Headline: The air quality monitor in Liberty Boro is now in compliance with EPA guidelines based on the three year average reading from 2009-2011. Particulate matter of 2.5 microns or less is measured at 15 micrograms per liter, the current standard. Thus, the Liberty monitors, which have been the only ones in Allegheny County registering levels above the three year standard and have brought down the wrath of the American Lung Association and the Heinz Endowments on the County and region as not being in compliance with EPA guidelines will have to be replaced by some other air quality villain.
The County and the Southwest Pennsylvania region have been wrongfully and scurrilously labeled as a poor air quality region because of a couple of monitors that detected particulate matter concentrations above the EPA standard. No matter that the rest of the region was in compliance and that several counties with no monitors were caught in that smear despite the absence of any evidence of their air quality being out of compliance.
One call which will certainly arise is that the guidelines need to be lowered. The current 15 microgram per liter standard will not be low enough to ensure respiratory health. Ironically, even if the guideline were cut to 12 micrograms, only Liberty would be out of compliance. And, as a result, the region would once again be labeled as having poor air quality despite the obvious massive improvements in air cleanliness. Some will not be happy until we have pre-colonial levels of particulates in the air even though we cannot be sure what they might have been. One can liken this to the cries for more forest land although forested acreage has been stable over a century.
As sure as robins returning in the spring, along comes the American Lung Association with its preposterous perennial pollution rankings. The Pittsburgh region is tarred as one of the nation’s worst-ranking third this year-because of readings taken at one monitoring station in Liberty Borough. No matter to the geniuses at the Lung Association that other monitors in the region, which covers a seven county area, are well below target limits for pollution levels.
Local officials have followed Allegheny Institute analysis and recommendations to fight back against this pseudo science and call the Lung Association conclusions what they are: drivel.
Hearing the reasonable complaint of county officials against the tarring over hundreds of square miles of the region with the brush of one monitor’s readings, the Lung Association responds with a lame brained excuse. Their spokesman’s comment? People from the metropolitan area travel into and out of those areas (with high monitor readings) to work, shop, visit and travel. It would be interesting to know just how many residents of Butler, Washington or Armstrong County make it to Liberty Borough each day to work, shop, or travel. Indeed, one might actually want to know how many West Deer, Moon or Ross Township residents get to and spend 20 minutes in Liberty Borough in a year before using the silly explanation offered for their rationale.
The Lung Association’s justification for smearing Pittsburgh is pure politics. If looney tunes science and analysis can be used to shut down the coke plant causing Liberty Borough’s problem that would suit the zealots in the Green movement and the global warming religion adherents perfectly fine. After all, for these true believers, the ends justify the means as we have seen recently with the global warming hoax.
Tripe must be recognized for what it is and called out otherwise politically correct nonsense will completely destroy reasoned, rational debate and policies.