As more people have become aware of the science behind climate change, terms such as air pollution have become buzzwords. While most people have heard of air pollution before, they may not fully understand what it is or how it affects the population and environment. In the simplest terms, air pollution is a mixture of particles and gases in the air that are not only harmful to the health and wellbeing of humans, but also the environment.
Sections 108 and 109 of the Clean Air Act govern the establishment, review, and revision of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for six air pollutants (called criteria air pollutants), and the standards are regularly updated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Whenever the EPA establishes new or revises existing NAAQS, each state must create an implementation plan to meet the standards and submit it to the US EPA for approval. States need to be in compliance with the new standards within two years. If a state fails to meet the standards, then the state must create another implementation plan outlining the strategies and emissions control measures that show how the area will improve the air quality. The Clean Air Act also mandates that the areas that fail to meet the NAAQS standards adopt specific control requirements.
People with heart or lung diseases, elderly adults, and children are considered “sensitive” groups, and are often affected more severely by air pollution than the average healthy adult. According to a study published by the National Institute of Health, some of the direct effects of air pollution on the body include asthma, allergies, COPD, lung cancer, fetal development problems, and other respiratory diseases. Some of the effects on the environment from air pollution include acid rain, algae blooms, damage to agriculture & wildlife, and holes in the ozone layer.
Harmful particles in the air, such as dust, pollen, mold, soot, chemicals, and smoke can cause damage to the respiratory system, as well as gases such as ozone, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide. Air pollution changes from day to day and sometimes even hour to hour. The Ohio EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Division of Air Pollution Control releases hourly air quality index reports, which provide simple information on local air quality, the health concerns for different levels of air pollution, and how people can protect themselves when pollutants reach unhealthy levels.
The average daily air particle pollution in Ohio is 11.87 ug/m3 (micrograms/cubic meter), which is the 2nd highest in the nation. Due to the breathing complications that air pollution can cause, those with chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma, the very young, and the elderly are urged to stay inside on days when the particulate matter is higher than average.
As of right now, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has reported only 3% of energy consumed in Ohio is sourced from renewable, green resources. The vast majority of energy produced is from coal (47%) and natural gas (34%), both of which are major contributors to air pollution.
Trebel has the energy knowledge and expertise to assist local governments in designing a plan to reduce energy cost while also reducing the local carbon footprint. As renewable energy becomes more popular among residents, communities that provide aggregation programs are looking for ways to include renewable energy options. Trebel has developed relationships with multiple suppliers that can offer 100% renewable energy (or a percentage of renewable energy). This can be accomplished by using renewable sources for the aggregation rate, or alternately, by offering a separate opt-in program with renewable options. As solar and wind become more viable, and less expensive, communities are looking to get ahead of the curve.
Trebel has the renewable energy expertise to help meet your community’s renewable energy needs!