Citizen Air Pollution

I spent two hours and fifteen minutes yesterday listening to Denny Larson talk about air pollution and how citizens can take action when the government won’t. I wasn’t expecting to spend two hours and fifteen minutes there, but the deferred payoff and Denny Larson’s love for hearing himself talk [and who wouldn’t enjoy talking with 4 photographers and two reporters present] ensured that we were stuck there for two hours and fifteen minutes. My impression might be inaccurate though, because, after two hours and fifteen minutes, and no apparent end in sight, I left early.

The entire reason I showed up was to learn how to assemble home-​made air pollution monitors, using five gallon buckets. Similar “bucket brigades” as they’re called exist elsewhere and have worked with some success. Although they aren’t very high-​tech, they are rather expensive. Denny Larson mentioned, two hours into the meeting, after I asked him, that each bucket costs about $125 dollars to make, mostly because of the professional grade valves that are used. Ever since I started submitting pollution logs to OCA, they’ve been calling me about once a week asking me to help more. I agreed to do some bucket monitoring, but I can’t afford to drop $125 dollars for a bucket and pay the lab fees for the processing. Pollution logs will have to do.

I did hear, although no proof was offered, that the Ohio EPA and the Cuyahoga County Air people are getting paid for doing nothing, that they have no portable equipment, and that the monitoring stations are either far away from the pollution or not monitoring for the right things at the right time. I already knew that the Ohio EPA doesn’t work before 8 or after 5, so that polluting during off hours is basically given free rein. I also learned that one short-​lived accident can pollute more than an entire year of normal production. And even though agencies in this area are being paid to monitor environmental impact, they aren’t doing their job and folks in Tremont and Slavic Village have to take matters into their own hands. If you’ve got an extra $125 laying around, that is.

The fact that it took two hours and some prompting to get to the actual meat of the process is what has me so grouchy this morning. Someone should have been monitoring the hot air being emitted from Denny Larson. He should have taken no more than an hour, including the assembly of the buckets.

Link of the day: Make a Paper Box in five minutes. Not two hours and fifteen minutes. If you’re crafty you can use interesting things printed on paper to make individualized boxes to hold the severed body parts of those dearest to you. Or not.

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