Raising the Bar on the Air we Breathe
In the new rules, an air sample that filled a 1,000-liter container could have only 0.075 milliliters of ozone - 75 parts per billion - compared with 0.08 milliliters under the old rules, written in 1997.
Ten counties in Florida would have failed by now if the new limits were in place, according to an EPA analysis of pollution readings.
It's hard to know how much reducing ozone will affect people's health, but adding ozone clearly puts more stress on people's breathing, said Dale Schrum, a pediatric allergist at Nemours Children's Clinic in Jacksonville.
Changes to the Clean Air Act lower the amount of ozone - a gas that's an ingredient in smog - permitted close to the ground. Automobile exhausts, emissions from coal-burning power plants and fumes from volatile chemicals used by some businesses increase ozone levels.
Ozone is a lifesaving shield from radiation when it's in the upper atmosphere, but the new rules apply to ozone near ground level.
Near-ground ozone affects people with breathing problems including asthma, which is unusually common in Duval County.
Jacksonville was on EPA's violator list from 1978 until 1995 because of other air pollution problems. For part of that time, cars and trucks in Duval County had to pass emissions tests, but there are no plans to bring that back. Now that Jaxport has opened the gate for container and cruise ships emissions go pretty much unchecked. Jacksonville City Hall is working on a plan to encourage new development with less traffic impact, said Susie Wiles, spokeswoman for Mayor John Peyton. this of course does not include the ship traffic.which by the way is a hundred times worse.
This story can be found on Jacksonville.com at http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/043008/met_273520401.shtml