SMOCS

 

SOUTHERN MARYLAND
OYSTER CULTIVATION SOCIETY
 
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SMOCS WISHES TO EXPRESS ITS GRATITTUDE TO ALL THOSE WHO HAVE SUPPORTED AND SPONSORED OUR ORGANIZATION.

For our list of sponsors click here.

SMOCS HAS NAMED THE OYSTER HABITAT IN BACK CREEK THE
"JOHN McHENRY MEMORIAL REEF"
IT LIES ON THE POINT 100 YARDS NORTHWEST OF THE OYSTER BAY CONDOMINIUMS.

 

SEE YOUR SUCCESSES! CLICK HERE FOR TWO MARVELOUS PHOTOS OF OUR LIVING REEFS.

 


 
 
 
Southern Maryland Oyster Cultivation Society

SMOCS

Cleaning local waters...one oyster at a time.

 

 

INFORMATION ABOUT A PAPER ANALYSING THE ADEQUACY OF REGULATIONS FOR MONITORING TOXIC AIR POLLUTION

INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT

With the steadily increasing evidence that human-generated pollution is accelerating extreme weather events, such as record heat waves, more powerful and frequent storms, extended droughts, torrential rains and floods, it is important to identify every tool for stopping and, eventually, reducing these threats. One tool in which Americans have invested confidence in obtaining protection from pollution is federal and state regulations that claim to protect public health and environment from toxic pollution and threats to the environment.

In 2014, U.S. federal and Maryland state regulators gave final approval to Dominion Cove Point (DCP) to liquefy natural gas mostly methane) so that they could export LNG to foreign countries. They authorized DCP to build a $4 billion liquefaction facility in Calvert County, Maryland immediately adjacent to a residential community with some 20,000 residents. In the face of strong opposition by nearby homeowners to the threat that this new facility would create to their health (from toxic pollutants) and safety (from a catastrophic explosion of highly volatile gases), federal and state regulators assured local individuals that they studied potential threats from this facility and adopted numerous protections that reduced those threats.

Because of numerous errors and inconsistencies in DCP submissions and statements by federal and state regulators, concerned citizens began to examine DCP’s past compliance with pollution regulations and the regulations themselves to determine exactly what protections were present. This investigation found four significant failures in the regulations. They:
1. Do not require that the air pollution estimates be validated by measuring “actual” emission levels. Instead, they direct the same air dispersion modeling that regulators used to project likely pollution levels. So, undetected errors in estimating methodologies could be repeated in “actual measurements,” thereby providing erroneous measures of pollution levels.
2. Measure ambient concentrations of air pollution over wide regions dozens of miles away, while ignoring the measurement of toxic air pollution concentrations in residential communities dozens of feet away from major sources of toxic emissions. Given that many of the toxic chemicals that DCP will emit are odorless, residents would have no idea of the dangerous plumes enveloping them. Furthermore, Dominion’s history of ignoring reporting regulatory requirements for excessive pollution emissions means that the first indications of sustained toxic pollution could first appear in epidemiological evidence of higher levels of pollution induced illnesses years after Dominion began operations.
3. Provide Dominion management discretion in reporting excessive emissions of harmful substances that could require costly down time or expensive repairs. Neither regulators nor state officials saw any potential conflict of interest in DCP’s reporting on excessive emissions, the repair of which could affect profits.
4. Obscure accurate and timely detection, analysis and reporting of surges in hazardous emissions because:
a. Peak toxic emissions are not routinely reported to regulators or the public, only total amounts rolled into rolling annual averages and
b. There are no requirements to notify nearby residents of dangerous surges in pollution that are less than catastrophic incidents.

The result of these regulatory failures is that, even if Dominion complied with all regulations, it could still periodically emit dangerously high levels of toxic materials for extended times without needing to provide timely reports of health risks to nearby residents.

This Air Monitoring Assessment provides the detailed analysis that led to the above findings. The Condensed Assessment - available as a pdf document at this link - provides a general overview of the study. The longer study contains detailed analysis and sources on which the analysis is based.

The full paper will be available in late September via our new website.
Contact Len@Seaaerie.com for more information.