Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The EPA Is Out Of Control

First they targeted wood stoves.

EPA's Wood-Burning Stove Ban Has Chilling Consequences For Many Rural People
It seems that even wood isn’t green or renewable enough anymore.  The EPA has recently banned the production and sale of 80 percent of America’s current wood-burning stoves, the oldest heating method known to mankind and mainstay of rural homes and many of our nation’s poorest residents...

...the change will impose a maximum (airborne particulate emissions per cubic meter of air) 12 microgram limit. To put this amount in context, EPA estimates that secondhand tobacco smoke in a closed car can expose a person to 3,000-4,000 micrograms of particulates per cubic meter.

Most wood stoves that warm cabin and home residents from coast-to-coast can’t meet that standard. Older stoves that don’t cannot be traded in for updated types, but instead must be rendered inoperable, destroyed, or recycled as scrap metal.

The impacts of EPA’s ruling will affect many families. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011 survey statistics, 2.4 million American housing units (12 percent of all homes) burned wood as their primary heating fuel, compared with 7 percent that depended upon fuel oil.
I guess the EPA wants all those people to freeze in the dark.

Then it was backyard barbecues.
The agency announced that it is funding a University of California project to limit emissions resulting in grease drippings with a special tray to catch them and a "catalytic" filtration system.

The school said that the technology they will study with the EPA grant is intended to reduce air pollution and cut the health hazards to BBQ "pit masters" from propane-fueled cookers.

Charged with keeping America's air, water and soil clean, the EPA has been increasingly looking at homeowners, especially their use of pollution emitting tools like lawn mowers.

The school is proposing two fixes to reduce emissions from barbecues. First, they want to cut back on grease flare-ups. The idea: "A slotted and corrugated tray is inserted immediately prior to meat flipping, and removed immediately after. This short contact time prevents the tray from over-heating and volatilizing the collected grease. This collected grease will then drip off into a collection tray and can be used at the pit master's discretion."

But, total capture isn't "practical," so a filter and fan are proposed for installation. "The secondary air filtration system is composed of a single pipe duct system which contains a specialized metal filter, a metal fan blade, a drive shaft, and an accompanying power system with either a motorized or manual method. This system can be powered by either an exterior electric motor with a chain-driven drive shaft, directly spinning the fan blade, or a hand-powered crank," said the project write-up.
I grill fairly frequently. I damn sure ain't gonna put my beer down to 'hand-power' a crank that turns a fan that does ... something ... I'm still not sure what. And I also ain't gonna mess with a "slotted and corrugated tray," inserting it "immediately prior to meat flipping, and removed immediately after."

I've got something else I'm willing to insert into the a$$holes at the EPA.

Thankfully, there are a few sane people out there.
Supporters call it the #porksteakrebellion: a St. Louis-born effort to keep the EPA from regulating back yard barbecues. State Senator Eric Schmitt (R) Glendale, is urging people to barbecue this week to send the EPA a message.

Schmitt launched the rebellion via Twitter after learning the EPA had funded the study.

“The idea that the EPA wants to find their way into our back yards, where we’re congregating with our neighbors, having a good time, on the 4th of July, barbecuing pork steak or hamburgers, is ridiculous and it’s emblematic of agency that’s sort of out of control,” Schmitt said.
Amen, brother!

Now it's hotel showers.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants hotels to monitor how much time its guests spend in the shower.

“Hotels consume a significant amount of water in the U.S. and around the world,” an EPA grant to the University of Tulsa reads. “Most hotels do not monitor individual guest water usage and as a result, millions of gallons of potable water are wasted every year by hotel guests.”

“The proposed work aims to develop a novel low cost wireless device for monitoring water use from hotel guest room showers,” it said. “This device will be designed to fit most new and existing hotel shower fixtures and will wirelessly transmit hotel guest water usage data to a central hotel accounting system.”

The EPA also has a WaterSense program that challenges hotels to track their water use and upgrade their restrooms with low-flow toilets and showerheads.
Let me tell you, folks, we had to install those damn low-flow toilets in our house. They cost more than the old-fashioned kind and don't process solid waste very well (how's that for putting it discretely?). #2 usually requires multiple flushes to accomplish what one flush used to.

In addition, we now have plungers in every bathroom.

What a joy.
The EPA is concerned that the average shower, which lasts just eight minutes, uses 18 gallons of water, and has asked Americans to reduce their shower length by at least one minute.
Of course, there is another way to reduce water usage while showering...

Save water. Shower with a friend.


Bag Blog said...

We use a wood burning stove, and we grill outside quite a bit. We have a riding lawnmower and a tractor - because we live in the middle of a hay pasture. I would hate the EPA to regulate my life.

On the other hand, in NM, when we would drive into Taos in the early mornings, there would be low rising smoke covering the valley - smoke from wood burning stoves. So the city passed some laws on wood stoves and their usage. The hippies were very compliant. The locals - not so much.

Randy said...

I'd like to see them ban my smoker. We need to ban this agency, just get rid of it all together.

CenTexTim said...

BB - I understand the dichotomy. But what I object to is the micromanagement of an inept government agency into the smallest aspects of my personal life.

Randy - I'm with you. Off with their heads!

Well Seasoned Fool said...

I persist in the faint hope my fellow citizens will say, "enough is enough" and clean out these bureaucrats. Yeah, I believe in the Easter bunny too.