EPA says taking over private property will benefit the economy

1 Comment

This is from The Daily Caller.

How will people loosing their property help the economy?

Productive farms growing food, hogs, cattle and other livestock

being shut down will affect the food supply and jobs.

Can the EPA run your property better than you? The Environmental Protection Agency says that its proposal to extend its regulatory powers over wetlands and waterways would produce economic benefits.

Republican lawmakers warn that the agency is trying to extend its power to regulate private property.

The EPA’s rule would redefine the term “waters of the United States” to include all “tributaries, regardless of size and flow, and all lakes, ponds and wetlands within a floodplain” reports E&E News. Other bodies of water, “such as geographically isolated wetlands, would have to be shown on a case-by-case basis to have a significant chemical, physical or biological effect on larger waterways downstream — a major point of concern for environmental groups” E&E added.

According to a document obtained by E&E News purporting to be from the EPA, the Clean Water Act rule would cost the U.S. between $133.7 million and $231 million per year and yield yearly benefits from $300.7 million to $397.6 million — meaning the rule could produce up to $263.9 million in economic benefits a year.

Republicans are displeased.

“The EPA’s draft water rule is a massive power grab of private property across the U.S. This could be the largest expansion of EPA regulatory authority ever,” said Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith. “If the draft rule is approved, it would allow the EPA to regulate virtually every body of water in the United States, including private and public lakes, ponds and streams.”

The EPA says that claims of private property takeovers are false. The agency told Fox News that the draft water rule would “not expand EPA’s or the (Army Corps of Engineers’) jurisdiction or protect any new waters that have not historically been covered under the Clean Water Act.”

Environmentalists have applauded the EPA’s rule as much needed clarification under the Clean Water Act, arguing that previous court decisions had caused confusion over what waterways the agency had authority over.

“The benefits of protecting our rivers, lakes and streams are clear,” said Ally Fields, a clean water advocate at Environment America. “With the drinking water for 117 million Americans at risk, it’s time for the EPA to fix the Clean Water Act and protect all our waterways.”

The EPA is basing its rule on a draft environmental report looking into the connectivity of waterways. The report has yet to be reviewed by the EPA’s science advisory panel and Republican lawmakers have urged the White House to put a hold on the rule until it has been reviewed.

“If EPA moves forward with this draft rule, as they have already committed to, the property rights of millions of Americans would be at stake,” said Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter, who joined with two House Republicans in asking the White House to stall the rule last month until it has been fully reviewed.

“The agency’s own science advisors have not had the opportunity to review the science underpinning this rule,” said Rep. Smith. “Any rule that could give EPA the authority to tell us what to do in our own backyards needs to be supported by sound science.”

Read more:


Democrats, EPA crack down on wood-burning at home

Leave a comment

This is from BizPac Review.

The EPA Stormtroopers are on the march

What is next our lawn mowers, weed wackers or

our charcoal grills and smokers?


Burning wood just isn’t green enough.

Only weeks after the Environmental Protection Agency effectively banned 80 percent of the wood-burning stoves money-saving Americans use to heat their homes, the attorneys general of seven states are suing to force the agency to crack down on wood-burning water heaters.

woodboiler1117The suit argues that the oldest heating method known to man – and a mainstay of poor, rural homes – is a health hazard,according to CNS News. .

The lawsuit, filed last month by the attorneys general of Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont – Democrats all, obviously – demands that the EPA start regulating the heaters. The plaintiffs claim the devices “increase particle pollution to levels that cause significant health concerns,” according to CNS News.

Suing the EPA to get stricter about regulation is like suing Joe Biden to say something stupid,

so the lawsuit is clearly friendly to the regulators of the Obama-hyper state. They get to impose their will on the rest of us again, with the cover of a court order.

“There’s no real dispute here,” Dr. Dale Dunn, a physician and policy adviser for the conservative Heartland Institute, told CNS News.

The lawsuit, he said, is “more akin to professional wrestling than an actual case. It’s another expansion of the leviathan.”

“EPA wants them to file the lawsuit because it wants to put the new regulation in effect, but it doesn’t have the statutory authority to do so,” Dunn said. “It’s like Brer Rabbit saying, ‘Please don’t throw me in the briar patch!’”

The lawsuit comes just after the EPA “cracked down” on wood-burning stoves by banning 80 percent of them from use – “forced” by a court order, naturally. The action also follows the out-of-control agency’s pattern of doing with regulation what it can’t do with democracy: “greenhouse gas” rules, King Canute-like fuel economy standards for cars (62 mpg by 2025), and its war on the coal industry.

We have three more years of an Obama EPA, which wants nothing more than to regulate every jot and tittle of American life, from doctor’s offices to the wood poor people use to heat their water.

A boiling point is coming – and Democrats in Congress know it.


Obama grasps for climate legacy as second-term agenda crumbles

1 Comment

This is from The Hill.

Obama is determined to force coal fired power plants to close.

Obama is determined to destroy the coal industry.


President Obama has a chance to craft a second-term legacy on climate change even as the rest of his agenda runs aground in Congress.

Gun control legislation is dead; immigration reform is on life support; and reaching a fiscal deal with Republicans appears to be a long shot.

To make matters worse, what was supposed to be his signature first-term achievement — ObamaCare — is suffering from a disastrous rollout.

But there’s one thing that’s going right for Obama: Executive action on climate change is moving full-speed ahead at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


“He may be able to do more through climate change [rules] because the EPA has the authority,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) told The Hill on Thursday.

The most far-reaching piece of Obama’s climate plan is carbon emission standards for the nation’s fleet of existing power plants, by far the largest single source of industrial carbon emissions. The EPA is also writing standards for new plants.

“I think climate change, immigration reform are both sort of legacy issues,” Blumenthal said. “The measure of his presidency will be whether he has left changes in law and regulation, but also a heightened awareness, which I think he has been doing.”

Princeton University professor Julian Zelizer said the push on climate change through executive action could shape Obama’s legacy — but only to a point.

“There are limits to what it will mean to his presidency,” said Zelizer, who teaches history and public affairs.

One problem facing Obama is that some of the new EPA regulations might not be settled by the time he leaves office.

“[Administrative actions] don’t have the same kind of impact in defining a president as big legislative accomplishments and they are more susceptible to being overturned,” Zelizer said. “The next president can change them. That’s always the problem.”

The president in June told the EPA to release draft federal emissions rules for existing power plants in June 2014 and complete them a year later. Then states would have until mid-2016 to submit plans to the EPA to implement the mandate.

But the coal and power companies are certain to challenge the rules in the courts.

“Even if EPA is able to stay on schedule and sign the final … rule by June of 2015, it is very unlikely that litigation over the rule will be resolved before the President leaves office,” said Jeff Holmstead, a partner at Bracewell & Giuliani who was the top air pollution regulator at the EPA under President George W. Bush.

Holmstead noted that after states submit their plans, the EPA must decide whether to approve or disapprove them.

“At that point, there is likely to be litigation over EPA’s decision,” said Holmstead, whose firm represents power companies that use coal and refiners that oppose EPA regulation, among other clients.

Holmstead predicted there would be “years of litigation” on the existing power plants rules, involving “possibly as many as 50 different lawsuits in every U.S. Circuit Court in the country.”

The White House is seeking to bolster public support to ensure the climate change actions stand the test of time.

Administration officials are seeking to parry intense criticism from Capitol Hill, where EPA critics are going on the offensive against the power plant rules.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz have been making a series of speeches and media appearances in support of Obama’s agenda.

Green groups are also marshaling their forces behind the rules.

Jeff Nesbit of Climate Nexus, a group that promotes action on climate change, said it’s important to have members of Obama’s green team promote the effort, even if the White House doesn’t need congressional approval.

Nesbit, the group’s executive director, said the “artificially contrived climate science debate is ending,” but added that’s just one step for advocates.

“McCarthy and Moniz are powerful, articulate defenders of both the science and necessary actions that emerge from that science basis — which is precisely what we need to reach a critical mass where a significant majority of the public wants and accepts actions to deal with climate change,” Nesbit said.

Polling suggests climate advocates still have work to do with the public.

Pew Research Center polling conducted in mid-October showed that 67 percent of adult U.S. residents say there’s solid evidence of global warming, a figure that Pew notes has “changed little in the past few years.”

Just 44 percent say it’s mostly caused by human activity. That’s in sharp contrast to the scientific consensus that the earth is warming and that burning oil and coal and other human actions are the major driver of it.

It’s also unclear how vigorously Obama will promote his climate policies.

The president devoted portions of his inaugural address and State of the Union speech to climate, and he then delivered a major speech spelling out his second-term plan.

But White House aides did not say Friday morning whether more speeches were in the works.


Last U.S. Lead Smelter to Close in December Due to EPA – Might Affect Ammo Production

Leave a comment

This is from Guns Save Lives.

Obama does not need to pass any gun laws.

Why garb guns when this move by the EPA will render

our firearms useless? 

According to the NRA-ILA, the last primary lead smelter in the United States will close down its operation in December.

This means the US will lose its capability to produce lead ammo completely within its borders from the process of mining to production of commercial cartridges.

Here is the press release from the NRA-ILA.

In December, the final primary lead smelter in the United States will close. The lead smelter, located in Herculaneum, Missouri, and owned and operated by the Doe Run Company, has existed in the same location since 1892.

The Herculaneum smelter is currently the only smelter in the United States which can produce lead bullion from raw lead ore that is mined nearby in Missouri’s extensive lead deposits, giving the smelter its “primary” designation. The lead bullion produced in Herculaneum is then sold to lead product producers, including ammunition manufactures for use in conventional ammunition components such as projectiles, projectile cores, and primers. Several “secondary” smelters, where lead is recycled from products such as lead acid batteries or spent ammunition components, still operate in the United States.

Doe Run made significant efforts to reduce lead emissions from the smelter, but in 2008 the federal Environmental Protection Agency issued new National Ambient Air Quality Standards for lead that were 10 times tighter than the previous standard. Given the new lead air quality standard, Doe Run made the decision to close the Herculaneum smelter.

Whatever the EPA’s motivation when creating the new lead air quality standard, increasingly restrictive regulation of lead is likely to affect the production and cost of traditional ammunition. Just this month, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that will ban lead ammunition for all hunting in California. The Center for Biological Diversity has tried multiple times to get similar regulations at the federal level by trying, and repeatedly failing, to get the EPA to regulate conventional ammunition under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

At this time, it’s unclear if Doe Run or another company will open a new lead smelter in the United States that can meet the more stringent lead air quality standards by using more modern smelting methods. What is clear is that after the Herculaneum smelter closes its doors in December, entirely domestic manufacture of conventional ammunition, from raw ore to finished cartridge, will be impossible.

California: Soon to be First State to Impose Full Ban on Lead Bullets

1 Comment

This is from Girls Just Wanna Have Guns.

How long before the EPA pushes for a nation wide lead ban?

In Kalifornia the inmates are running the asylum.



California is on the verge of becoming the first state to impose a full ban on hunting with lead bullets — with environmentalists and gun-rights advocates squaring off as Gov. Jerry Brown decides whether to sign the legislation.

The state already has a ban on lead-bullet hunting in eight counties with an endangered condor population. But the new proposal, overwhelmingly approved this month by the Democrat-controlled General Assembly, would impose a statewide ban on all hunting. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown has until Oct. 12 to decide whether to sign the legislation, which would not be fully implemented for at least several years.

Environmentalists and other supporters have broadened their argument beyond protecting the prehistoric condor bird, saying the lead bullets, and the left-behind lead fragments on which animals feed, are making their way into the country’s edible meat supply. And they point to a 2008 study by the Centers for Disease Control and the North Dakota Department of Public Health that concluded lead is so prevalent in meat harvested through hunting that pregnant women and children should never eat it.

“There is no safe level of lead for human consumption,” said bill sponsor and state Assemblyman Anthony Rendon, a Los Angeles-area Democrat. READ MORE HERE


Gold miners near Chicken cry foul over ‘heavy-handed’ EPA raids


This is from The Alaska Dispatch.

It is time to zero out the EPA budget and close these jackbooted thugs down.

This sadly is only the beginning of these type raids.

What happened to America?

We have became a banana republic with a two bit thug as our misleader.


When agents with the Alaska Environmental Crimes Task Force surged out of the wilderness around the remote community of Chicken wearing body armor and jackets emblazoned with POLICE in big, bold letters, local placer miners didn’t quite know what to think.

Did it really take eight armed men and a squad-size display of paramilitary force to check for dirty water? Some of the miners, who run small businesses, say they felt intimidated.


Others wonder if the actions of the agents put everyone at risk. When your family business involves collecting gold far from nowhere, unusual behavior can be taken as a sign someone might be trying to stage a robbery. How is a remote placer miner to know the people in the jackets saying POLICE really are police?


Miners suggest it might have been better all around if officials had just shown up at the door — as they used to do — and said they wanted to check the water.

Alaska’s vast Interior, which sprawls to the Canadian border, has been the site of federal-local distrust in the past. It was near this area, 130 miles northwest of Chicken, that National Park Service rangers pointed shotguns at, then tackled andarrested a septuagenarian, for not stopping his boat in midstream of the Yukon River in the fall of 2010. Jim Wilde, 70 years old at the time, had been ordered to prepare to be boarded for a safety inspection.

Wilde didn’t much like that demand. He swore at park rangers and then headed for shore and a meeting on terra firma. Wilde was arrested and taken to the jail in Fairbanks, more than 100 miles away. He was later tried and found guilty by a federal magistrate for failing to comply with a lawful order from federal agents.

The state of Alaska, as a whole, can be a place of deeply-rooted mistrust between locals and the agents who try to enforce federal rules.

Alaska has more federally owned and managed land than any other U.S. state. More than 65 percent of its land is under some sort of federal control.  A multitude of federal parks, preserves and wilderness areas are patrolled by agents from more than a dozen U.S. agencies. Many of the people in rural parts of the state, which are either under federal control or border federally-managed areas, have more contact with federal officers than they do with representatives from the state.

Miners from the Chicken area — a gold mining town of just 17 full-time residents and dozens of seasonal miners off the Taylor Highway, between Tok and the Canadian border — said that during the third week of August they were surprised by groups of four to eight armed officers, who swarmed onto their mining claims with little or no warning.

The officers were armed and wearing body armor. They were part of the Alaska Environmental Crimes Task Force and were there to check for violations of section 404 of the Clean Water Act, according to several miners who were contacted by the group. Section 404 governs water discharges into rivers, streams, lakes and oceans.

The task force’s methods are now being questioned by the miners as well as the Alaska congressional delegation.

“Imagine coming up to your diggings, only to see agents swarming over it like ants, wearing full body armor, with jackets that say POLICE emblazoned on them, and all packing side arms,” said C.R. “Dick” Hammond, a Chicken gold miner who got a visit from the task force.

“How would you have felt?” Hammond asked. “You would be wondering, ‘My God, what have I done now?’”

Hammond and other Chicken area miners aren’t alone in wondering what they have done now. Both Alaska U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich have inquired into the task force’s actions. Congressman Don Young is also looking into it. They have been having a difficult time getting straight answers from the EPA.

Rampant drug and human trafficking?

The EPA has refused to publicly explain why it used armed officers as part of what it called a “multi-jurisdictional” investigation of possible Clean Water Act violations in the area.

A conference call was held last week to address the investigation. On the line were members of the Alaska Congressional delegation, their staff, state officers, and the EPA. According to one Senate staffer, the federal agency said it decided to send in the task force armed and wearing body armor because of information it received from the Alaska State Troopers about “rampant drug and human trafficking going on in the area.”

The miners contacted by the task force were working in the area of the  Fortymile National Wild and Scenic River. The federal designation, made in 1980 as part of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, protects 32 miles between Chicken and Eagle, Alaska. It is a remote area, close to the Canadian border and the town of Boundary. The nearest city of any real size is Fairbanks, 140 miles to the northwest. It was unknown to everyone in the area that there is a rampant problem with drug and human traffickers.

This also came as news to the Alaska State Troopers, whom the EPA said supplied the information about drugs and human trafficking, and at least one U.S. senator.

“Their explanation — that there are concerns within the area of rampant drug trafficking and human trafficking going on — sounds wholly concocted to me,” said Murkowski, R-Alaska.

“The Alaska State Troopers did not advise the EPA that there was dangerous drug activity. We do not have evidence to suggest that is occurring,” said Trooper spokesperson Megan Peters.

The Alaska Department of Law said it knew of the task force’s investigation but that it did not advise the group about any ongoing problems or dangers in the Fortymile River area.

‘Heavy-handed, heavy-armor approach’

“This seems to have been a heavy-handed, and heavy-armor approach,” said Murkowski. “Why was it so confrontational? The EPA really didn’t have any good answers for this.”

According to the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, one of its compliance officers went along with the task force, but only to look for potential state violations at the mine sites.

The DEC officer was armed.

The task force is made up of members of the EPA, the FBI, Coast Guard, Department of Defense, the Alaska Department of Public Safety and the DEC. The chief investigator, Matt Goers, said he could not discuss the details of the recent Fortymile River investigations. So far, no charges, state or federal, have resulted from the group’s work last month.

Miners in the area are not waiting for the results of the investigation. They have met in Chicken and are demanding a Sept. 14 meeting with the EPA, the state, and the members of the Alaska federal delegation to discuss the task force’s tactics.

“Compliance exams are a normal thing for miners. Usually (Bureau of Land Management) or DEC points out a problem and you correct it. This (the task force’s action) was way over the top and uncalled for. It was a massive show of intimidation,” said David Likins, a gold miner in the Fortymile Mining District.

Most of the mines in the area are small, family-run placer operations. They are like the mines seen on on the Reality TV show “Gold Rush: Alaska.”  They search for gold by digging up ground and running it through a sluice box, using water to wash away the rocks and leave the valuable gold behind.

The water they use must be allowed to settle in ponds before it’s discharged back into streams or creeks, so that mud and rocks don’t pollute clean, nearby waterways. Water turned turbid (cloudy or muddy) can kill fish.

Likins said the task force may have found one possible clean water violation at a mine near Boundary, very close to the Canadian border.

Likins said he believes the aggressive actions of the task force made their investigation much more dangerous for everyone, including the miners and the agents.

“If it were my mine, and I was sitting on some gold, and people came storming out of the woods, I would probably meet them on the porch, with my shotgun,” he said.


Stop Foolish Ethanol Mandates


This is from Town Hall.

This ethanol madness needs to be stopped Now.

Ethanol will destroy the motors of older model cars.

It takes a gallon and a half of gasoline to make one gallon of ethanol.

Making ethanol pollute more than a refinery that refines crude oil.

Ethanol takes away major amounts of food that could be used for food. 


The problems continue at President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency. Under fire for their leadership using private email addresses to illegally conduct official business and enacting new regulations through coordinated lawsuit settlements with outside environmental groups, the EPA shows no sign of slowing down in Obama’s second term.


Last month, in an attempt to deflect attention from scandals at the IRS, the NSA and the embassy in Benghazi, the Administration has turned its attention to the issue of climate change.

At the center of their new environmental policies is the EPA’s Renewable Renewable Fuel Standards, which mandates the use of ethanol and biofuels in the production of gasoline. This a prime example of misguided government regulation, as it punishes companies to use a type of hybrid fuel – known as cellulosic biofuel – which does not yet exist on the commercial market. In addition, drives up prices at the gas station for consumers (10 cents/gallon in 2011), while simultaneously driving up cost of food.

Record-high corn prices have also led to increased pressure on other grains such as wheat and soy – both of which have jumped in prices and are found in animal feed and numerous food products. Experts at the agriculture investment house Rabobank estimate there will be a historic 14% jump in overall food prices in the next year. As our economy recovers, this is the last thing struggling families should have to endure.

In 2012, during the worst drought for farmers in 50 years, the RFS diverted more than 50% our nation’s corn supply into ethanol production. As corn is part of many foods you and I enjoy every day, even many left-wing global hunger advocates are opposed to the use of corn in fuel. Destroying food to be used in inefficient forms of fuel is bad policy with serious repercussions.

In June 2012, three senators – John Barrasso (R – Wyoming), Mark Pryor (D – Arkansas), and Pat Toomey (R – Pennsylvania) launched a bipartisan effort to get rid of renewable fuel standards entirely. According to Sen. Barrasso, “The Renewable Fuel Standard is fundamentally broken and beyond repair. Instead of delivering meaningful environmental benefits, it’s driven up food and fuel costs for American families. This flawed program will also inevitably lead to widespread lawsuits against American manufacturers. When Congress enacts bad policy, the right response is to scrap it and start over.”

It is clear that these fuel standards aren’t working for consumers or refiners. Policy makers should focus on building more oil refineries and approving things such as the Keystone XL pipeline to transport tar sands oil from Canada into our country. The Renewable Fuel Standard should be repealed.


Unions Finally See Obama’s War On Coal Is Costing Jobs

Leave a comment

This is from the Liberty Alliance.

The unions are getting stabbed in the back by Obama.

The unions went to the wall to get Obama elected.

They were expecting Obama to be in their corner while they tried to 

wrap their tentacles of death wrapped around more companies. 


Obama’s war on coal represents a huge opportunity for Republicans. A story, Unions protest Obama on coal, covers the growing recognition that Obama’s war on coal is costing them jobs.

The Boilermakers Local 154, a union representing workers in Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, took a public stance against the EPA’s attack on the coal industry.

Responding to an editorial in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette, in a letter to the editor a leader of the union said: I represent more than 2,000 boilermakers in Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. My members learned the hard way that the EPA’s goal isn’t clean air; it’s eliminating coal and our way of life.

Critics of coal malign the thousands of boilermakers, mine workers and hard-working men and women who earn an honest living in our region from coal.

They insult us — calling us polluters and murderers. In its Aug. 6 editorial (“Coal Barons”), the Post-Gazette made outrageous claims about our livelihood, attacking our integrity and ignoring the tremendous environmental gains made by coal. In the last three decades, coal usage has tripled, but pollutants like sulfur dioxide have fallen by 56 percent.

The union thanked Republican Representative Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania for supporting union workers. The story also noted disapproval from the United Mine Workers Union about Obama’s climate change policy. Continue Reading at

Read the rest of this Liberty Alliance article here:


Obama prepares to slam coal, natural gas with executive orders

Leave a comment

This is from BizPac Review.

We are going to see gasoline prices jump to $8-$10.00 per gallon.

Our rates for power and natural gas will increase massively.

There will be major black outs and possibly no power

again large sections of America.

I can see 1776 from my house.


Get ready for a war on energy.

President Obama is expected to announce Tuesday a series of sweeping actions that will cripple domestic power production and smother America’snatural-gas industry, and the future it promises, all in pursuit of the fantasy ofrenewable energy.

powerplantThe executive actions, which don’t require approval from Congress, will include greenhouse-gas limits on power plants, increased appliance efficiency standards and the use of public lands to promote renewables, according to a Washington Post report.

Forget making your blender work more efficiently, or building windmills in Washington, though.

This is going to be a serious assault on coal- and natural-gas utilities, using theEnvironmental Protection Agency as an enforcing army. It’s an assault the administration backed away from in its first term when cap-and-trade died in Congress. With no re-election hopes to restrain it, the White House’s assault will be even more reckless.

“The administration’s war on fossil fuels is now fully joined,” Stephen Brown, vice president for government affairs for Tesoro Corp., told the Post.

Together, coal- and natural-gas-fired plants provide about 68 percent of all electricity in the United States, according to the Edison Electric Institute, with most of the remainder coming from nuclear power – another environmentalist no-no.

Renewable fuels outside of hydropower – the kind of renewables the president will be talking about – produce only about 5 percent of the country’s needs.

“Apparently, this White House is willing to sacrifice the American manufacturing renaissance brought on by booming domestic energy development on the altar of climate change,” Brown told the Post.

You can’t have a war without sacrifice.


DC ambulance breaks down while transporting shooting victim to hospital

1 Comment

This is from My Fox DC.

How many more people will die when Obamacare gets

added to the EPA rules?

I worry about getting treated when Obamacare starts next year.


The D.C. fire department is trying to determine why one of its newer diesel ambulances broke down as crews were transporting a patient in cardiac arrest.

It happened on I-295 Wednesday afternoon as Ambulance 19 was taking a shooting victim to the hospital. Then it took several minutes for a second ambulance to arrive.

The driver of Ambulance 19 is telling investigators the indicator lights on the emission control system suddenly and unexpectedly jumped from a warning to shut down in a matter of seconds, and as the engine died, she was able to pull the rig to the side of the road.

The question now is why? And can these newer rigs be trusted to be there in an emergency?

When the D.C. fire department began buying these diesel engine ambulances a few years ago, officials knew they would have to manage them with a new emission control system that would automatically shut the engine down if it wasn’t allowed to what’s called “regenerate.”

It was a mandate from the Environmental Protection Agency.

And until recently, the fire department said it had been able to handle the requirements without any significant incidents.

One of those incidents involved the same ambulance that broke down Wednesday.

“On May 22nd or 23rd, it was here in the shop,” said Deputy Chief John Donnelly of D.C. Fire and EMS. “It had a problem with the regeneration system. That problem was a lot different. The end result is the same – the engine gave a warning light. But it was different in some ways and we sent it to the dealer and got it back. It was repaired and it was running fine when we put it back in service.”

Donnelly says the drivers of the rigs and the people who manage them have to stay on top of the warning lights to make sure they don’t ever approach the shut down level.

“We don’t want to have any incidents like this, but we’ve shown we can manage it,” he said. “It’s tough. It takes a lot of coordination and effort and there are a number of people that work on it. The drivers have a role, the dispatchers have a role, the battalion chiefs and EMS supervisors have a role and everybody has been doing their job in managing this. I’m confident we can.

Although Donnelly says he is only aware of one recent problem with Ambulance 19’s emissions system, the union says they have a record of at least three.

“To my understanding, this particular problem has been reported three times prior since last August and not addressed properly with that particular unit,” said Union President Ed Smith.

Smith says minutes count with patient care, and engine shutdowns due to emission control are unacceptable.

“It’s going back to the manufacturer,” said Smith. “It should still be under warranty and let them get to the bottom of it.”

But in the future, the fire department may not have to deal with the issue.

In May of last year, after many complaints from other fire departments, the EPA issued a directive waiving the diesel emissions rules for fire engines and ambulances.

Donnelly was unaware of the directive and said he would look into it.

What is unclear is if the emissions controls can be disconnected or the fire department would have to buy new units without them.

When Ambulance 19 broke down, it was transporting 34-year-old Nathaniel McRae, who had just been in a shootout with D.C. police.

A medic continued to administer CPR while the crew waited for a second ambulance but McRae was pronounced dead at Howard University Hospital.

What is unclear is how long the crew waited for the second ambulance. But a spokesman for the fire department, Lon Walls, said “the delay did not affect care in any way.”

Read more:
Follow us: @myfoxdc on Twitter | myfoxdc on Facebook


Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: