In a July 18 article in the Birmingham News (Air quality standards could choke development in several Alabama counties) Ron Gore, head of air quality at the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, is quoted as making the following statement.
“But Gore said the dirty little secret about dirty air is that on real hot days, weather and wind determine ozone levels more than car exhaust or industrial emissions. That’s because ozone is not a pollutant that originates from man-made sources but is produced in the atmosphere by a chemical stew of pollutants and other substances.”
No mention of the detrimental health effects of ozone are cited in the rampant desire to attract new business to Jefferson and Shelby counties.
The National Institute of Health repudiates Mr. Gores slap dash evaluation of ozone chemistry.
Gore appears oblivious to the fact that people living in cities with high ozone levels have an over 30% increased risk of dying from lung disease according to the American Chemical Society.
The American Chemistry Council adamantly disagrees with Mr. Gore’s self serving comments.
Ground-level ozone is the main component of urban smog. It is formed by the photochemical reaction of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the atmosphere. In order to reduce ozone levels, the Clean Air Act regulates man-made emissions of both VOCs and NOx. There are several significant sources of VOC emissions, including natural or “biogenic” sources such as trees and vegetation, and man-made sources such as vehicle emissions, petroleum refining and distribution, and combustion sources. Significant VOC emissions also come from the use of organic solvents, most of which are classified as VOCs.
The ADEM policy of allowing pollution above the levels mandated by the EPA are not mentioned in Gores pitiful excuse. www.dampfang.com/examiner/x-6180-Birmingham-Science-News-Examiner~y2009m4d16-Bring-back-the-brown-skies-of-Birmingham
As a result of this persistent disobedience of the law Birmingham has the proud distinction of being one of the most polluted cities in the United States and has the highest rate of asthma. www.dampfang.com/examiner/x-6180-Birmingham-Science-News-Examiner~y2009m6d26-EPA-rating-Alabama
The health conditions resulting from ADEMs policy of business before health are documented at
If the state of Alabama had simply complied with the law when it was first enacted there would be no problem with health or business due to ozone but business was much more important that obeying the law or peoples health.