Smelly exhaust gets an airing.
Byline: Diane Dietz The Register-Guard
Lowell Thomas, his wife and two dogs, Bonnie Blue and Baxter Black Baxter Black (born January 2, 1945) is an American cowboy, poet, philosopher, former large-animal veterinarian, and radio commentator.
Black grew up in Las Cruces, New Mexico. , like to walk 40 blocks from their house near the Lane County fairgrounds n. pl. 1. same as fairground. , on past downtown Eugene and back.
The stroll is a family affair. A way to fill their lungs with wholesome air - except for frequent encounters with oily, black-smoke-spewing cars, trucks and other vehicles.
"A lot of times, it's the old Volkswagen vans that have all the environmental stickers on them," Thomas said. "They're the worst. We see them coming and we think `Oh, my God.' ''
Thomas' irritation with polluting cars inspired him to complain to the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency. That has spurred the agency to consider regulating visible car exhaust, a potentially broad expansion of the agency's reach.
In June, the LRAPA LRAPA Lane Regional Air Protection Agency (formerly Lane Regional Air Pollution Authority) board will talk it over. Board member ideas range from requiring vehicle inspections, to levying a fine that could be forgiven when owners fix their cars, to forwarding complaints of smoking cars to police agencies, to sending vehicle owners a warning letter and - finally - to doing nothing at all. The issue may never advance beyond the conceptual stage.
But vehicle exhaust is a major concern for the board that's charged with protecting Lane County's air.
Cars and trucks are the top source of air pollution in Oregon, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the state Department of Environmental Quality. Some 40 percent to 50 percent of toxic air pollutants in Oregon come from vehicle exhaust, while large industries are responsible for only about 5 percent to 8 percent, the state agency figures.
The result of vehicle emissions? Asthma attacks, chronic lung diseases, emphysema emphysema (ĕmfĭsē`mə), pathological or physiological enlargement or overdistention of the air sacs of the lungs. A major cause of pulmonary insufficiency in chronic cigarette smokers, emphysema is a progressive disease that commonly , bronchitis, cancers, birth defects birth defects, abnormalities in physical or mental structure or function that are present at birth. They range from minor to seriously deforming or life-threatening. A major defect of some type occurs in approximately 3% of all births. - never mind burning, itchy itch·y
Having or causing an itching sensation. eyes - DEQ DEQ
Abbreviation for the Incoterm "Delivered Ex Quay." officials say.
"These very fine particulates carry a lot of the toxins and the soot and the pollution from the engine, and they can lodge easily in the lungs," DEQ spokesman William Knight William Knight may refer to:
Currently, dissuading Oregonians from driving smoke-emitting vehicles is the province of street-level law enforcement officers.
Oregon law bars drivers from allowing "visible emissions" to puff from their tailpipes for longer than seven seconds. A violation can mean a $90 ticket.
Eugene, Springfield and Lane County officers do hand out visible-emissions tickets: 82 in 2005 and 102 in 2004, court records show. Over the past half dozen years, Eugene police alone have written 441 visible-emissions tickets.
But given all traffic shenanigans shenanigans
1. mischief or nonsense
2. trickery or deception [origin unknown] police deal with - speeders, lane changers and red-light runners - smoky tailpipes aren't always a high priority.
"It's not one of the things we'd actually search out and cite," said Springfield Police Sgt. Brent Carpenter.
So, local clean-air advocates want tougher local laws and enforcement, such as regulations that LRAPA might be able to advance.
To reduce particulate matter particulate matter
n. Abbr. PM
Material suspended in the air in the form of minute solid particles or liquid droplets, especially when considered as an atmospheric pollutant.
Noun 1. in Lane County's air, for instance, LRAPA has lobbied local governments to adopt restrictions on wood stoves and fireplaces.
"We could also try to get city councils to pass ordinances that would require inspections or that vehicles be repaired if they're putting out foul emissions," said Eugene City Councilor coun·cil·or also coun·cil·lor
A member of a council, as one convened to advise a governor. See Usage Note at council.
coun Betty Taylor, who serves on the LRAPA board.
A half-million Oregon drivers - living in the Portland and Medford metro areas - already must get their vehicles inspected for emissions control every other year.
That's because those regions exceed the 1970 federal Clean Air Act standards for the level of carbon monoxide carbon monoxide, chemical compound, CO, a colorless, odorless, tasteless, extremely poisonous gas that is less dense than air under ordinary conditions. It is very slightly soluble in water and burns in air with a characteristic blue flame, producing carbon dioxide; in the air. Portland's problems were caused by its volume of traffic; Medford is cursed by its high valley geography.
Drivers in those regions must make an appointment, drive their vehicles to the inspection station, and pay a $10 or $21 fee - if their vehicles pass.
Ten percent of cars fail, DEQ figures show. Repairs average $75 for older cars and $180 for newer cars. The state won't issue license tags until the car is fixed.
Smoking cars fail automatically.
In the 1970s, Lane and Marion counties had days with high levels of carbon monoxide. But they weren't persistent enough to trigger a federally mandated inspection system. And pollution has eased over time as automakers produced cleaner-running cars.
For Lane County , the speed of technological improvement has outpaced the growth in population and traffic congestions, LRAPA Executive Director Merlyn Hough n. 1. Same as Hock, a joint.
v. t. 1. Same as Hock, to hamstring.
imp. & p. p. os>
p. pr. & vb. n. os>
n. 1. An adz; a hoe.
v. t. 1. To cut with a hoe. said.
The strict California tailpipe tail·pipe
The pipe through which exhaust gases from an engine are discharged. Also called exhaust pipe.
a pipe from which exhaust gases are discharged, esp. standards that Gov. Ted Kulongoski adopted last August are predicted to reduce carbon monoxide levels in the state even further.
That's good, LRAPA board member Bill Carpenter said.
Lane County would do well to avoid the federal inspection requirements, he said. He has lived in California and Colorado communities where inspections are required.
"It's like a whole other bureaucratic arm that has to get formed up," he said. "If it's needed, it's needed, but if there are ways to head it off. ... It's a major inconvenience."
It's unclear what kind of vehicle emissions program LRAPA could launch under its current authority.
In the rest of Oregon, where the DEQ regulates air pollution, the state runs a hot line that allows citizens irritated by smoking cars to call in complaints. The DEQ sends a warning letter to the car's owner and follows up with a call 30 to 90 days later.
"That's where our authority ends," said William Knight of the DEQ's Vehicle Inspection Program. "Most of the time they'll say `Oh yeah, I took care of that. Not to worry.' We have no way of verifying it; it's just their word."
LRAPA could send out letters, but phone calls might exceed its authority, Hough said.
Besides, to a certain extent, smoky cars are a self-solving problem. Old cars were built to run dirty; they could spew smoke and keep on going.
But when post-1980s models smoke, it's a signal of equipment failure that will soon cripple them.
Also, LRAPA is reluctant to burden poor people who rely on their smoky cars to get to work - which has proved to be a problem in Portland.
It's a tough issue, said Thomas, who walks with his wife and dogs all over Eugene. On one hand, you've got to consider the poor. "On the other hand, you have the rights of everyone in society to have clean air," he said.
"For any environmental thing you want to do, there's always a good reason not to do it. Everything has a cost."
Mechanics find clues in the color of smoke pouring out of auto tailpipes:
If it's white: Coolant coolant (kōō´lnt),
n or water is leaking into the combustion chamber. The cause could be a bad head gasket or cylinder head.
If it's blue: Engine oil is burning. The causes could be oil leaking into the combustion chamber; worn piston rings, valves or cylinders; faulty exhaust manifold; or a worn head gasket.
If it's black or gray: Fuel combustion is incomplete. The causes could be a clogged air filter; carburetor, choke fuel injection or emission system malfunction; ignition timing miscue mis·cue
1. Games A stroke in billiards that misses or just brushes the ball because of a slip of the cue.
2. A mistake.
intr.v. mis·cued, mis·cu·ing, mis·cues
1. ; or, low compression caused by engine wear.
- Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Here are some of the harmful fumes fumes
odorous gases and other volatile materials; inhalation of irritating fumes causes coughing and, if sufficiently severe, irreversible pulmonary edema. that come out your vehicle's tailpipe:
Ozone: The main ingredient in smog. Ground-level ozone irritates the respiratory system respiratory system: see respiration.
Organ system involved in respiration. In humans, the diaphragm and, to a lesser extent, the muscles between the ribs generate a pumping action, moving air in and out of the lungs through a , causing coughing and reduced lung capacity.
Particulates: Particles of soot created by incomplete combustion. The finest particles pose the most serious threat because they penetrate deep into the lungs.
Nitrogen oxide: Causes lung irritation and weakens the body's defenses against respiratory infections such as pneumonia and influenza.
Carbon monoxide: A gas that blocks the movement of oxygen to the brain and heart. The young and the frail are especially susceptible.
Sulfur dioxide: Reacts in the atmosphere to form fine particles that pose a risk to young children and asthmatics.
Hazardous air pollutants: An array of toxic chemicals linked to birth defects and cancer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), independent agency of the U.S. government, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1970 to reduce and control air and water pollution, noise pollution, and radiation and to ensure the safe handling and estimates vehicle emissions account for half of all cancers caused by air pollution. A federal study released last month estimated that 230 Oregonians are at risk of air-pollution induced cancers. The Oregon rate is 63 of these cancers per million residents, compared with the national average of 41.5 people per million.
- Union of Concerned Scientists The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is a nonprofit advocacy group based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States. The UCS membership includes many private citizens in addition to professional scientists. ; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Lowell Thomas and his wife, Peggy Mathes, walk their dogs along the path in front of their Eugene home. Pollution has disturbed their ritual. "These very fine particulates carry a lot of the toxins ... from the engine, and they can lodge easily in the lungs." - WILLIAM KNIGHT, DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY