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Bay Journal: Satellites, drones join fight against air pollution in Pennsylvania

1 min read

Environmentalists are employing high-tech tools in a concerted effort to hold industry accountable for methane emissions, Ad Crable writes for the Bay Journal.

In a nutshell:

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, in collaboration with Carbon Mapper and myriad partners, communities and groups, is contributing to a worldwide effort to monitor methane emissions via satellites, air-based sensors and boots on the ground.

Key quote:

"“It’s not our parents’ or grandparents’ environmentalism. It’s definitely not just sitting in trees. It’s a different type of environmentalism and it’s much more sophisticated,” said Justin Wasser of Earthworks.

Big picture:

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, responsible for nearly a third of emissions globally since pre-industrial times, according to the United Nations Environment Programme. It's also the main contributor to round-level ozone, implicated in one million premature deaths annually.

Methane satellites, due to launch later this year, and their expected trove of emissions data will put a spotlight on the global impact of the problem. Activist groups, outgunned by industry for years, say that although they are much better equipped to identify and monitor violators and scofflaws, the political will needed to bring about meaningful policy change is still lacking, as is enforcement.

You can read veteran journalist Ad Crable's story here.

For more on the health risks of living near fracking wells check out EHN's award-winning series: Fractured: The body burden of living near fracking

About the author(s):

EHN Staff

Articles written and posted by staff at Environmental Health News

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