EPA and state air quality monitoring systems routinely fail to capture major pollution events a Reuters investigation revealed. Over the past decade, air quality monitoring networks identified no air pollution risks from 10 of the biggest refinery explosions across the decade, despite thousands of hospitalizations and the companies themselves reporting toxic emissions to regulators. One such explosion, at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery, was so large a National Weather Service satellite captured images of the fireball from space, yet the federal air quality index (AQI) rated the day as one of South Philly’s cleanest that year. Not only do many Americans, including those with respiratory illnesses, rely on the AQI for guidance on the safety of outdoor air, but regulators use the index to guide policymaking. Where the air quality measured by this network shows low pollution levels, new industrial projects — and their attendant pollution — are generally allowed to proceed. (Reuters)