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Pull out your gas masks, folks.

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Misu, Nov 22, 2002.

  1. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.


    "WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Bush administration on Friday eased clean air rules to allow utilities, refineries and manufacturers to avoid having to install expensive new anti-pollution equipment when they modernize their plants. "

    Perhaps the EPA could begin selling Smog-knives - that way, if we wish for clean air, we can simply cut out a space. :nut:

    wtf is wrong with the EPA?
  2. jamming

    jamming Banned

    It allows for potential retrofiting instead of including it in the original design, these new plants are still more efficent at cutting out smog from the older ones that are operating now. Then as the plant recoops a bit of profit with the removal of the older more polluting plant off line, then they can either rebuild the older plant or decommision it. Also after recouping profit they can then economically retofit the newer plants. This is not as good immediately for the enviroment, but it is better than not being able to bring online the new plants. In the past we could of afford this with the economy doing so well, but now we have to be concious of the costs, where as we could afford it when business is good we have to make these changes when the economy is not doing as well.
  3. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    And I quote:

    "The new EPA regulation will allow industry to:

    Set higher limits for the amount of pollution that can be released by calculating emissions on a plant-wide basis rather than for individual pieces of equipment.

    Rely on the highest historical pollution levels during the past decade when figuring whether a facility's overall pollution increase requires new controls.

    Exempt increased output of secondary contaminants that result from new pollution controls for other emissions. "

    Setting higher limits for pollution allowed to be emitted is good for the environment?

    Retrofitting isn't the problem - the problem is that part of this measure allows these companies to increase the amount of garbage they can spew into our air, legally.
  4. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Greaaaaat... Way to go, Mr. President...

  5. Stiofan

    Stiofan Master Po

    Yea, but if it gets them to modernize the plants and thereby reduce the pollution, that's not so bad. All in the way it's worded, I suppose.
  6. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    How can it reduce pollution, if this measure is allowing them to INCREASE the amount they can give off?

    Now if you mean by modernizing the plants, they increase their energy output, and per plant the pollution increases but per kilowatt hour of energy created pollution emissions go down, then I can see where you guys are coming from.

    But as it is worded right now, and of course I'm only going by this one teensy article, it makes no mention of plants modernizing to increase energy output. It did say the measure allows for increased emissions of pollution.
  7. jamming

    jamming Banned

    The difference is between jobs and no jobs, a county just north of the Florida border in Georgia just lost all 2500 jobs because of federal regulations coming online that made it impossible for the company to be running in the present paper market. Now that plant and the money it would be making to put into the fund to clean up the old pulp plant site is gone. No more money to continue the clean-up there. So they now have to shelve the clean-up and lose ground, as all ready done procedures are not completed allowing recontamination. Yep it was so good for the enviroment there. Not all plants are Energy Plants.
  8. Stiofan

    Stiofan Master Po

    I would assume that taking an old inefficient, polluting plant and replacing it with a modern, less polluting plant (even if it doesn't meet the standards that were just replaced) would be a good thing. What I'm trying to say is, you operate a plant built with 1960's pollution mitigation technology, but it is economically unfeasable to replace it with one meeting 2002 standards, so you are now able to build one which meets 1996 standards, and you won't go broke doing so. That's better than keeping the old plant running.
  9. mikeky

    mikeky Member

    Some of the advantages and examples of the new rules can be found at:



    Seems the overall impact to the environmental will be minimal, with overall CAA limits still in place, there's just more ways to ultimately get there.
  10. Techie2000

    Techie2000 The crowd would sing:

    And I think to myself, what a wonderful world...:cry:
  11. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    This is actually a boon to the less industrialized states, as they generally do not have aggressive state level environmental enforcement offices. The vast majority of newly produced industrial equipment runs far more efficiently than older equipment and by that same virtue, it is generally more environmentally friendly.

    The more heavily industrialized states have fairly aggressive statewide environmental enforcement agencies that are not required to lower their standards to the new federal levels and they are free to enact more stringent standards...as does California, Michigan and Wisconsin, to cite a few examples.
  12. jamming

    jamming Banned

    Please Techie2000 if I told you how some of those chips were made in third world countries, you would swear off using a computer. Lets just say their are many companies that get rich by not installing the containment systems that would be required to have in the US or other Countries. The Ohio River was consider a biologically dead river in 1968 from Louisville, KY to Evansville, IN a distance of about 150 miles. It now has some really decent sports fishing going on it. I just don't think that some of you have no idea how things have improved in many area's. Just look at the acid rain problems that were existing in New York and some Canadian Provinces. It is not the level of problem it once was.

    I was a rabid enviromentalist when I was a child, then as I got older they kept coming up with new problems, but they were generally always smaller than the one which was just eliminated. It is like Rev. Jackson, things cannot get better or it means that they will start to become concerned about other issues. They try to keep everyone worked up on this and that, then you realize that after awhile that it like a teacher that keeps piling on projects after you complete one successfully or a boss that rewards success with more work for the same pay. They don't want your success they want to keep you in crisis mode forever.
  13. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    In my morning reading, I've been given cause to reconsider that last statement. A snippet from the San Francisco Chronicle
    While the California Air Resources Board is notoriously duplicitous, I will have to get a copy of the new EPA regulations and digest it before I can dismiss Ms. Witherspoon's arguments entirely. There may be new regulations forcing state's compliance on the matter, but for now, I have my doubts.

    BACT or Best Available Control Technology, which is the standard applied to new equipment is in many cases actually a hindrance to the stated goals for a number of reasons. The largest of which being that maintenance and upkeep on some of this equipment to keep it in compliance is so onerous that it is oftentimes preferable to keep older, less efficient grandfathered equipment in place rather than upgrade.

    The move to facility wide emission caps will absolutely have a positive impact and actually lower emissions as companies will indeed replace less efficient grandfathered equipment with newer equipment without BACT that will actually pollute less. I have two large pieces of equipment whose days are now numbered. We will be gaining efficiency and lowering our NOX and CO2 emissions substantially.

    The added benefit to the economy is also there...actual incentive for capital equipment purchases. A million and a half here, 3 million there and pretty soon, you're talking about serious impetus to the capital equipment industries.
  14. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    It looks like I can put those equipment orders on perpetual hold. Two of the nation's worst areas for air pollution are not affected by the new rules, Southern California and the Austin-Galveston region in Texas.

    After talking with our environmental attorneys, it seems that the SCAQMD, at least privately, isn't all that happy about it either. By their own estimates, the shift from micromanaging individual equipment emissions to facility caps would have netted a 9-12% reduction in overall emissions in the first 3 years due to upgraded equipment.
  15. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    Coot, from what you are saying this assualt on the environment by the Bush administration is going to have a reduction in emissions? Do I understand that right and can you point at sources. I want to share this.
  16. mikeky

    mikeky Member

    So you will continue to need those gas masks after all. Based on past abuses, in some cases it is best to micromanage emissions; this isn't one of them, and I can't understand the hype surrounding it.
  17. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    Actually Shiny, it's the confluence of economics and physics. Here on the left coast, most of our electricity is generated by burning natural gas. Best Available Control Technology requires the use of ammonia based selective catalytic reduction...an ammonia scrubber if you will, to reduce NOX emissions.

    In a large industrial facility compressed air is used extensively. Electric motor driven compressors are the rule of thumb. Natural gas driven air compressors are available, we even have one. It also has an ammonia SCR on it. We run the gas compressor about 1/2 the time. While it is substantially cheaper to operate, servicing of the engine and scr to remain in compliance limits its use.

    The efficiency in using electricity to make compressed air is about 27%. The efficiency in using an IC engine is about 46%. That increased load on the generator eats up the emissions savings plus some.

    We have a 3 large melt furnaces, 1 is electric and the other two are large gas radiant burners that are grandfathered. In this case the opposite is true. The gas furnaces are about 16% efficient and release literally tons of NOX and CO and CO2. The electric furnace is 92% efficient. The difference in the price of energy makes it a wash. There is no incentive to switch the gas furnaces as the change in our Title V permit would further hamstring us. If, however we were on a facilities cap rather than an individual equipment cap, we could reap the savings from being under the cap and trade the emissions savings to a power producer and it becomes a win-win as the power producer can make a lot more useful electricity with the credits than the use we're getting out of melting zinc.

    I can cite a lot more examples, but I think you can get the picture. I don't have references per se, but it is just a matter of doing the math.
  18. jamming

    jamming Banned

    Without cost as a consideration you would have $1.5 Million Houses and $150,000 Autos as the minimum standard for the country. Your bread would be $100 a loaf and your salary would be the same. What they are doing is moving standards to a process of "levelized costing" where the next dollar invested above the minimum level will give more control of pollutants for that buck. This is called fiscal responsibility for the Democrats in the audience. :_

    BTW do you have a fireplace, if you do you are killing off the elderly in the community as your are putting out many hundreds of thousand more pollutants of particulate matter than a pack of cigarette's, but I love a fire in the fireplace even though I don't have one.
  19. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    Shiny, I can, if it's of some import to you, develop a table with the supporting numbers that will explain this in some detail. Suffice to say, given the number of years that I've worked in industry and the fact that businesses move on projects only when there's a return on invetment, I believe what our attorneys were told by the SCAQMD.

    Since my company is enjoined from acting under the facility cap, I can with substantial accuracy, provide you numbers next week that are absolutely indicative of what our emission reductions would be if we were allowed to participate under the 'relaxed' guidelines.

    If my company was located in Knoxville, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Phoenix or anywhere but Southern California or Houston or Galveston and we were under a facility cap with the requirement that we reduce our total emissions by 20%, I can guarantee you that without batting an eyelid, we'd spend between $4M and $5M on more efficient equipment and not miss a lick...hell we'd want to do it as the payback would be around 25 months and we could actually lower the price of our products.
  20. Domh

    Domh Full Member

    What I cant understand is why the Bush administration didnt spin this policy change in a vastly different way - that they didnt makes me suspicious.

    If they feel that they were making a move thats good for the environment long term and good for business short term, surely they knew that the 'nays' were going to jump all over it, crying foul.

    Are they simply assuming the issue is too complicated for the average dumb American, are they just trying to run it by so nobody notices for long or is there something to hide?

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