sam's notes

notes on government, sports and popular culture

Monday, June 19, 2006

 
.....Very interesting N.Y. Times article on air pollution in China resulting from its continued reliance on coal-fired power plants.

Most interesting is what the article says about air quality standards in the United States:

"...China is generating such enormous quantities of pollution that the effects are felt farther downwind than usual. Sulfur and ash that make breathing a hazard are being carried by the wind to South Korea, Japan and beyond.

"Not enough of the Chinese emissions reach the United States to have an appreciable effect on acid rain yet. But, they are already having an effect in the mountains in West Coast states. These particles are dense enough that, at maximum levels during the spring, they account at higher altitudes for a fifth or more of the maximum levels of particles allowed by the latest federal air quality standards. Over the course of a year, Chinese pollution averages 10 to 15 percent of allowable levels of particles. The amounts are smaller for lower-lying cities, like Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

"Unless Chinese regulators become much more aggressive over the next few years, considerably more emissions could reach the United States. Chinese pollution is already starting to make it harder and more expensive for West Coast cities to meet stringent air quality standards, said Professor (Steven) Cliff of the University of California, slowing four decades of progress toward cleaner air."

That said, a little Chinese coal dust is still better than a North Korean missle.


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