EARTHblog » Aaron Mintzes
January 13, 2012
This week, the 430th legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly (MGA) came to order. During their 90-day session, lawmakers will consider and debate over 2000 bills including a package of legislation related to natural gas drilling. Geologists have long known about vast supplies of methane trapped in a formation of shale deep below the Appalachian Basin in portions of Western Maryland. The development of horizontal drilling techniques and high-volume hydraulic fracturing has rapidly accelerated the pace of natural gas drilling in 34 states around the country. With Pennsylvania and New York quickly working to put in place a regulatory regime to manage the gas boom, Maryland will not be far behind.
Particulate Matter Pollution Exists. Farm Dust Exists. Pixie Dust is a Fantasy. And EPA is Still Not Regulating Them.
December 8, 2011
Despite a promised Presidential veto, the House of Representatives voted today to pass HR 1633, the “Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011”. While pollution from PM poses serious public health risks, there is no such thing as farm dust for purposes of the Clean Air Act. Nor is there such thing as farm dust for the purposes of HR 1633; the only place those words appear in the bill is in the title. Farm dust seems like nothing more than tiny harmless grains of common dirt. Since the movement toward new regulations for either dirt or PM is just fantasy, Democrats have mocked this bill as preventing regulation of pixie dust. HR 1633 instead talks about “nuisance dust”.