The administration of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is pushing a regulation to control methane emissions from existing natural gas facilities that doesn't directly target the potent greenhouse gas,...
Heavy smog, worsened by weather, raises alarm across Asia
BANGKOK (AP) — Unusually high levels of smog worsened by weather patterns are raising alarm across Asia, with authorities in Thailand's hazy capital Bangkok handing out face masks and preparing to seed clouds for rain to clear the air.
A combination of construction dust, auto exhaust and other pollutants, lingering over Bangkok due to prevailing weather patterns, has taken air quality to unhealthy levels in recent days.
Residents of Russian city protest ‘black sky’ air pollution
CHELYABINSK, Russia (AP) — Residents of Chelyabinsk are expressing worry over industrial pollution after heavy smog enveloped the Ural Mountains city this month and remained for two weeks.
On Sunday, about 700 protesters braved temperatures of -20 degrees Celsius (-4 degrees Fahrenheit) to demand cleaner air. They held banners reading "We want clean skies!" and "Stop poisoning our children!"
Virginia says air quality is improving
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A new report shows that Virginia's air quality is improving.
The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality said Wednesday that ground-level ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide levels have dropped significantly compared to past years.
The state had only six "Code Orange" days of excessive ozone in 2018 and four in 2017. In 1998, the state reported more than 100 such days.
Toxic smog cloaks New Delhi morning after Diwali festivities
NEW DELHI (AP) — Toxic smog shrouded the Indian capital as air quality plummeted to hazardous levels Thursday after tens of thousands of people set off a multitude of firecrackers to celebrate the major Hindu festival of Diwali.
Indian authorities brace for worst air pollution season
NEW DELHI (AP) — With air quality reduced to "very severe" in the Indian capital region, authorities are bracing for a major Hindu festival featuring massive fireworks that threatens to cloak New Delhi with more toxic smog and dust.
Environmental group sues over Wisconsin smog regulations
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — An environmental group has filed a federal lawsuit challenging new federal smog regulations in Wisconsin.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in June sharply limited areas of the state that will face tougher smog regulations to small strips of land along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
The EPA in December had made an initial determination that a much larger area of southeastern Wisconsin was in violation.
NEW DELHI (AP) — New Delhi officials have ordered a two-day halt to construction in an attempt to reduce choking pollution that has cloaked the city in smog and dust.
The government's Central Pollution Control Board rated the city's air quality Friday as "severe" — the worst possible category — for the fourth day in a row.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A federal judge in New York has ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has violated the federal Clean Air Act by failing to curb ozone air pollution that blows into Connecticut and New York from the west.
HONOLULU (AP) — The Latest on the eruption of Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island (all times local):
Three lava flows from an erupting volcano are now flowing into the ocean off Hawaii's Big Island.
Hawaii County officials say the third flow started pouring into the sea Thursday. Lava is spewing from a fissure in a rural community that's feeding the two other flows that are reaching the waves.
PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) — The Latest on the eruption of Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island (all times local):
A Hawaii man hit by a flying piece of lava says the molten rock nearly cut his left leg in half.
Darryl Clinton told the Honolulu television station KHON that he was on the roof of a home helping to put out fires from flying rocks on Saturday morning.
That's when an explosion a couple hundred yards away launched a "lava bomb" his way. It hit him above the ankle.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will allow year-round sales of renewable fuel with blends of 15 percent ethanol as part of an emerging deal to make changes to the federal ethanol mandate.
Republican senators and the White House announced the deal Tuesday after a closed-door meeting, the latest in a series of White House sessions on ethanol.
CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — The average price of regular-grade gasoline in the U.S. rose 7 cents a gallon over the past two weeks to $2.90, the 10th week straight of increases.
Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey said Sunday that the jump marks the highest average price since November 2014.
Lundberg says the increase is largely driven by higher crude oil costs and the phasing-in of summer-grade gasoline, which is used to prevent smog.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island environmental officials are warning residents of the potential for unhealthy air quality as temperatures rise.
The state Department of Environmental Management says the poor air quality possible on Thursday afternoon and evening will be due to elevated ground level ozone concentrations
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday limited areas of Wisconsin that will face tougher smog regulations.
The agency sided with Wisconsin officials by sharply narrowing areas that will come under stricter federal ozone regulations to small strips of land along the shoreline of Lake Michigan.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia has reached a $2.65 million settlement with Volkswagen AG and two of its affiliates in a lawsuit over the automaker's emissions-rigging scandal, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced Tuesday.
Morrisey announced the settlement with Volkswagen and its Audi and Porsche brands.
- Connecticut PostConnecticut sues Trump over smogFebruary 2, 2019
- Tribune-ReviewMaureen Koetz: Cleaner air legacy of Donora SmogNovember 9, 2018
- Star Tribune3M's new granules for shingles help curb air pollutionOctober 13, 2018
- San Antonio Express-NewsTrump’s EPA sending mixed signals to S.A.October 7, 2018
DENVER (AP) — For decades America's air was getting cleaner as levels of a key smog ingredient steadily dropped. That changed about seven years ago when pollution reductions leveled off, a new study found.
This means when tighter federal air quality standards go into effect later this year, many more cities may find themselves on the dirty air list.
Wisconsin DNR approves 4 air permits for Foxconn
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources approved four air permits Tuesday for the Foxconn Technology Group campus in the southeast corner of the state, despite objections that the massive plant will increase smog emissions.
Foxconn is preparing to build a $10 billion plant in Mount Pleasant that could employ up to 13,000 people. The plant would produce liquid crystal flat-screen panels.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — A company that processes and transports natural gas and natural gas liquids in Ohio's and Pennsylvania's shale fields is agreeing to pay $610,000 to settle complaints by Pennsylvania and the federal government that it was violating air pollution laws.
BEIJING (AP) — One of China's biggest cities has imposed curbs on traffic and factories due to a spike in air pollution and told elderly people and children to stay indoors.
The government of Tianjin, a port city of 15.5 million people east of Beijing, said half its cars will be barred from the road each day starting Sunday based on whether their license plate numbers are odd or even.
New permit would allow more pollution from Boardman plant
BOARDMAN, Ore. (AP) — A natural gas-fired power plant in Boardman run by Portland General Electric would be allowed to emit more than three times more carbon monoxide and eight times more smog-causing pollution if a new permit is approved.
EU court: Poland has violated EU air quality laws
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The European Union's top court says that Poland has violated EU law on air quality by continuously exceeding the bloc's pollution limit from 2007-2015.
Issuing the ruling Thursday, the EU Court of Justice urged Poland's government to speed up efforts to improve air quality and cut the health-threatening levels of particulate matter known as PM10.
It did not impose any fines, but the European Commission may weigh in if Poland does not improve its air quality soon.
NY, Connecticut file lawsuit seeking US action on smog
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The attorneys general for New York and Connecticut have filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration in the latest multi-state effort to compel federal regulators to reduce smog blowing in from other states.
Delaware says it will sue EPA over upwind air pollution
DOVER, Del. (AP) — Delaware officials say they intend to sue the Environmental Protection Agency over its failure to rein in power plant emissions from other states that are blamed for air pollution in Delaware.
Officials said Monday that they intend to sue the EPA for not requiring power plants in Pennsylvania and West Virginia to reduce air pollution.
Although the winter season has thus far been light on snow, the past week blanketed the region in another, albeit unpleasant, wintertime companion — inversion. While a weekend storm will hopefully push some of the dingy, foul air out of the area, the inversion is a stark reminder that we can and must do more to reduce pollution.
China suffers natural gas shortage as coal ban backfires
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities have commandeered supplies of natural gas to heat homes, forcing chemical plants and factories to shut down, after efforts to clear smog-choked air by banning coal use backfired by causing energy shortages in frigid weather.
The disruption highlights the government's difficulties in its campaign to clean up China's smog-choked cities and reduce reliance on coal.
US fails to enforce smog rules, 14 states allege in lawsuit
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Fourteen states and the District of Columbia announced Thursday that they are suing the Trump administration over what they say is a failure to enforce smog standards.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has not designated any areas of the country as having unhealthy air, missing an Oct. 1 deadline, according to the lawsuit. Such areas must take steps to improve their air quality.
‘Like chilies in my nose:’ Coping with Delhi’s toxic smog
NEW DELHI (AP) — India's capital has been choking under a thick layer of smog this month, the worst the air quality has been all year in a city that's among the most polluted in the world. While some people work indoors and get a measure of relief from the pollution during the day, others in the city of more than 17 million aren't so fortunate.
The Allegheny County Health Department's new proposed pollution limits at Allegheny Technology Inc.'s specialty steel plant in Harrison threaten public health, according to four environmental groups.
But the health department, which regulates ATI's air emissions, disagrees.
Environmentalists say ATI's new air pollution limits are about 36 percent higher than the ones proposed last year in a draft operating permit.
Hundreds of New Delhi students march to demand cleaner air
NEW DELHI (AP) — Hundreds of students marched Wednesday in India's capital to demand action to improve the city's toxic air.
New Delhi has been wrapped in a choking haze for much of the past week. The smog did lift a little in time for the march at Nehru Park by students from 15 private schools.
The march was organized by representatives from the United Nations, private schools and the Sonalika company, a tractor maker.
Winter rains likely to cut smog in Pakistan
LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — A Pakistani meteorologist says winter rains starting next week are expected to bring relief from weeks-long smog persisting in much of the country and neighboring India.
The pollution has caused highway accidents, respiratory problems and irritated eyes.
Anger rises as toxic air chokes India’s capital
NEW DELHI (AP) — As thick smog crept over India's capital this past week and smudged landmarks from view, Nikunj Pandey could feel his eyes and throat burning.
Pandey stopped doing his regular workouts and said he felt tightness in his lungs. He started wearing a triple layer of pollution masks over his mouth. And he became angry that he couldn't safely breathe the air.
"This is a basic right," he said. "A basic right of humanity."
AP PHOTOS: A selection of pictures from the past week
Here's your look at highlights from the weekly AP photo report, a gallery featuring a mix of front-page photography, the odd image you might have missed and lasting moments our editors think you should see.
This week's images include mourners praying after a church shooting in Texas; soldiers in World War II-era uniforms practicing for a parade in Moscow; and a smog-shrouded street in India.
New Delhi residents offered masks as city chokes on smog
NEW DELHI (AP) — Volunteers took to the streets of India's capital on Thursday and placed green pollution masks over the mouths of willing residents to make a statement about the city's choking smog.
Not everybody wanted to play along and some batted the masks away.
Authorities have closed schools and stopped most trucks from entering New Delhi this week as they try to mitigate what officials are calling a public health emergency.
British royals’ visit to India clouded by leaked finances
NEW DELHI (AP) — Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, have begun a two-day visit to the smog-choked Indian capital as leaked documents about his own financial dealings threatened to cloud his trip.
The Prince of Wales was meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday night, and planned to visit a school on Thursday.
New Delhi is the last stop on the royal couple's 11-day Asian tour, with earlier visits to Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei.
Severe pollution hits Indian capital, causing health worries
NEW DELHI (AP) — A thick gray haze enveloped India's capital on Tuesday as air pollution hit hazardous levels, prompting local officials to ask that schools shut down and a half marathon scheduled for later in November be called off.
Image of Asia: Inspecting the Indian honor guard in smog
In this photo by Associated Press photographer Manish Swarup, Belgium's King Philippe inspects a military guard of honor at the Indian presidential palace, surrounded by smog, in New Delhi. The Belgian royal couple is on a seven-day state visit to India.
Air pollution in India's capital has hit hazardous levels, with air quality index readings indicating the health impact of breathing the air is "severe."
Smog blankets Pakistan, India, causing accidents, illness
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Smog has enveloped much of Pakistan and neighboring India, causing highway accidents and respiratory problems, and forcing many residents to stay home, officials said Saturday.
Milan, Turin suffer under smog thanks to low rains, emission
ROME (AP) — The Italian cities of Milan and Turin have been hard hit by smog in recent days, with officials reporting spikes in the concentration of fine particulate matter in the air and pressing for more measures to curb emissions.
‘Death in the Air’ tells story of the great London smog
"Death in the Air: The True Story of a Serial Killer, The Great London Smog, and the Strangling of a City" (Hachette), by Kate Winkler Dawson
In 1952, post-World War II London was battling more than reconstruction, and Kate Winkler Dawson's "Death in the Air: The True Story of a Serial Killer, The Great London Smog, and the Strangling of a City" is a stellar examination of a turbulent time in the city's history.
I am a resident of Aztec, N.M. My family homesteaded here in the early 1900s — we’ve been farmers, ranchers and oil and gas workers. We are well-acquainted with the numerous gas wells in our city’s limits. Twenty-five of them are within a mile radius of my house. Twelve of those wells have directly impacted me, my family and hundreds of our close neighbors for decades. It is hard to understand how the Environmental Protection Agency and the Bureau of Land Management can justify staying their methane rules.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut's governor and top environmental official are praising Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt's decision against delaying Obama-era rules intended to reduce emissions of smog-causing air pollutants.
WASHINGTON (AP) — One day after 15 states sued him, Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt backtracked on delaying Obama-era rules intended to reduce emissions of smog-causing air pollutants.
Pruitt contended his agency was being more responsive than past administrations to states' needs. He made no mention Wednesday of the legal challenges to his earlier stand.
EPA chief reverses decision to delay rules on emissions
WASHINGTON (AP) — One day after getting sued by 15 states, Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt on Wednesday reversed his earlier decision to delay implementation of Obama-era rules reducing emissions of smog-causing air pollutants.
Pruitt presented the change as his agency being more responsive than past administrations to the needs of state environmental regulators. He made no mention of the legal challenge filed against his prior position in a federal appeals court.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorneys general from 15 states filed a legal challenge on Tuesday over the Trump administration's delay of Obama-era rules reducing emissions of smog-causing air pollutants.
The states petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to overturn Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt's extension of deadlines to comply with the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is set to receive $18 million following a settlement connected to the Volkswagen smog device emissions scandal.
The New Mexico Environment Department announced Monday that the agency will disburse $18 million in settlement funds, most likely for projects that will reduce nitrogen oxide levels.
Volkswagen Group of America acknowledges rigging 11 million of its vehicles with software used to cheat on vehicle emissions tests.
It is near the end of July, and we are entering the part of the summer when ozone pollution is highest. Very soon, the U.S. House of Representatives will be voting on H.R. 806, which has the misleading title of “The Ozone Standards Implementation Act.” It would be more accurate if it were called the “Smoggy Skies Act,” because that is the effect it will have. It is a harmful bill that will mean years of delay for the life-saving 2015 ozone standard, and it will permanently weaken one of the nation’s strongest public health laws, the Clean Air Act.