God knows we need Coal and School Buses in Kentucky and we love football. Let’s help them work together.
“Kentucky is an energy intensive state because of its historically low energy costs. Nationally, Kentucky is ranked third in energy intensity (kWh per customer), about 55 percent higher than the national average, and this is principally driven by our industrial sector. Kentucky’s industrial sector energy intensity is 427 percent higher than the national average. Because of Kentucky’s low energy prices, we tend to attract large, energy-intensive industries (e.g. fewer customers using lots of power”
91% of Kentucky’s electricity comes form Coal Fired Power Plants. Kentucky has the lowest electricity rate in the United States.
But how do we protect our School Football Athletes from Air Pollution during Heat Waves when Kentucky has Coal Fired Power Plants and 9,800 diesel powered school buses that operate near school football fields for contests and practice? Both emit harmful Air Pollutants that cause serious injury and potential death to Football Athletes.
Coal Fired Power Plants cause Air Pollution and the Air Quality Index becomes dangerously high. School Buses create “Hot Spots” that have an additive effect around schools, bus depots and football fields. Heat waves then brew the pollution emissions from both. The consequence is a dangerous breathing environmental soup.
Activity School Buses often idle near football practice fields keeping the buses’ cabins cool waiting for football practices to end while adding pollutants, including ozone, to the area. These are called “Hot Spots”.
What makes the Louisville Metro Area very dangerous for Football Athletes practicing outdoors during Heat Waves in summer is that it is an ”Urban Island”. Located in a sometimes wind-static river valley region allows polluted air to become stationary while contaminating the area by not blowing away from the “Island”.
‘April 2007: Jefferson County Public School District in Louisville, Kentucky, is the 19th-largest school district in the United States. With approximately 97,000 students, the district operates 1,100 school buses that travel more than 85,000 miles per day and operate 1500 total vehicles. Jefferson County Public School District is the 10th largest transportation system in the United States.”
“All these buses are now fueled with B2, a blend of 2% bio-diesel and 98% petroleum diesel fuel, which is distributed by Marathon Oil Company. Biodiesel has become a valuable blending component with diesel fuel at low percentage blends because of biodiesel’s “premium” aspects. Pure biodiesel has high lubricity, high cetane, and a high flash point.”
“Biodiesel is a renewable fuel for diesel engines. Biodiesel, defined by ASTM International (D6751), consists of long-chain fatty acid alkyl esters and is made from renewable vegetable oils, recycled cooking oils, or animal fats. It can be used at full strength, but it is typically blended with petroleum diesel.
A blend of 2 percent biodiesel and 98 percent petroleum diesel is referred to as B2. Other typical blends include B5, B10, and B20; pure biodiesel is sometimes referred to as B100. Biodiesel is safer for the environment and produces significantly less air pollution compared to petroleum diesel.” But B2 has 98% petroleum diesel.
“You don’t have to take too many deep breaths behind a vehicle using petroleum diesel to be able to appreciate that cleaner exhaust would be beneficial. The exhaust emissions of particulate matter, typically referred to as soot, are a recognized contributor to respiratory disease. When using pure biodiesel, B100, particulate matter decreases by 30 percent. In addition, the exhaust emissions of suspected carcinogenic compounds are substantially reduced for biodiesel compared to petroleum diesel.”
Studies have shown that petroleum diesel exhaust adversely affects children with asthma and bronchitis and increases the effects of some allergens. Using biodiesel would lessen these effects. Biodiesel was the first renewable fuel to successfully complete the Environmental Protection Agency required Health Effects Testing. EPA’s clinical studies, which study the toxicity of fuels, showed no adverse health effects with B100, pure Biodiesel.”
‘Kentucky school districts will benefit from $12.9 million in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds to purchase new hybrid electric school buses.
Kentucky will replace about 200 diesel-powered units in school bus fleets statewide with Type C-Charge Sustaining Hybrid Electric school buses. The procurement process will begin in October, and school districts that intend to purchase new buses may choose hybrid electric vehicles at that time. There are currently more than 9,800 diesel-fueled school buses operating in Kentucky, and this project is designed to replace the oldest buses’.
‘Children do not have fully developed immune systems so are much more vulnerable to cancer causing compounds. Children respire at a rate twice that of adults, and are thus more susceptible to the toxicity of airborne diesel particles, vapors and gases.’
Sensitive groups of children appear to have a genetic predilection to Ozone Intoxication. The epithelial cells lining the lung airways cause a reaction to Ozone in this sensitive group. Once the process in the lung begins there is a cascade from initial reaction to inflammation, exudation, fibroproliferation and finally Hyaline membrane formation.
The Airways are obstructed, “wet lung” develops with pulmonary and pleural edema, infiltration and oxygenation of the blood is seriously compromised. Once the cascade begins for some it is irreversible and death ensues.
‘The Natural Resources Defense Council has estimated that school bus diesel exposures to children pose as much as 23 to 46 times the cancer risk considered significant under federal law.’
‘A recent study found that children on diesel school buses are exposed to 5 to 15 times more air toxins than the rest of the population. 24 million children travel on 454,000 school buses nationwide. Those buses travel more than four billion miles each year and these kids spend 3 billion hours on these buses. About 90 percent of these buses run on diesel fuel, annually emitting 3,000 tons of cancer-causing soot and 95,000 tons of smog-causing compounds.’
“Each year, one school bus in Texas emits the equivalent of 114 cars,” said U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Christie Whitman at a press conference at Pin Oak Middle School in Bellaire. While school buses are the safest mode of transportation, “we want to make it the healthiest way to get to school, too,” she said.
“New statistics from the World Health Organization show that in the United States, air pollution annually kills nearly twice as many people as do traffic accidents and that deaths from air pollution equal deaths from breast cancer and prostate cancer combined,” said Tiffany Schauer, executive director of Our Children’s Earth Foundation.
Mammoth Cave, Kentucky is an epicenter for Air Pollution. It is surrounded in Kentucky by 40 Coal Fired Power Plants.
“Mammoth Cave ranks as the fifth-most ozone-polluted park in America. Scientists are beginning to investigate whether ozone exposure in the park reduces growth of some tree and animal species.
“One of the greatest threats to Mammoth Cave National Park is mercury contamination caused by emissions from coal-fired power plants. Nationwide, coal-fired power plants contribute to more than 40 percent of mercury emissions.
Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that is passed up the food chain. The park’s endangered Indiana bat has been found to have mercury at ten times the level considered safe for people. Ozone pollution in the park consistently exceed levels known to harm plants. The National Park Service says that hazy skies are a significant concern at the Mammoth Cave National Park.”
“Three new coal-fired power plants are under active development within 186 miles (300 kilometers) of Mammoth Cave, an area that already contains roughly 40 operating coal-fired power plants.
Each year, these new plants would emit into the Mammoth Cave area air shed more than 12 million tons of carbon dioxide, 14,724 tons of sulfur dioxide, 7,650 tons of nitrogen, and 606 pounds of toxic mercury, further endangering park wildlife and the health of park visitors.”
“Polluted caves endanger water supplies, wildlife: Examples abound, including raw sewage flowing into Shalers Brook inside Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. Mammoth Cave National Park’s visibility, ozone, and acid deposition identifies it as the third most polluted national Park. Coal fired power plants built between 1962 and 1977 contribute to this designation.”
“Recently, the Department of Interior approved plans for a new coal fired power plant in western Kentucky that critics charge will increase air pollution at nearby Mammoth Cave National Park, which already suffers from some of the worst visibility in the nation.”
‘Center your protractor at Mammoth Cave and sweep it around the Kentucky map with a radius of 186 miles. The area covered includes most of Kentucky and Tennessee and parts of Southern Illinois, Indiana and Ohio and tips of Northern Alabama and Georgia.’
Kentucky Football practices must be scheduled around dangerous Air Alerts and dangerous temperatures and heat indices that occur on the same day. Coaches must be vigilant and monitor daily weather conditions and not practice outside during those dangerous times.
Coaches must have a contingency plan that allows adjustment of the practice or contest time when necessary to avoid these health risks.
Open Today – First Plant to Make Pollution-Free Fuel From Raw Coal; Top Government and Industry…
Publication: Business Wire
Date: Monday, June 24 2002
Energy, Conservation & Business Editors
CHARLESTON, W. Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–June 24, 2002
Low Cost, Patented Process Removes 99.5% Of Toxic Ash;
Can Reduce Emissions Up To 50%
Today, in a ceremony at the Holden, West Virginia Technical Facility, executives of CENfuel FPU LTD. joined local and national leaders and actor Leslie Nielsen to announce the US commercial availability of a proprietary process for ultra-cleaning coal prior to combustion.
The rise and volatility of natural gas prices, combined with increasing energy demands and global unrest, has US policy makers and generation companies seeking alternative power plant fuels. The CENfuel(TM) process taps the US’ largest fossil fuel energy source without the environmental and operational drawbacks of today’s coal.
According to Chris Rowlands, CENfuel’s president, “CENfuel(TM) offers a next-generation fuel source that converts coal from a source of concern to an energy-efficient, environmentally smart, cost effective and price-stable solution.”
The CENfuel(TM) Process, proven in 25 years in laboratory and pilot plant testing of more than 100,000 tons in Europe, Asia and the US, is the only method for cleaning coal pre-combustion. It removes the particulates causing environmental problems and energy-efficiency losses in current generation coal-fired power stations and manufacturing plants. The resulting fuel is a cost-effective alternative to natural gas, fuel oil and raw coal in power plant applications. In addition to numerous environmental advantages, CENfuel(TM) increases coal’s versatility for energy and commercial applications; provides significant cost savings; and supports many coal-related industries through by-product recovery.
Jefferson County led Kentucky in childhood asthma hospitalizations for 2002-03 with 650 cases, followed by Graves County with 408 cases. Seven eastern Kentucky counties (Bell, Clay, Harlan, Johnson, Lawrence, Perry and Pike) had more than 100 cases as did Fayette and Daviess counties during 2002-03. However, this data does not provide the full extent of asthma prevalence in Kentucky since it only represents those cases that resulted in hospital visits.
The American Lung Association of Kentucky estimates that 70,000 children in the state may suffer from asthma.5 The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a telephone survey conducted by the CDC and the Kentucky Department for Public Health, estimates that 9.5 percent of adult Kentuckians had asthma in 2002, ranking the state third in the nation for the prevalence of asthma.6 The survey estimates asthma among high school and middle school students in Kentucky at 9.8 percent.
The Kentucky Asthma Partnership, composed of representatives of the American Lung Association of Kentucky, the Kentucky Department for Public Health, the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville, was created in 2003 to promote greater dialogue on asthma in Kentucky. The partnership has established workgroups to address the following areas: data and surveillance; education; treatment and management; and policy and legislation.7
2002 – 2003 Total Asthma Hospitalizations by County Ages 0-14
Indicator 2. Childhood Asthma Hospitalizations (2002-03)
Jefferson 650 Fayette 131 Graves 408 Daviess 166 Harlan 201
Lawrence166 Johnson 121 Pike 119 Perry 104 Bell 189 Clay 117
Kentucky Energy WatchPublished by the Governor’s Office of Energy
Policy January 8, 2008Note
Kentucky Department for Energy Development and Independence. 2008. Carbon Management Report. Retrieved March 20, 2009 (http://www.energy.ky.gov/NR/rdonlyres/DCA3F2AF-F208-4EB4-9C1E-890BE19CEE12/0/CarbonManagementReport.pdf).
Clean Air Trust, School Bus Pollution
Preserving the Park, OhRanger.com
Threat down below: Polluted caves endanger water supplies, wildlife, Environmental Health News
Kentucky National Parks, Mammoth Cave
Mammoth Cave National Park: Air Quality at Risk
Energy Information, Biofuels in Kentucky
Child’s Environmental Health Kentucky