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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Center Only Environmental Group Supporting Nuclear Power


Indian Point nuclear plant circa 2001
 The Center for Environment, Commerce & Energy is the only environmental organization currently supporting nuclear power. The Center was also the first environmental group to publicly support nuclear power in 2000. Center President Norris McDonald, right at Indian Point in New York, was the first head of an environmental organization to support nuclear power. He is still the only head of an environmental organization that publicly supports nuclear power.

We are a small but powerful group and our outreach and education on the benefits of fission power in a global warming world are second to none. We have toured many (9) nuclear power plants and Yucca Mountain, presented testimony before the NRC and other government agencies including the New York City Council, spoken at churches and community groups, briefed ministers, intervened in state regulatory procedings, participated in forums, workshops and conferences, met with journalists and spoke on radio programs, worked with coalitions and participated in press conferences.

Asthma

SINGULAIR (montelukast sodium) is a prescription medicine (usually 10 mg tablets) that controls asthma in adults and children as young as 12 months. It does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. You should still have rescue medication available. SINGULAIR is a different kind of asthma controller in that it is a leukotriene blocker that helps control asthma symptoms for a full 24 hours. A leukotriene is an acid metabolite that functions as a chemical mediator of inflammation that is synthesized by cells in response to inflammation or tissue injury.

Uniphyl (Theophylline anhydrous) is a controlled-release tablet (usually 400 mg - 600 mg) that reduces asthma symptoms and improves breathing by opening airways in the lungs.for 24-hour dosing interval. Theophylline is a bronchodilator. Theophylline has two distinct actions in the airways of patients with reversible obstruction; 1) smooth muscle relaxation (i.e., bronchodilation) and 2) increases contractions of the diaphragm to draw more air into the lungs.

Albuterol Sulfate Inhalation Solution 0.083% is a liquid bronchodilator solution used in the nebulizer. It usually comes in plastic vials. To administer 2.5 mg of albuterol, administer the entire contents of one sterile unit dose vial (3mL of 0.083 inhalation solution) by nebulization.

Flovent (fluticasone propionate) is a corticosteroid (not anabolic steroids abused by some athletes) used to prevent asthma attacks. Flovent will not stop an asthma attack that has already started. It comes as an aerosol inhaler and suppresses substances in the lungs that trigger inflammation.

Albuterol Inhalation Aerosol Inhaler (Proventil, Ventolin and Warrick generic brand -- pocket inhaler) is used to prevent and treat wheezing, shortness of breath and troubled breathing that causes by asthma. It is delivered via oral inhalation in a pressurized aerosol metered-dose. It contains a microcrystaline suspension of albuterol in propellants (trichloromonofluoromethane and dichlorodifluoromethane) with oleic acid.

Clean Diesel Rule (Engines and Fuel)

One June 1, 2006 EPA began requiring refiners and fuel importers to cut the sulfur content of highway diesel fuel 97 percent, from 500 parts per million to 15. The Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) rule will not only enhance environmental protection, but will also prevent nearly 8,300 premature deaths and tens of thousands of cases of respiratory ailments such as bronchitis and asthma.

By addressing diesel fuel and engines as a single system, this action will produce the clean air equivalent of eliminating air pollution from 90 percent -- or about 13 million -- of today's trucks and buses. Once fully implemented, ULSD will result in the annual reduction of 2.6 million tons nitrogen oxides and 110,000 tons of particulate matter. Lowering the sulfur content will enable modern pollution-control technology to be effective on the 2007 cars, trucks and buses. Once these fuel and engine regulations are fully implemented, 2.6 million tons of smog-causing nitrogen oxide emissions will be reduced each year. Soot or particulate matter will be reduced by 110,000 tons a year.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Lead : (Pb) (Latin: plumbum) Atomic # 82 Atomic Wt 207

Lead, the heaviest and softest of common metals, is a bluish-white, silvery, gray metal that is very soft, malleable easily melted, cast, resists corrosion, ductile, high luster, rolled and extruded. Lead is a metal of bright luster, is very soft, highly malleable, ductile, a poor conductor of electricity and is very resistant to corrosion. Lead takes its greatest toll on small children. Even very low levels of lead can cause reduced IQs, learning disabilities and behavioral problems such as hypertension and reduced attention span in children. The effects of lead are often life long and irreversible.

Lead is a common contaminant found in tap water. Lead in drinking water usually originates between the water main in the street and the household faucet, so treatment from a central point outside of the home is neither logical or practical. Most lead in drinking water comes from lead lined pipes, lead solder and brass plumbing fixtures inside your home. In 1991, the U.S. EPA lowered the federal standard for the allowable level of lead in drinking water from 50 ppb (parts per billion) to 15 ppb.

Clean Air Mercury Rule : 1st Time Mercury Regulated

The Clean Air Mercury Rule is the first-ever rule to regulate mercury emissions from power plants. Finalized in March 2005 and reaffirmed in May, it is supposed to achieve an approximately 70 percent reduction in mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants when fully implemented. The Clean Air Mercury Rule creates a market-based cap-and-trade program that will permanently cap utility mercury emissions. The first phase of the rule sets a cap of 38 tons and in combination with the Clean Air Interstate Rule will reduce emissions from 48 tons to 31 tons beginning in 2010.

The new EPA rule is intended to cut emissions to 38 tons, a 21 percent reduction from 1999 levels (48 tons), in 2010 and to 15 tons, or about a 69 percent reduction, in 2018. Mercury can be found in home thermometers and school science labs, but enters humans primarily through the consumption of fish that have bioaccumulated mercury deposited from the atmosphere. From 1990 to 1999, total airborne emissions of mercury in the United States dropped from 209.6 tons to 113.2 tons, roughly 5 percent of worldwide manmade emissions. Mercury emissions from power plants are responsible for about 48 of the 113 tons. (Source: EPA)

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) " Reggie "

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, is a cooperative effort by Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. RGGI follows the California's greenhouse gas rules, which limit the amount of carbon dioxide and other gases that can be emitted from vehicle tailpipes. In December 2005 nine states announced an agreement to implement the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, as outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the Governors of the participating states. The states that agreed to sign the MOU are
Connecticut,
Delaware,
Maine,
New Hampshire,
New Jersey,
New
York,
Vermont.
Massachusetts
Oregon
On March 23, 2006, the participating states released a Draft Model Rule for public comment. The model set of regulations details the proposed program, as outlined in the MOU. Once finalized, the model rule will form the basis of individual state regulatory and/or statutory proposals to implement the program.

Ethanol Replaces MTBE as Oxygenate...........But

The 1990 Clean Air Act amendments required the use of reformulated gasoline (RFG) in metropolitan areas in noncompliance of the law. One requirement for RFG was that it contain 2 percent oxygen content by weight - - oxygenates. The two most economical oxygenates are Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) and ethanol. MTBE, which comes from the oil companies, quickly became the most widely used oxygenate, while ethanol, whicih comes from farmers, became a distant second.

By the mid-1990s, traces of MTBE began showing up in groundwater supplies. Oil companies became the targets of lawsuits from property owners and municipalities whose water had been affected. The fuel industry's best defense was that it was using MTBE to comply with the 2 percent oxygen content requirement and thus merely following the law. Of course, critics point out that the law did not specify the use of MTBE. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 repealed the 2 percent oxygen content requirement. The act also bans the use of MTBE beginning on May 6, 2006.

EPA already used its Energy Policy Act of 2005 authority to revoke the two percent oxygen content requirement for reformulated gasoline (RFG) nationwide in order to reduce production burdens. Currently, about 30 percent of gasoline is RFG. The revocation takes effect nationwide on May 6 and in California 60 days after the regulation's publication in the Federal Register.

MTBE Being Replaced with Ethanol All Over U.S.

Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) is a gasoline additive used to boost octane and clean the air. It was introduced in 1979 as a replacement for lead. It was adopted as an oxygenate after the passage of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments to reduce carbon monoxide emissions. Refiners were asked to come up with a gasoline additive that would help cut air pollution. While the use of MTBE has been very effective in reducing the emissions of carbon monoxide and toxics, the incidence of MTBE contamination of groundwater increased significantly.

Unfortunately, MTBE dissolves easily in water and it moves faster and farther in the ground than other gasoline components. Where tanks have leaked, it has contaminated the groundwater making the water undrinkable. MTBE is made by blending methanol and a byproduct of gasoline refining. It has contaminated groundwater and has led California, New York and 15 other states to ban MTBE EPA has taken preliminary steps to ban it nationally. Corn-based ethanol is replacing MTBE in gasoline in those states that have enacted bans.

Global Climate Change Is the # 1 Environmental Issue

Global warming is a very complex scientific issue. We use global warming and global climate change interchangeably because the basic issue is whether human activity has negatively influenced our atmosphere and climate. U.S. economic health currently outweighs climate concerns attributable to emissions from human activities. Yet, human, animal and plant health are essential to a vibrant economy. As such, an approach to addressing global climate management that will not damage our economy or health is best for the United States. We believe that humans cannot continually emit unlimited quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere without consequence.

There is disagreement among scientists about whether there has been a permanent increase in temperature over the past few decades and whether contributions of so called greenhouse gases (GHGs) from human activities are causing changes in our climate. The basic global warming issue revolves around the effects of less than 1% of all atmospheric gases, mostly carbon dioxide and methane. Nitrogen and oxygen comprise 99% the earth’s atmosphere (Nitrogen--78.1%, Oxygen--20.9%), Argon--0.9%, Neon--0.002%, Helium--0.0005%, Krypton--0.0001%, Hydrogen--0.00005%, Water vapor--0 to 4%, Carbon Dioxide--0.035%, Methane--0.0002%, and Ozone--0.000004%.

Squirrels and Tomatoes

We had no idea that squirrels were so fond of tomatoes. The Center's two tomato plants are providing nourishment for two local squirrels. They climb along the fence out back to the plants and pluck a nice green tomato and find a nice, safe spot to consume it. Fine with us. We are happy to help the local fauna.

Tomato plants are prolific and there is plenty to go around. And they seem to leave the ripe red ones for us. Thanks Mr. and Ms. Squirrel. There are still 10 tomatoes on one of the plants. Enjoy.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Producing Electricity & Producing Bombs Different

Ali Akbar Dareini's description of the role of heavy water in relation to uranium enrichment in his Washington Post article is a little confusing. Dareini states that a heavy water production facility will be used to help development a nuclear bomb. Although he does point out the difference between a light water reactor and a heavy water reactor he goes on to say the heavy water reactor would, "allow the reactor to run on natural uranium mined by Iran, forgoing the enrichment progress." This contradicts the need for uranium enrichment. If Iran can run a heavy water reactor without having to enrich the uranium, then they do not need to enrich uranium. This would seem to be fine with Israel and the West?

Moreover, if Iran has a uranium enrichment facility, it does not matter whether light water or heavy water is used in its nuclear power reactor. An enrichment facility alone can be used to enrich uranium or plutonium above the 90% purity level needed to produce a nuclear bomb. We mention this because we do not want the American public to get confused about the huge difference between nuclear bomb production and electricity production. They are two completely differenet types of facilities, operations and products.

Friday, August 25, 2006

1985 - 2006 : Twenty One Years of Green Service

The Center for Environment, Commerce & Energy (CECE) has 8 goals:

1. Protect the environment.
2. Promote the efficient use of natural resources.
3. Enhance human, animal and plant ecologies.
4. Increase participation in environmental movement.
5. Deliver information and services directly into communities.
6. Clean up neighborhoods by implementing toxics education, energy, water and clean air programs.
7. Include alternative points of view in environmental policy decision-making.
8. Resolve environmental issues through the application of practical environmental solutions.