Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Loopholes and lies can't save us

Posted By on Wed, Sep 9, 2009 at 2:17 PM

Today's Charlotte Observer has an eye-opening article about how officials in our local government skirts the Environmental Protection Agency's pollution guidelines to make it appear that we're not the dirty, polluted city that we are. Now the American Lung Association lists the Q.C. on warning lists.

Here's an excerpt. Read the entire article here.

City transportation planners changed data that essentially took one in three cars off the road, enabling them to show less pollution. They also have made overly optimistic forecasts about how often people would use mass transit.

And despite evidence that building more highways causes people to drive farther, the city has told the EPA the opposite: Building billions of dollars of new highways will cause Charlotteans to drive less, and create less smog, than if they weren't built.

Those questionable projections have helped keep highway dollars flowing to Charlotte.

City transportation planners acknowledge that their pollution estimates have turned out to be low. But they say they have complied with all state and federal requirements.

Mecklenburg County's air-quality director, Don Willard, said the EPA's rules are good on paper, but in practice are “divorced from reality.”

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