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Air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from two coal-fired power plants in the Four Corners area of northwest New Mexico, the largest point source of pollution in America, were measured remotely by a Los Alamos National Laboratory team.
Led by LANL senior scientist Manvendra Dubey, the study is the first to show that space-based techniques can successfully verify international regulations on fossil energy emissions. Furthermore, the study was able to distinguish that emissions from the nearby San Juan Generating Station are actually less polluting than those from the nearby Four Corners Generating Station.
“A critical barrier to any future international treaty aimed towards controlling greenhouse and pollutant gas emissions is our inability to verify inventories and reduction of emissions claimed by individual nations following implementation of new technologies” Dubey noted, stressing that “in-stack monitoring of power-plant emissions is mandatory in the United States, and they are reported to the EPA to comply with the U.S. Clean Air Act, allowing us to test how well our verification method worked.”
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