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[cdn-nucl-l] Study says blackout produced cleaner skies
FYI. This will get "digested" throughout the northeastern states in the next
Regards, Jim Muckerheide
Study says blackout produced cleaner skies
Last summer's great Northeast blackout had a silver lining - cleaner skies
downwind from the Midwestern power plants that were idled, researchers say.
Aircraft sampling in the 24 hours following the blackout found a 90 percent
drop in sulfur dioxide and a 50 percent cut in ozone levels, while
visibility increased by more than 25 miles, University of Maryland
Maryland's top environmental official said the results prove what state
officials have long argued - the region suffers from air pollution created
"It's not a model, not a meteorologist's dream. [The pollution cuts]
actually happened," said Kendl P. Philbrick, Maryland's secretary of the
While the administration of Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich generally
supports President Bush's efforts to allow utilities to increase capacity
without costly emissions improvements, Philbrick said Maryland is a special
"We're saying, 'Hey look, we need help here. You've got to do more ...
because we are in a special area,' " Philbrick said.
A power industry spokesman said tougher emissions rules could decrease
reliability and increase costs. Scott H. Segal, director of the Electric
Reliability Coordinating Council, said that stiffening those rules "has a
direct implication for the ability to maintain power plants."
The University of Maryland study is to be published in the next issue of
Geophysical Research Letters.