Is Alabama air pollution causing smog in Texas? State battles EPA over ‘good neighbor’ plan
Dennis Pillion reports in AL.com about the claim that Alabama has to reduce pollution from its power plants and other industries because the emissions are contributing to ozone problems in Texas.
In a nutshell:
Alabama and its major utilities are engaged in a legal battle against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over allegations that Alabama's lenient air pollution regulations are causing smog issues in Texas. The EPA presented model data showing that Alabama power plants are contributing to increased ground-level ozone in Texas cities like Houston and Dallas, exceeding air quality standards. In response, the EPA rejected Alabama's regulatory plan, leading to appeals from the state and utilities. Alabama argues that its contribution to Texas ozone levels is not significant, while the EPA claims Alabama's own data shows otherwise. The case highlights the complex challenge of cross-state air pollution regulation and its potential impact on public health and electricity costs.
“The modeling that Alabama used established that Alabama’s emissions contribute to ozone pollution in Texas, and Alabama failed to justify – technically or legally – why no part of that contribution should be considered ‘significant,’” the EPA said.
The big picture:
When power plants emit pollutants such as nitrous oxide and volatile organic compounds, they contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, which can lead to respiratory problems, irritation in the lungs, and worsen existing health conditions like asthma. Efforts to reduce power plant emissions are crucial to protecting public health and ensuring cleaner air for communities.
Read Pillion's article at AL.com.
Can artificial intelligence help us avoid air pollution? Krystal Vasquez wrote about research showing that AI may outperform traditional models, which could give more advance warning of bad air days, and reduce harmful exposures and hospital visits.