Tag Archives | Pollution

UM Students Build Natural System to Reduce Anacostia Pollution and Flooding

Photo by Kristen MarkhamThe Northeast Branch of the Anacostia River runs through the heart of Edmonston, Md. In somewhat of a give-and-take relationship, runoff from Edmonston’s streets and parking lots carries many pollutants into the river; when it rains, the Anacostia “gives back” in the way of flash floods caused by overwhelming amounts of stormwater coming from upstream communities.

Recently, 24 students from the University of Maryland partnered with local agencies to develop a natural system that could alleviate the flooding problems and decrease the amounts of pollutants flowing into the Anacostia River Watershed by building a bioretention system at Tanglewood Park. Continue Reading →


President Obama Announces National Fuel Efficiency Policy

President ObamaPresident Obama today – for the first time in history – set in motion a new national policy aimed at both increasing fuel economy and reducing greenhouse gas pollution for all new cars and trucks sold in the United States. The new standards, covering model years 2012-2016, and ultimately requiring an average fuel economy standard of 35.5 mpg in 2016, are projected to save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the life of the program with a fuel economy gain averaging more than 5 percent per year and a reduction of approximately 900 million metric tons in greenhouse gas emissions. This would surpass the CAFE law passed by Congress in 2007 required an average fuel economy of 35 mpg in 2020.

“In the past, an agreement such as this would have been considered impossible,” said President Obama. “That is why this announcement is so important, for it represents not only a change in policy in Washington, but the harbinger of a change in the way business is done in Washington. As a result of this agreement, we will save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of the vehicles sold in the next five years. And at a time of historic crisis in our auto industry, this rule provides the clear certainty that will allow these companies to plan for a future in which they are building the cars of the 21st century.” Continue Reading →


60 Percent of Americans Live in Areas Where Air is Dirty Enough to Endanger Lives

SmogThe 10th annual American Lung Association State of the Air report released today finds that six out of ten Americans — 186.1 million people — live in areas where air pollution levels endanger lives.

State of the Air 2009 acknowledges substantial progress against air pollution in many areas of the country, but finds nearly every major city still burdened by air pollution. Despite America’s growing “green” movement, the air in many cities became dirtier. The State of the Air report, found at www.stateoftheair.org, includes a national air quality “report card” that assigns A-F grades to communities across the country. The report also ranks cities and counties most affected by the three most widespread types of pollution (ozone–or smog, annual particle pollution, and 24-hour particle pollution levels) and details trends for 900 counties over the past decade. Continue Reading →