Thursday, September 05, 2013


Is Yosemite Rim fire air pollution? Some Californians could get fined for it. | Alaska Dispatch
When the heavy smoke flows into the valley, the air pollution monitoring system doesn’t differentiate between the various sources, such as industry, automobiles, or wildfires, he says. If the region exceeds allowable AQI limits, it is hit with fines and loss of federal funds, he adds.

The Environmental Protection Agency does allow for exceptions, but they can take years to obtain. Mr. Sadredin notes that his agency is still awaiting approval of its application for an exception to violations that occurred during a record season of some 3,000 wildfires during 2008.

San Joaquin Valley residents are currently paying an additional $12 to renew their auto registrations, due to a $30 million fine imposed after air quality violations during a December 2012 fire, he adds.

Fuel buildup in the forests around Yosemite has been cited as a major factor in the scale and duration of the conflagration that officials now hope to contain no sooner than Sept. 20. Yet, ambient smoke from the necessary controlled burns also can negatively impact regions under strict air pollution standards.
Problematic climate science quirk could be caused by man-made soot, study says | Alaska Dispatch
A team of researchers has now pinned the perplexing glacial retreat on soot buoyed into the atmosphere as Europe chugged into its Industrial Age. The find offers a possible solution to a paradox in climate science: how could the Alpine glacier have receded when the European environment, at the time cold and wet, was primed for glacial expansion?
“Unfortunately, when we ‘look’ back in time like this, we can't simply pose a hypothesis and unequivocally prove or disprove it,” said Waleed Abdalati, a professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a co-author on the paper, in an email interview.

Even so, “we can't explain the melt any other way”...
Crews installing outlets for car heaters in West Valley High School parking lot - Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Local News
The outlets are being installed as part of an attempt to cut down on air pollution in the area. The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly
in December 2011 approved spending $800,000 provided by the federal government to cover the cost of the project.

None of the money for the installation will come out of the school district’s pocket, Morris said. He said that, in addition to the installation, the federal government will pick up the tab on the first three years of power costs from the outlets.

...Morris said those typically cost about $30,000 to supply with power each year.
The outlets should be ready in time for winter, and Foshee said he thinks it will help cut down on the number of students running out of the building during the school day to cold-start their cars.
“Kids are going to enjoy them. Those 40 below days we won’t have kids having to run out and start cars,” Foshee said.

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