July 15, 1995 in City

Grass Seed Growers Need Better Pollution Solution

Robert W. Salnick Special To Opinion
 

I am angry and frustrated. It bothers me to:

Put up with the inconvenience of waiting in line to get my automobile pollution-certified.

Have to pay attention to which days I can burn a fire in my fireplace in the winter.

Pay higher prices for special gasoline in the winter (which, by the way, also gets me lower gas mileage).

Be limited to only two weeks during the year when I can burn yard waste.

Have to pay for paving on marginal roads, only to limit dust raised by traffic.

All this and more in an effort to lower our particulate and other emissions to the point where we won’t receive even more help from the federal government.

Meanwhile, open grass field burning fills the skies with tons of particulates. In fact, previous restrictions on burning have been lifted.

From my naive point of view, it appears that my efforts have been made only so grass field burning can continue. The frustrating part is that the burning of one field in a single year probably emits more pollution than all of my cars would for my entire life - even if they were not monitored by the government.

Granted, there are a lot more cars than there are fields to burn, but this is a comparison which each of us makes, one at a time, each time we see one of the huge, yellowish-gray mushroom clouds on the horizon.

Further, I am offended by the supercilious whining about how unprofitable grass seed growing would be if burning were proscribed. This argument has been made by every major industry which has been forced to install pollution controls over the past 30 years or so. Why is this one so special? I don’t believe it is.

As more and more people choose to live in a fixed space, practices which were once appropriate and acceptable cease to be so. Mankind is fouling his nest - not so much because we are doing things dirtier than we used to (it’s actually much the opposite, in most cases), it’s just that there are so many more of us.

I believe it is important to minimize our impact on the environment. I very much resent the implication that my efforts are being used, nay required by the county and state governments, in order to subsidize the profit of the grass seed industry.


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