Saturday, June 9, 2012

EPA Mandates Cleaner Air Near Active Volcano

Kilauea volcano has been erupting for 30 years and covers the western side of the Big Island with volcanic haze on a daily basis.  The "Vog"  is comprised mostly of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and spreads across the entire island chain under certain wind conditions.

We Hawaiians already pay the highest electric rates in the nation. The EPA says Big Island residents must pay $8 million dollars more per year to improve visibility at Hawaii Volcanos National Park.

From the EPA website

The EPA is projecting that without additional controls, SO2 emissions on the Big Island will increase between 2005 and 2018.  SO2 is the key anthropogenic visibility-impairing pollutant in Hawaii. Therefore, we propose to determine that additional SO2 control measures are needed on the Big Island in order to ensure reasonable progress toward the national goal of no anthropogenic visibility impairment.

71% of the anthropogenic SO2 emissions on the Big Island comes from electric power plants. Therefore, these power plants were considered for additional controls. EPA estimates that the cost effectiveness of this control is approximately $5,500 per ton of SO2 reduced... an annual cost increase of over $7.9 million/year. The benefit of this change would be a reduction in SO2 emissions of at least 1,400 tons per year.

The "benefit" of reducing of anthropogenic SO2 by 1400 tons PER YEAR? Well, Kilauea volcano emits as much as 32,000 tons of SO2... PER DAY!!!  According to the EPA's own data, Kilauea emits 1.2 million tons of SO2 per year. So, for just $8 million PER YEAR Big Island residents can expect even higher electric bills, with exactly, no change in visibility.

Conclusion: The EPA is the main source of anthropogenic visibility impairment.

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