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. US Regions Paying For Foreign Pollution Warns Business Group
The US Chamber of Commerce listed several instances on the US west coast where states are suffering from airborne particulate matter, such as soot, sulfur and trace metals, generated by belching factories and power plants in China. Photo courtesy AFP.
The US Chamber of Commerce listed several instances on the US west coast where states are suffering from airborne particulate matter, such as soot, sulfur and trace metals, generated by belching factories and power plants in China. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Dec 13, 2006
The US government should stop punishing localities that breach air-quality standards because of pollution from places like China and India, the biggest business lobby group said Wednesday. The Chamber of Commerce said that in many instances, states and counties across the United States are violating the Clean Air Act through no fault of their own.

But when found by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to be in breach of the act, the localities face costly requirements to clean up their air and see corporate investment dry up.

"As economies in China and India continue to grow, so will emissions resulting from this economic growth," Bill Kovacs, the Chamber's vice president for the environment and regulatory affairs, told reporters.

"Governments and businesses seeking to comply in good faith with clear air rules shouldn't be penalized because emissions migrate from overseas," he said.

Under a 1990 provision of the Clean Air Act, the EPA can waive the rules if a US state is found to have only violated atmospheric pollution standards because of foreign emissions.

But the agency has never properly implemented the provision with a regulatory framework, said the Chamber, which represents more than three million businesses.

The lobby group listed several instances on the US west coast where states are suffering from airborne particulate matter, such as soot, sulfur and trace metals, generated by belching factories and power plants in China.

Forest fires in Indonesia also make their presence felt in the air over inland US cities, while large clouds of African mineral dust are carried into Florida each summer, according to the Chamber.

But in the absence of comprehensive analysis by agencies like the EPA and NASA, US states end up playing a "guessing game" as they battle to clean up their air, Kovacs said.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Related Links
US Chamber of Commerce
Our Polluted World and Cleaning It Up

Yellow River Pollution Getting Worse
Beijing (AFP) Dec 13, 2006
China's famed Yellow River is becoming more polluted, with water flow dropping despite billions of tons of waste water being pumped into it, state press reported Wednesday. The Yellow River Water Resources Committee reported that 4.35 billion tons of effluent was dumped into China's second longest river last year, Xinhua news agency said.

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