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Fuming over the Carbon Dioxide Rule
by the ABC Advantage Team - Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This week in Copenhagen officials gather for an international climate summit.

Obama administration is expected Monday to formally declare carbon dioxide a dangerous pollutant which could pave the way for the government to require businesses that emit carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases to make costly changes in machinery to reduce emissions -- even if Congress doesn't pass pending climate-change legislation. EPA action to regulate emissions could affect the U.S. economy.

An endangerment finding would allow the EPA to use the federal Clean Air Act to regulate carbon-dioxide emissions, which are produced whenever fossil fuel is burned. Under that law, the EPA could require emitters of as little as 250 tons of carbon dioxide per year to install new technology to curb their emissions starting as soon as 2012. An HVAC system that is properly designed, installed, maintained, and operated is essential to providing healthful indoor air; a poorly maintained system can generate and disperse air pollutants.

Control of pollutants at the source is the most effective means of promoting indoor air quality. An adequate supply of outdoor air is essential to diluting indoor pollutants.

In the absence of adequate ventilation, irritating or harmful contaminants can build up, causing worker discomfort, health problems and reduced performance levels.

Ventilation rates specified in most local building codes are design standards only, and therefore are not enforceable for insuring healthful indoor air quality after the system begins to operate.

Air cleaning is an important part of an HVAC system, but is not a substitute for source control or ventilation. All air cleaners must be properly sized and maintained to be effective.

An objective evaluation of indoor air quality, employee health, and productivity costs should be included when considering energy costs and energy-saving strategies.

Are you ready for how this could impact your facility? How is your facility air quality?

Check out the Wall Street Journal Article  Here.EPA Indoor Air Quality

Control of pollutants at the source is the most effective strategy for maintaining clean indoor air. Control or mitigation of all sources, however, is not always possible or practical. Ventilation, either natural or mechanical, is the second most effective approach to providing acceptable indoor air.

In the past, most buildings had windows that opened; airing out a stuffy room was common practice. In addition, indoor-outdoor air pressure differences provided ventilation by movement of air through leaks in the building shell. Today however, most newer office buildings are constructed without operable windows, and mechanical ventilation systems are used to exchange indoor air with a supply of relatively cleaner outdoor air.

The rate at which outdoor air is supplied to a building is specified by the building code. Supply rates are based primarily on the need to control odors and carbon dioxide levels; carbon dioxide is a component of outdoor air, but its excessive accumulation indoors can indicate inadequate ventilation. As was mentioned earlier, an HVAC system that is properly designed, installed, operated, and maintained can promote indoor air quality. When proper procedures are not followed, indoor air problems may result.

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