Indiana, PA - Indiana County

MARK M. STEPHENSON: A modest proposal on fireworks

on July 17, 2013 10:50 AM

The Fourth of July fireworks displays were impressive as usual.

What was missing, however, was that, at least where I was, I did not see or hear of any state inspectors for water, ground or air quality issuing violations during or after the fireworks displays.

There were probably more air quality problems created during this short time period in Pennsylvania than that of all the natural gas-related drilling, fracking, production and compression activities combined in the last few years.

The combined displays, if centered in one area, might equal the calcium fluoride experienced in the week ending Sunday, Oct. 31, 1948, in Donora, from the steel mills and zinc production.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the federal government accepted the steel companies’ explanation that it was an act of God that the inverted air mass stayed in place for so long. It was quickly passed off by the state as necessary for full employment.

Hopefully, the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and others can address the fireworks pollution (such as “Fireworks Displays and Health” and/or “The Real Scoop on July Fourth Pollution”) and how it might affect the elderly, pregnant women and, of course, the younger generation of children.

Perhaps the pollution can be downsized considerably, or even eliminated, by curtailing the displays in 2014, as it appears to be one of the most severe polluters.

Let’s not be environmental hypocrites.

Mark M. Stephenson


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