Smog In Wyoming Thicker Than In L.A.
The AP notes that as a result of natural gas drilling, smog in parts of Wyoming is the worst in the country:
Wyoming, famous for its crisp mountain air and breathtaking, far-as-the-eye-can-see vistas, is looking a lot like smoggy Los Angeles these days because of a boom in natural gas drilling.
Folks who live near the gas fields in the western part of this outdoorsy state are complaining of watery eyes, shortness of breath and bloody noses because of ozone levels that have exceeded what people in L.A. and other major cities wheeze through on their worst pollution days.
Preliminary data show ozone levels last Wednesday got as high as 124 parts per billion. That’s two-thirds higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum healthy limit of 75 parts per billion and above the worst day in Los Angeles all last year, 114 parts per billion, according to EPA records. Ozone levels in the basin reached 116 on March 1 and 104 on Saturday.
The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality urged the elderly, children and people with respiratory conditions to avoid strenuous or extended activity outdoors.
Yes, you read that right: air pollution in Wyoming is so bad that kids can’t go outside and play. Remember that next time somebody asks you “what harm have big corporations ever caused?”
As an addendum to the problem that natural gas drilling poses for air pollution, I’d also encourage you to read Hydrofracked, which details preliminary investigations into the possibility that natural gas drilling also leads to contamination of the groundwater tables. It’s scary stuff.