Pasadena Air Quality

October 25, 2016

The Greater Pasadena Council recently invited the Maryland Department of the Environment to talk to our members about poor air quality in Pasadena after learning that the Environmental Protection Agency had declared the area in violation of the Clean Air Act.
 
Did you know that we lived in a polluted "nonattainment" area for sulfur dioxide?
 
The EPA designated northern Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City and portions of Baltimore County as being in this sulfur dioxide nonattainment zone in July. Emissions from the local Wagner power plant are blamed. Apparently this plant is the dirtiest in the region and emits dangerous levels of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere.
 
The GPC believes our area deserve to know what this means for our health.
 
Accordingly, the GPC penned letters to both the EPA and to MDE Secretary Ben Grumbles requesting that they include funding of approximately $200,000 in the fiscal 2018 budget to purchase, install and maintain air-quality monitoring equipment in close proximity to the Wagner power plant.
 
Time is of the essence, as the budget process for Maryland is underway.
 
Tad Aburn, the director of MDE's Office of and Radiation Management, told our members on Oct. 5 that he considers this request a higher priority than requests for other air monitoring stations across the state because of the potential for health impacts in Pasadena.
 
The GPC believes it is prudent to measure the levels of pollution in the Pasadena area where health risks are greatest, in spite of the fact that sulfur dioxide concentrations have fallen in recent years due to use of low-sulfur coal.
 
The GPC represents 90-odd homeowner associations in Pasadena and operates exclusively for charitable, environmental, public safety and educational purposes in promoting the social welfare of area residents.
 
ALLAN STRAUGHAN
Chairman
JOHN R. LEOPOLD
Environmental Committee Chairman
Greater Pasadena Council

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