The NC GOP's assault on environmental regulations continues

Stripping away NC's Air Toxics program:

The state Environmental Management Commission recently approved changes to North Carolina’s rules for controlling toxic air pollution, in an effort to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens and improve government efficiency while maintaining protections for public health.

The legislatively mandated rule changes would exempt most facilities from state air toxics rules if they comply with federal rules for controlling hazardous air pollutants, unless the DAQ director determines that their emissions pose unacceptable health risks. The changes developed by DAQ alter some of the minimum requirements for facilities needing toxics evaluations and would exempt certain natural gas/propane combustion sources and emergency generators from the state rules.

For all you grassroots Democrats and establishment Dems out there arguing about who is using what rooms in Goodwin House, the secret weapon for winning elections in November is right here in front of your faces. Republicans have endangered the health of North Carolinians for a couple of years now, and the evidence is overwhelming. GOTV begins yesterday.

DAQ grants Titan Cement new and dirtier air quality permit

Once again, the health of North Carolinians takes a back seat:

The release notes the permit also changes the facility’s limits for particulate emissions “in light of recent changes in methods that the EPA allows cement plant operators to use in calculating their emissions.”

“The plant would not actually be changing its emissions controls,” the release states, “but the EPA changed the averaging time for calculating emissions, which results in a higher limit for annual emissions. Under the permit, Titan’s emissions limits are increased by 22 tons/year for fine particles (PM 2.5) and by 10 tons/year for coarse particles (PM 10).”

What a crock. If no changes in emissions controls are being made, Titan should be emitting the same amount of particulate matter as vouched for in the previous permit. The frequency of testing or sampling averages should make no difference. Unless they were lying in their original permit application, that is, something that many have suspected all along.

NC GOP begins systematic dismantling of NC's air toxics program

What a wise man builds, an ignorant man can tear down:

The North Carolina legislature this year exempted pollution sources from state oversight if they are also covered by federal rules and don’t pose an “unacceptable risk” to human health. Among the recommendations are setting looser screening thresholds for facilities that release pollutants directly upward, a change that would apply to about one-third of all facilities.

Because if it goes directly upwards, it can't hurt us, right? Fucking idiots. More philosophy: A civilization guided by those who are most lacking in wisdom is doomed to failure.

Public hearings on Titan's (newest) draft air permit

Here are the where's & when's:

The first two hearings will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 27 at the McKeithan Center on the North Campus of Cape Fear Community College, 4500 Blue Clay Road, Castle Hayne. The third hearing will be held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 29 in the Kenan Auditorium at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, 601 S. College Road.

And here is the permit itself (chubby pdf):

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