Virginia Air Pollution Continues Downward Trend

Switching topics from reading test scores, here’s a downward trend Virginians can appreciate. Air pollution emissions in the Old Dominion continued their long-term downward trend in 2017 for most categories of emissions, according to an analysis of federal data by the Consumer Energy Alliance, an organization of major energy consumers.

Between 1990 and 2017 Virginia has seen the following:

• 68 percent reduction in carbon monoxide (CO)
• 51 percent reduction in ammonia (NH3)
• 61 percent reduction in nitrogen oxides (NOx)
• 30 percent reduction in coarse particulate matter (PM10)
• 35 percent reduction in fine particulate matter (PM2.5)
• 89 percent reduction in sulfur dioxide (SO2)
• 60 percent reduction in volatile organic compounds (VOCs

The state has achieved these gains despite a 35% increase in population, a 252% increase in GDP, and a 4% increase in vehicle miles driven per capita, says the report.

Here is the comparable chart showing emissions declines for the U.S. as a whole:


Share this article


(comments below)


(comments below)


3 responses to “Virginia Air Pollution Continues Downward Trend”

  1. Amen.
    Yes. Missing in the bitter hatred of the current politics is how much improvement is being made. One tremendous invention has been the 3-way catalytic converter for our gasoline cars, which has been reducing NOx, Hydrodcarbons (HC) and CO for several decades.

    But those cat converters are on steriods now, with extreme high pollutant removal performance. Why? Because over the last few decades, EPA has been ramping down sulfur-in-gasoline to approximately zero now. Why? Because even low amounts of sulfur can reduce the performance of the catalyst. Those catalysts are humming now to the extent my Prius, and most newer gaso cars are essentially putting out zero harmful emissions, CO2 of course as a combustion by–product.

    The low auto emissions conflicts with the completely bogus liberal messaging to the otherwise. I should note that diesel exhaust has not been as easy for scientists and engineers to figure out how to clean up, and that is an opportunity for future improvement.

    Not to mention we have no industry anymone . Yet on a scale of 0-to-100 where 100= intense hatred, liberals are out-raged to the 10,o00 level about the tiniest traces of pollution, that no one even is exposed to. It’s a religious faith of extremism on the assumption unseen and nonexistent pollution is killing us. I think this chemophobic extremism might be why Trump got elected.

  2. Steve Haner Avatar
    Steve Haner

    “Worldwide, carbon dioxide emissions increased by 1.7 percent in 2018. The U.S. stands in stark contrast to global trends, leading the world in reductions by lowering carbon emissions with an anticipated decline of 2.4 percent in 2019 and an additional 1.7 percent decline in 2020. These reductions are forecast in large part due to U.S. usage of natural gas.”

    The key paragraph to me on that flyer. It will send the alarmists into panic mode…..

  3. There are of course a couple of good explanations for the extremism:

    (1) human risk perception is terrible ( extreme worry about unseen risks). Larger risks we are complacent, smaller risks are increasingly outrageous. The cleaner the environment gets, the more outraged we get about the remainug tiny traces, even as they approach zero.

    (2) Use of hate-based red meat issues to get votes. Liberals think they learned from Ronald Reagan that fomenting hatred is the best way to get elected. Before he was president, Reagan had whipped up hysteria over Panama independence. But OK Reagan was fomenting haterd about foreigners, which is not good a thing either, but at least not causing a cancer on America like the blue side is doing.

Leave a Reply