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POLLUTION: Refinery fire less of a threat than wood stoves?

Letter by John Stadler, Fox Island on Feb. 22, 2012 at 11:46 am with 3 Comments »
February 22, 2012 11:46 am
Firefighters spray water at the BP Cherry Point Refinery fire Feb. 17. (AP Photo/The Bellingham Herald, Philip A. Dwyer)

Re: “Washington state investigates cause of BP refinery blaze” (TNT, 2-19) and photo.

With all that black smoke spewing for hours at least, “the U.S. EPA tested the air near the facility and at locations downwind and found no measurable threats from airborne pollutants related to the fire, according to the article.

Meanwhile, the Pierce County air pollution sniffers are ready to shut down with $1,000 fines the few remaining stokers of wood-burning stoves or heaters.

Do the Pierce County sniffers and the Cherry Point air sniffers come from the same planet?

Leave a comment Comments → 3
  1. Must not. Or maybe the sniffers at Cherry Point are so full of gas they can’t smell anything. I’d much rather smell wood smoke than gas/oil smoke.

  2. sandblower says:

    Mr. Stadler, wood smoke from fireplaces and stoves is only a problem when certain atmospheric conditions exist. That is when burn bans are put into affect. The refinery fire no doubt produced air pollution of a significant amount, but the atmospheric conditions did not favor keeping it around long enough to harm people in the area or downwind.
    Look up temperature inversion and any related weather patterns that you find associated with an inversion for starters.

  3. Concerning. The propane tank holds 180 gallons of propane. It cost $750.00 to fill it and it lasts for about 3 months if it isn’t too cold, plus the electricity to run it.
    The pellet stove burns without smoke, except when lighting off, and then it only lasts a few seconds. The pellets are $200.00 a ton (50 forty pound bags) and it uses a bag every two days at the temp we keep it. It also uses about $5.00 a month in electricity to run it.
    So: Propane heat costs approximately $300.00
    Wood Pellet heat costs approximately $80.00
    Concerning isn’t it?

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