowns Lead to Less Traffic and Better Air

Fewer cars on the road during the pandemic has meant cleaner air, but not necessarily fewer traffic deaths. Can we have both?

#air-pollution, #bicycles-and-bicycling, #fuel-efficiency, #fuel-emissions-transportation, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #speed-limits-and-speeding, #traffic-accidents-and-safety, #urban-areas, #walking

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In the Shadows of America’s Smokestacks, Virus Is One More Deadly Risk

Nationwide, poor communities are exposed to much more air pollution than wealthier ones. Scientists are racing to understand what role this may play in Covid-19.

#air-pollution, #california, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #detroit-mich, #environment, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #hazardous-and-toxic-substances, #houston-tex, #income-inequality, #marathon-petroleum-corporation, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry

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The Business of Burps: Scientists Smell Profit in Cow Emissions

Cattle produce more methane than many large countries. A solution could be an ecological and financial breakthrough — and a Swiss biotech company may be on the cusp.

#air-pollution, #cattle, #england, #europe, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #livestock, #meat, #sacca-chris-1975, #science-and-technology

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Airborne Coronavirus Detected in Wuhan Hospitals

While the RNA of the virus was found in tiny droplets in China, scientists don’t know if it was capable of transmitting the virus.

#air-conditioning, #air-pollution, #china, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #hospitals, #ke-lan, #nature-journal, #research, #wuhan-china

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Don’t Celebrate Earth Day. Fight for It.

The 1970 gathering ushered in significant achievements in protecting our environment. Now Trump is destroying them.

#air-pollution, #clean-air-act, #coal, #earth-day, #environment, #environmental-protection-agency, #fuel-emissions-transportation, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #mercury-metal, #trump-donald-j, #united-states, #wheeler-andrew-r

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Why Aren’t We Excited About Earth Day Anymore?

Three organizers from the first event in 1970 remind us that we still have a lot of work to do.

#air-pollution, #civil-rights-movement-1954-68, #clean-air-act, #clean-water-act, #colleges-and-universities, #conservation-of-resources, #earth, #earth-day, #education-k-12, #endangered-and-extinct-species, #environment, #environmental-protection-agency, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #hudson-river, #law-and-legislation, #united-automobile-workers, #united-nations, #united-states, #united-states-politics-and-government, #waste-materials-and-disposal, #water-pollution

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11 Numbers That Show How the Coronavirus Has Changed N.Y.C.

Unemployment has skyrocketed, but so has the size of the city’s volunteer pool and the number of people fostering animals. One month into the shutdown, the city is as complex as it ever was.

#air-pollution, #bridges-and-tunnels, #city-harvest, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #crime-and-criminals, #dogs, #food-bank-for-new-york-city, #new-york-cares, #new-york-city, #noise, #police-department-nyc, #roads-and-traffic, #subways, #unemployment, #volunteers-and-community-service, #waste-materials-and-disposal

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Why Is Trump Gutting Regulations That Save Lives?

Smart safeguards, designed by specialists, protect public health and safety.

#air-pollution, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #deaths-fatalities, #executive-orders-and-memorandums, #office-of-information-and-regulatory-affairs-us, #office-of-management-and-budget-us, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #trump-donald-j, #united-states, #united-states-politics-and-government

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EPA dings epidemiology for “uncertainty,” won’t use it for pollution standards

Image of two men sitting behind a large desk.

Enlarge / WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 27: EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler testifies before the US House Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change. (credit: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) periodically reviews certain pollution standards, considering new science and analysis to see if the previously chosen limit should be updated. The latest of these reviews looked at the standards for particulate-matter pollution—dust and soot categorized by size as PM2.5 (2.5 micrometers across or less) and PM10 (up to 10 micrometers).

On Tuesday, the EPA released its decision to not tighten the standards set in 2012. That’s not really a surprise given current leadership under the Trump administration, but the argument employed to defend the decision is remarkable. At a time when a pandemic has shut down most of the United States, the EPA is essentially arguing that epidemiology isn’t up to the task of guiding policy.

A change in process

EPA’s process for these multi-year reviews, like the process for setting new standards, is ostensibly designed to minimize the influence of politics. EPA analysts do the work of combing through and synthesizing existing scientific research, quantifying best estimates of the health impacts of pollutants at various levels, as well as the economic costs of restricting pollutants to those levels. Those estimates then go through advisory panels of outside scientists and are subject to public comment before the agency decides which standard fulfills its obligations under the law.

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#air-pollution, #environmental-protection-agency, #particulates, #science

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As Coronavirus Rages, Trump Disregards Advice to Tighten Clean Air Rules

Despite an emerging link between air pollution and Covid-19 death rates, the Trump administration will decline to tighten standards on soot emissions.

#air-pollution, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #deaths-fatalities, #environment, #environmental-protection-agency, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government, #wheeler-andrew-r

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How to Take Care of Your Lungs

If you’re one of millions of Americans exposed to air pollution, you may be at a greater risk of catching the coronavirus — and of having a more severe infection.

#air-pollution, #asthma, #chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #environment, #global-warming, #lungs

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