Tall claim

US nitrogen oxide emissions have reduced: EPA

By Lopamudra Banerjee Dhar
Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

a recent report of the us government claims that a programme has been remarkably successful in reducing summertime emissions of nitrogen oxides (nox) -- the prime culprits behind the formation of the polluting ground-level ozone (smog). As per the first annual nox Budget Trading Programme 2003: Progress and Compliance report of the us Environmental Protection Agency (epa), in eight northeastern states of the us along with the Columbia district, during the 2003 'ozone season', nox emissions from power plants and other sources were 30 per cent less than the 2002 levels. The epa claims that the programme cuts, when combined with the results of other nox control measures, means that the ozone season nox emissions have been reduced in these states by 70 per cent as compared to the 1990 levels. Moreover, emissions reductions occurred despite a power generation increase in 2003.

The nox budget trading programme is a market-based 'cap and trade' measure, which aims to reduce one million tonne of nox emissions and thereby improve air quality for more than 100 million people in the eastern us. But experts believe that this aim is nothing more than a charade. Says David McIntosh of the Natural Resources Defense Council: "The Bush administration has identified counties that will still have unhealthy levels of ground-level ozone in 2010 and 2015, notwithstanding the 'clean air' programmes of epa. Considering the population estimates of the us Census Bureau, almost 17.5 million residents of these counties will still be breathing unhealthy levels of smog in 2010 and about 14 million of them will still be breathing unhealthy levels of smog in 2015. The administration knows we can do better, but it refuses to take the necessary steps."

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