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Supreme Court Victory for Air Quality

Posted on April 29, 2014
by Wendy Stackhouse

emissions map

It’s very windy here in Southern California today–and hot. During fire season, we get a lot of smoke and particles coming from fires far away, but there are some places that receive other region’s air pollution every day. There will soon be a remedy for that thanks to the Supreme Court.

Reuters reports:

“By a 6-2 vote, the court said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency acted reasonably in requiring 28 states to reduce emissions from coal-fired power plants of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which can lead to soot and smog.”

In a 6-2 vote–Justices Scalia and Thomas dissenting–the Court ruled to limit emissions from power plants which “make it harder for downwind states to comply with the Federal air quality standards or national ambient air quality standards.”

At AirTek, we are happy that high-emissions states will not be able to pollute the air of their downwind neighbors. Of course, in California, we get our air from out over the Pacific, but we definitely feel for our easterly neighbors. Although it is hard to control air quality when it is damaged by the actions of others, we feel powerless. But we are not! There are many things we can do to improve both our indoor and outdoor environments:

  • Change your filters
  • Leave shoes outside
  • Use fans
  • Cook on back burner
  • Open the garage doors–We all know to open the garage before starting the car, but how about leaving the door open after you get home? There is still pollution coming from your car for a few minutes after you turn it off. Let it escape outside rather than leach into your home from the garage.

And our favorite:

  • Clean your ducts–Find a member of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (like AirTek) and set up a regular maintenance schedule. Your home is filled with pollutants from scented candles and air fresheners, household cleaning products, furniture and flooring, paint and varnish, car exhaust and cooking.

Which states are affected by the ruling? Check out our map!

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