Tuesday, April 29, 2008

It's Air Quality Awareness Week!

Did you know?

Wow - it really snuck up on me this year!

There's an article in the local newspaper today: "Improving air quality won't be easy."

The main focus of the State Division of Environmental Quality is on encouraging people to not mow their lawns when pollution is bad.

Isn't that a little like quilting for peace? A nice gesture, but definitely "symbolism over substance."

They say lawnmowers and other small engines are BIG polluters, since they are not engineered to be low-emissions. But when I think of a few thousand lawn mowers running, and compare that mental image with the daily 20-mile-long flow of bumper-to-bumper traffic, it just seems silly to emphasize the lawn-mower part.

To their credit, the DEQ also encourages us to:
- combine car trips
- carpool
- take the bus

But those suggestions are with a nudge and a wink. Most people seem to think, "That would be wonderful. Let everybody else do that! I'll keep driving alone."

SOMETHING will have to give... maybe. If you've been paying attention, you know that the Federal EPA has lowered the ozone pollution standard, effective this year. And the new standard puts Treasure Valley out of attainment, at least historically. Which would threaten federal funds for road expansion, etc. Except that frequently the standards end up being symbolism over substance, too.

Maybe we can buy some "pollution credits" or something.

1 comment:

Clancy said...

I think everybody should be issued "credit" based upon mileage of 10,000 miles/year. If you don' t use them , you can sell them to others.