Air and water problems mainly make headlines these days when extraordinary pulses of pollution surge in places like Beijing and Shanghai. But there are still enormous, if largely hidden, health and environmental costs in many parts of the United States that have failed to meet the goals set decades ago under the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act (e.g., see Muller, Mendelsohn, Nordhaus, 2011). Sometimes the issue is visible. I visited Houston briefly this week and snapped the photo above on the airport approach. Not pretty.
Read on for excerpts from two relevant articles. The first, from the Allegheny Front, explores how lessons learned in trying to cut pollution from natural gas facilities in Houston can be applied in Pennsylvania’s fracking zone. The second, by my Pace University colleague and longtime water analyst John Cronin, digs in on the gap between Environmental Protection Agency statements on water pollution and the results in America’s waterways.
Here’s “Houston Air Pollution: Preview for Pennsylvania?” It’s the second article in a planned four-part series, “The Coming Chemical Boom,” that was in part paid for by the Fund for Investigative Journalism.