Disappointing (Except, Perhaps, to VW): EPA Wants to Scale Back Monitoring for Car and Truck Pollution
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By Frank O’Donnell, Clean Air Watch
This is terribly disappointing news.
The US EPA has very quietly proposed scaling back efforts to monitor car and truck pollution near roadways. The pollution at issue is nitrogen dioxide — the very sort of emissions at the center of the Volkswagen scandal.
EPA has proposed to reverse plans to monitor for the pollutant near roadways of cities between 500,000 and 1,000,000 people https://www3.epa.gov/airquality/nitrogenoxides/actions.html
EPA had promised in 2010 to beef up the monitoring as part of a plan to update national air quality standards for the pollutant, which comes from, among other things, cars, trucks and coal-burning. The beefed-up monitoring was one of EPA’s biggest selling points in an otherwise lackluster decision.
EPA is claiming now that preliminary monitoring at bigger cities shows these additional monitors aren’t needed.
HOWEVER: There is increasing evidence that nitrogen dioxide is more dangerous that previously acknowledged. Even the EPA recently admitted:
There is now stronger evidence for a relationship between long-term exposure to NO2 and respiratory effects, particularly the development of asthma in children. Results suggest that short-term exposure to NO2 may be associated with cardiovascular effects and premature mortality and that long-term exposure may be associated with cardiovascular effects, diabetes, poorer birth outcomes, premature mortality, and cancer…
Well, if you don’t look for a problem, you won’t find it. Volkswagen might like this news. But we expect something better from EPA.