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Air emissions management research: Is it a waste of money?

Have both Canada and the U.S. got it wrong?

Despite the recent efforts to hamper the EPA's duty to  regulate green house gas emissions by certain members of the Republican Party, there has been a recent flurry of investment activity in North America in the area of air emissions management and research. Certain sectors of both the U.S. and Canada are investing in research to better understand and reduce emissions, and improve industrial efficiency. Is investing in Emissions Research a waste of time?

EPA spending gone wild?

The U.S. EPA announced early in March 2011 that they were awarding $32 million to fund four new Clean Air Research Centers at universities conducting cutting edge pollution research. The EPA feels that it is important  to understand the health risks associated with exposure to multiple air pollutants, rather than just individual ones. The current Air Pollution Index (API) that is used to grade the air we breathe only considers the concentration of the most dangerous pollutant, rather than the cumulative effect of several. Each center will receive approximately $8 million over five years after being awarded the grants for funding. They cutting edge facilities are located at:
  • Emory University and Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Harvard University, Boston, Mass.
  • Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich.
  • University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.

Canadian Industrial Efficiency

North of the Border on the Canadian Front, Alberta's Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC) announced that it will invest $27.2 million in six industrial efficiency projects in the province. The CCEMC is a not-for-profit, independent organization with a mandate to expand climate change knowledge, develop new ‘clean’ technologies and explore practical ways of implementing them. The organizations receiving funds from the CCEMC are Cenovus Energy Inc., EnCana Corporation, ConocoPhillips Canada, NRGreen Power Limited, Weyerhaeuser Canada Limited and Quantiam Technologies. For more information on the CCEMC, click here.

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This post was written by Ross O'Lochlainn