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air pollution

Northbound traffic on I75-I85 headed Downtown
Alison Guillory / WABE

Georgia Tech researchers have found it's not just car emissions sending people to emergency rooms in Atlanta, but all that dust coming off brakepads and tires.

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Last year, researchers suspended monitors near I-75 in Atlanta to measure air pollution including the acidity in the air.

Azadeh Shahshahani, Legal & Advocacy Director of Project South
Eboni Lemon / WABE

Thursday on "Closer Look with Rose Scott and Jim Burress":

Alison Guillory / WABE

One of Georgia’s most notorious air monitoring stations is on top of Fire Station Number 8 in northwest Atlanta. It's notorious because it consistently ranks among the worst in the state in levels of air pollution.    

“Those in EPD who are familiar with air quality issues are very familiar with this monitor,” said Rich McDonald, with the Environmental Protection Division.

Atlanta skyline in smog.
Cwolfsheep /

Atlanta has struggled to meet federal limits on the pollution that causes smog, and those standards may get tougher. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets limits on ground-level ozone, also known as smog, and the agency has a court-ordered deadline to release a new standard on Thursday.

Smog forms when cars, factories and power plants release chemicals, that than then react with sunlight. Health and environmental advocacy groups support reducing smog levels, while some business groups argue that tougher regulations are too expensive.

In this July 10, 2007 file photos, the coal-fired Plant Scherer is in operation at Juliette, Ga.
Gene Blythe, File / Associated Press

Georgia is suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. No, not over the recently-finalized Clean Power Plan, at least not yet.

The state is suing the EPA over another new rule, known variously as Waters of the USA or the Clean Water Rule, but that’s not what this lawsuit is about, either.

Ga. Activist: More Minority Voices Needed In Energy Debate

Aug 11, 2015
26 Sanyo PV modules sitting on the roof of a family home in Massachusetts produce a total of 5KW of solar electric energy. This set up is projected to produce roughly 100% of the household's electricity.
Bob Gaffney /

The Obama administration recently unveiled an unprecedented action plan to address climate change. The Clean Power Plan significantly cuts carbon emissions from U.S. power plants over the next 15 years, setting the first-ever carbon emission standards for power plants.

After the administration's announcement, some Georgia officials expressed concern that the plan will ultimately hurt minorities and low-income families by driving up energy costs.

Atlanta skyline in smog.
Cwolfsheep /

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency wants to reduce the pollution that causes smog. Gov. Nathan Deal opposes the plan.

He is one of 11 governors that sent a letter to the EPA earlier this week, outlining concerns with a proposed rule that would lower the limits on ozone.

Copyright University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Air pollution in the summer is different from air pollution in the winter, but winter pollution hasn’t been studied as much. Now a team of scientists is working to learn more about it: Where it comes from, where it goes and how it affects health.

Cities have plumes of pollution that flow downwind, just like plumes of smoke coming out of chimneys, only way bigger. But that pollution comes from different sources and takes different forms, depending on the season.