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Old 03-15-2008, 01:34 PM
 
96 posts, read 393,715 times
Reputation: 42
Default Is Phoenix significantly more polluted than the average major city?

I keep hearing a lot of bad things like the "brown cloud" and how bad the air quality is in Phoenix... is it significantly worse than most other major cities? Sometimes people complain about things like traffic, pollution, crime, etc. as if the place they live is the only place that has that stuff while in reality every city has it.
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Old 03-15-2008, 08:07 PM
Status: "NIMBYs be gone!!!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: East Central Phoenix
3,482 posts, read 4,486,715 times
Reputation: 3150
It really depends on what other cities you compare Phoenix to. If you compare the Phoenix metro area to the Los Angeles basin, you'll find that L.A. (including Orange County & the Riverside/San Bernardino areas) has more pollution than Phoenix. A lot of that has to do with the fact that the L.A. area is surrounded by tall mountains that pretty much keep all the smog stagnant.

There are mountains surrounding the Phoenix area also, but not very tall ones. Still, we have a major problem with pollution because we are located in a large valley. And like L.A., we are a car dependent city. That contributes to the carbon dioxide problem. The dust problem contributes to the high particulate level. Also, certain times of year have less of a pollution problem than others. Late fall and early winter is the time when the brown cloud is at its worst because there usually isn't a lot of wind to stir up the air. Late summer can also be poor for visibility for the same reason.
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Old 03-15-2008, 10:45 PM
 
Location: 5 miles from the center of the universe-The Superstition Mountains
1,084 posts, read 3,692,482 times
Reputation: 506
Pick up a newspaper (the back page of section B in the AZ Repulsive) or watch the weather during a news broadcast. Or, just check the link below daily. The air quality is usually in the good or moderate range of current standards. I heard recently that the feds must be upset that Phoenix has been in compliance for some time now so they're going to change the rules again. As Valley Native said, we are surrounded by mountains. During the winter months especially when there is little to no wind, temperature inversions tend to trap the particulates that you see in the air. It may look bad, but it's not. Too many people automatically equate visibility with air quality. They don't always go hand in hand.

Arizona Department of Enivornmental Quality (ADEQ)
Air Quality Index:
http://www.azdeq.gov/environ/air/ozone/ensemble.pdf
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Old 03-16-2008, 07:56 AM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
16,921 posts, read 19,994,502 times
Reputation: 8847
They are changing the rules, but not just for us. There is a new (lower) national ozone standard. So expect to be hit with more frequent ozone alerts, announcements and abatement rules. The air isn't getting worse - well maybe it is - the standard is tougher. I hope this doesn't mean ethanol and expensive reformulations again.
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Old 03-16-2008, 10:47 AM
 
Location: 5 miles from the center of the universe-The Superstition Mountains
1,084 posts, read 3,692,482 times
Reputation: 506
I have a suggestion for what they can do with the ethanol program, but it would get deleted by the mods. I always thought using our food supply to make an expensive fuel was a bad idea to say the least. But who knows, maybe the same people will create a "Soylent Green" process to take up the slack?
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Old 03-16-2008, 12:35 PM
 
Location: St Louis,MO
307 posts, read 591,099 times
Reputation: 76
Default convenience can pollute

Basically, the modern world overall suffers from pollution in one way or another....

It boils down to humans needing convenience verses living off the land and letting mother nature dictate things.

NOT GETTING ON THE SOAPBOX...sorry.

Phoenix does have air particulates that become a challenge when it comes to air quality. My understanding is the dust in the area contributes to this problematic area.
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