EPA sets tighter standards for soot pollution

BrotherBart Posted By BrotherBart, Jun 14, 2012 at 9:14 PM

  1. BrotherBart

    Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division
    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    Northern Virginia
    The states sued to get the new standards enacted. Gonna be interesting to see how they apply them.


  2. fossil

    Accidental Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 30, 2007
    Bend, OR
  3. remkel

    Minister of Fire

    Jan 21, 2010
    Southwest NH
    Holy Moly! Are you kidding? 100% mortality rate? This is completely unacceptable and I am glad Dominici is on this issue! :)

    As for the EPA particulate, having to deal with EPA on a gulf basis, I can assure you that their figures stating only 6 counties will need particular attention will turn out to be incorrect. "We never anticipated things would be this bad" will be the line we see in the news.
  4. Adabiviak

    Feeling the Heat

    Dec 7, 2008
    Sierra Nevadas, California
    How is that measured? If the wind is blowing over your house one day, you might meet the standard, but if you're stack is becalmed, you might not? It seems like this needs a time dimension (per hour, or something like that).
  5. joecool85

    Minister of Fire

    Jan 24, 2010
    Central Maine
    I believe the current standard is per hour, no reason to believe the new one wouldn't also be.
  6. coaly

    Fisher Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    NE PA
    The EPA is expected to tighten soot pollution standards to between 12 and 13 micrograms per cubic meter of air from the current 15 micrograms.

    To put that into perspective, a cubic meter of air is an area as large as a normal US Postal mail box on a street corner. There are one million micrograms in a gram. A penny weighs about 2 grams, so cutting a penny into 2 million pieces gives you the particle size. So you can only have 12 or 13 of those particles in the mail box.

    This is measured where it comes out of the stack into the atmosphere and can be monitored directly using continuous measurement instrumentation or manual methods, or remotely using optical sensing systems.

    Keep in mind this is only particulate matter SIZE.

    Opacity is the measurement used to determine how much in a given time period. 0% being clear glass, 100% being a brick wall. 20% opacity is the current limit. Except for 6 minutes out of an hour where up to 40% opacity is acceptable.

    Visible Emissions Restrictions for Stationary Sources.

    (a) Except as provide in subparagraphs (b),(c),(d), or (e) of this paragraph, no person shall discharge
    into the atmosphere from any source of emission, particulate of an opacity greater than that
    designated as 20 percent opacity, as determined by a six (6) minute average.
    (b) During one six (6) minute period in any sixty (60) minute period, a person may discharge into the
    atmosphere from any source of emission, particulate of an opacity not greater than that designated
    as forty (40) percent opacity.

    Now this is just hypothetical, but does the cloud that results from dumping your ash pan or using your ash to fill pot holes on your dirt road count? It certainly becomes airborne. No?

    At least the EPA can't go much stricter. Atmospheric dust can be as large as 10 micrograms.

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