Wednesday, July 04, 2012

A Geography Digression

The EPA has come out with some new proposals on what Arizona needs to do with three different power stations. In selling their proposal, they use the following:
EPA is also proposing additional pollution controls for nitrogen oxide at those plants.  These actions will improve visibility and human health at 18 national parks and wilderness areas, including the Grand Canyon, Saguaro National Park and the Petrified Forest.

More than 11 million people visit national parks in Arizona every year. Yet for many visitors the spectacular vistas are veiled in haze, dulling the natural beauty. Ninety percent of the time, the Grand Canyon’s air is impaired by pollution. On average, pollution reduces the Grand Canyon's pristine natural visual range by more than 30 percent.
Since we clearly don't want to impair the view of the Grand Canyon we must submit to their wishes.

However, let's have a look at their map.

Note that the Grand Canyon is at the far western edge of the "impact area" of two of the plants. Since the wind blows from west to east here in Arizona, the chance that any of the airborne pollution from the plants would make it to the Grand Canyon is essentially zero - but the EPA has to hype the potential impact on the Grand Canyon.

I've been in marketing and understand what you are temped to do sometimes to try to sell something. What I don't understand is why the EPA thinks anyone looking at their own map would believe them.


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