Air Pollution and Environmental Quality
Environment refers to the surroundings. These could either be people, houses, factories or anything visible. Policy, on the other hand, is a term used to point out at rules or guidelines set to govern or protect something. In this case, the rules are set to guide the surrounding (Wu 184). Air pollution comes in when a surrounding gets overwhelmed by activities done by people in the name of earning a living (Knox 173). Human activities result in the emission of unwanted gases in the air. These make a given surrounding unbearable. To mention a few exercises; production in industries and vehicles emit fumes that make people sick or cause migration to safer sites.
A research conducted shows a direct relation between urbanization and air pollution. Most firms locate in the cities to exploit gains in production hence a good number of persons relocate looking for work and better life qualities. Apart from the firms offering employment and holding economies of scales, most towns tend to minimize how they spend their energy versus the delivery of essential services through infrastructure. A question here gets answered that the increase in population is equivalent to increase in wastage within the environment hence the air pollution. Therefore, the research proves that most of the work done before in this field is directly proportional to increase in the emission of carbon dioxide that was brought by increased activities due to a large number of persons in the urban sector seeking to improve their livelihood.
The researchers came up with three unique findings; where, emissions of local air pollutants increase according to a three quarters power law in population size; this concludes that, domestic emissions per capita decrease with a decrease in population. The other aspect focuses on a rough estimate of the linear relationship between the total monetary damages from emissions and population. These cover all aspects whether we consider the combined total damages from Carbon dioxide and local air pollution or just local pollution damages. Finally, the results show that the surroundings that implemented strict guidelines as pertain pollution, their environmental damages scale with population became much smaller power for such counties because they adhered to regulations due to previously being out of attainment with the Clean Air Act.
According to the Texas policy, the government enacted strict regulations that put control over pollution. One of the measures employed was the clean air Act that classified about 1,500 Texas facilities as significant air pollution sources. These included the dozens of refineries and petrochemical plants that line the Houston Ship Channel. The law requires these facilities to have federal operating permits but gives states authority to craft their own permitting systems. We are defending our flexible air allowing program because it works,”” says Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Chairman Bryan W. Shaw. (Haney, np) Environmental Protection Agency’s philosophy of more bureaucracy by federalizing state permits will not lead to cleaner air but will drive up energy costs and kill job creation at a time when people can least afford it.
On July 26, the Texas Office of the Attorney General took legal action on behalf of Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and asked the 5th United States Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans to overturn Environmental Protection Agency’s rejection of the state’s air permitting program. In its petition, Texas contends that its plan “”improves air quality while helping regulators and regulated entities operate more efficiently.”” (Haney, np) “”The last thing Environmental Protection Agency wants to do is take over issuing air permits in Texas, but it got forced to that point over the years.”” Since 2000, airborne ozone levels in the state have decreased 22 percent, while nitrogen oxide emissions from industrial sources such as chemical plants, refineries, and electric utility plants have been cut by 53 percent, beating national averages, according to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
Environmental injustice is among the problems affecting each level of government. The term describes conditions in which more vulnerable communities experience huge and unwanted burdens of environmental health risks. Example of such risks is; air pollution, which with the United States has got a wide range of documentation in more than 140 studies covering a range of pollutants and United States locations, found higher air pollution exposures for lower-income groups and race-ethnicity minority groups (Clark et al., np).
Also, the issue of regulating air pollution has brought conflict between Texas and Washington since President Barack Obama took office. The dispute extended to become a political issue in the heated race for governor. Environmental Protection Agency’s action is a part of a concerted effort by the Administration to transfer power from the states to the federal government. This was maintained by Perry, who is the officer since 2000 and running for the third term. During the run for re-election, Perry made sure to deliver a relentless anti-Washington message. The book championing states’ rights, “”Fed Up,”” is scheduled to go on sale before the November elections. This legal action is the next step in our on-going commitment to fight back against the Obama Administration’s ever-widening effort to undermine our air quality initiatives and force a heavy-handed federal agenda on the people of Texas,”” Perry says in a statement.
Importance of Changes in Environmental Injustice for Public Health helps to work out as a preliminary step to explore the potential health relevance of the observed gaps in NO2 exposures. Comparisons done of estimated exposures to health-based air quality guidelines were; the proportion of non-whites versus whites living in block groups with NO2 concentrations above the World Health Organization annual guideline [40lg=m3 (corresponds approximately to 21ppb) NO2; WHO 2005] and below 50% of the WHO guideline (<11ppb). [All block groups were below the U.S. EPA annual standard for NO2 (53ppb) in 2000 and 2010.] We estimated potential health impacts for one outcome [ischemic heart disease (IHD) mortality, the most common cause of death in the United States (CDC 2015)] attributable to the diference in national mean NO2 concentration for non-whites and whites in 2000 and 2010 (Clark et al., np). An assumption made that the relative risk(RR)of IHD mortality associated without door annual average NO2 concentration was 1.066, [95 percent confedence interval (CI): 1.015, 1.119] per 4:1ppb NO2 and this was based on a cohort of 74,000 adults in California during 1982-2000 (Clark et al., np).
A fundamental knowledge gap is whether environmental injustice has changed over time in the United States (Mohai and Saha 2015; Hajat et al. 2015). Longitudinal studies are needed to evaluate impacts of environmental policies on equity (Bento et al. 2015; Post et al. 2011), to explore the underlying causes of environmental injustice (Pastor et al. 2001), to enable tracking of environmental justice outcomes over time (Payne-Sturges and Gee 2006), and to test relationships between health disparities and exposure disparities over time (Mohai et al. 2009).
Air quality improved substantially in the United States after the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990). From 2000 to 2010 estimated annual anthropogenic NO2 emissions in the United States decreased by 50% (U.S. EPA 2016). It is unknown to what extent these estimated emission-reductions impacted NO2 exposure disparities by race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. To investigate, we combined NO2 air pollution data from a spatially precise (Census block scale) temporal land use regression model (Bechle et al. 2015) with Census demographic data (MPC 2011) and then estimated changes in TRAP environmental injustice over a decade (2000 to 2010) for the contiguous United States.
Also, research done in Texas EPA has reached out to industry, the environmental community, and TCEQ to discuss how to convert flexible permits into more detailed licenses that comply with the Clean Air Act. The agency is offering an option that would allow these permit holders to ensure compliance through voluntary third-party audits. In exchange for making any pollution-control upgrades deemed necessary during the review, companies would get a pledge from EPA not to pursue any enforcement actions for past violations.
During 2000 to 2010, estimated annual average exposures to outdoor Nitrogen dioxide air pollution declined across all race-ethnicity and socioeconomic groups [range of mean change: ’33% to ’42% (’3:5ppb to ’8:6ppb)]. The most exposed groups in 2000 experienced, on average, the most significant reductions in NO2 from 2000 to 2010. Disparities in NO2 exposure were more substantial by race-ethnicity than by other demographic characteristics (income, education, age) in 2000 and 2010, with higher exposures for race-ethnicity minorities. The estimated national mean nonwhite white NO2 disparity decreased from 5:0ppb in 2000 to 2:9ppb in 2010. Most of this reduction in the national mean nonwhite white NO2 variation over time is attributable to cuts in outdoor NO2 concentrations, suggesting that existing orts to reduce TRAP are also reducing TRAP exposure disparities by race-ethnicity over time. Despite these improvements in total exposures, relative exposure disparities persisted, with non-whites remaining exposed to 37 percent more NO2 than whites on average in 2010, and 2.5 times more likely than whites to live in a block group with NO2 concentration above World Health Organization guidelines in 2010. Overall, these ndings suggest that continued improvements to air quality may further reduce TRAP exposure disparities by race-ethnicity. However, eliminating disparities may require additional policies and interventions that target the underlying causes of environmental injustice.
From 2000 to 2010 estimated annual anthropogenic NO2 emissions in the United States decreased by 50% (U.S. EPA 2016). It is unknown to what extent these estimated emission-reductions impacted NO2 exposure disparities by race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Most firms locate in the cities to exploit gains in production hence a good number of persons relocate looking for work and better life qualities. Apart from the firms offering employment and holding economies of scales, most towns tend to minimize how they spend their energy versus the delivery of essential services through infrastructure. Therefore, environmental injustice is among the issues affecting each level of government. The term describes conditions in which more vulnerable communities experience huge and unwanted burdens of environmental health risks.