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The Environmental Cost of Reducing Agricultural Fine Particulate (PM2.5) Dust Emissions

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1008749.(doi:10.13031/2013.32070)
Authors:   Paul A Funk
Keywords:   abatement, agricultural dust, air quality, fine particulate, emissions control, regulatory compliance

Revisions to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) were promulgated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2006, reducing acceptable fine particulate (PM2.5) levels. Non-attainment findings are scheduled for release in 2010. State environmental protection agencies in states with non-attainment areas are required to draft State Implementation Plans (SIP) detailing measures to reduce regional PM2.5 levels by reducing PM2.5 and PM2.5 precursor emissions. This paper shows how important it is for SIP authors to consider the energy requirements of control technologies. Regulations that require the operation of control technologies to reduce PM2.5 emissions will cause increased emissions where the electricity that powers those control devices is generated. This resulting increase in power plant emissions may be greater or more harmful than the avoided PM2.5 emissions.

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