Profiles in idiocy: The removal of air quality monitors

Because knowledge and early warning systems might erode someone's profit margins:

SECTION 4.25.(a) The Department of Environment and Natural Resources shall review its ambient air monitoring network and, in the next annual monitoring network plan submitted to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, shall request the removal of any ambient air monitors not required by applicable federal laws and regulations.
SECTION 4.25.(b) No later than September 1, 2016, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources shall discontinue all ambient air monitors not required by applicable federal laws and regulations if approval from the United States Environmental Protection Agency is not required for the discontinuance.
SECTION 4.25.(c) Nothing in this section is intended to prevent the Department from installing temporary ambient air monitors as part of an investigation of a suspected violation of air quality rules, standards, or limitations or in response to an emergency situation causing an imminent danger to human health and safety.

Of course, it never crosses their mind that keeping (a) & (b) in place would very possibly prevent (c) from ever happening. The GOP is likely working from the hypothesis, "If the air gets bad enough, we'll know because birds will start falling from the sky and people will be getting nosebleeds." Idiots.



If you're so inclined,

here's a handy tool to let your lawmakers know how you feel:

Please oppose H765 and any provisions that threaten our state's air quality. Many of the air quality monitors that would be shut down are sited near large industrial facilities, major development projects, or in areas with historically poor air quality, and are needed to protect the health of the public in these areas. Removing these monitors makes no sense.

Please stand up for clean air in North Carolina and oppose H765.

You're too generous

The "emergency situation" clause might be invoked if there is a train wreck which releases (for example) clouds of chlorine gas. Otherwise, probably not at all, even if the birds are falling from the sky. As the NC Conservation Network implies, the GOP goal is to hide air quality violations by large industrial facilities. Just as the cutbacks in water quality monitoring are to conceal abrogations of water quality that inevitably attend the self-licensing, self-monitoring, self-auditing approach the GOP promotes as though they were not proposing a return to water-borne epidemic disease and rivers that catch on fire.