Monthly Archives: April 2010

Texas counties fail Air Report while state environmental commission tries to cut back fees on polluters

The American Lung Association issued its Annual State of the Air Report this week. The report looks at levels of ozone and particle pollution found in monitoring sites across the United States in 2006, 2007, and 2008.

Key National Findings:

  • More than 175 million people (around 58%) in the nation suffer from pollution levels that exceed health-based federal standards.
  • While air quality is improving in many cities, unhealthy air remains a threat to the lives and health of millions of people in the United States.
  • People who have low incomes face higher risk of harm from air pollution.

Texas Findings:

  • Houston is the 7th most ozone-polluted city in the country.
  • 21 of the 36 Texas counties studied in the report received an F for having too many high ozone days.
  • Harris County, home to almost four million people, had 77 orange ozone days (unhealthy for sensitive populations), 16 red ozone days (unhealthy for the general population), and three purple ozone days (very unhealthy for the general population). Read More »
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12-Step Program for TCEQ to Clean Up Air Pollutant "Hotspots" in Texas

Playground with pollutionOur first post to Texas Clean Air Matters offers a 12-step program to TCEQ for cleaning up air pollutant hotspots around the state (and not just because it's Earth Day, but if it helps promote the cause, we'll take it).

1. Identify that we have a problem with toxic air

As with other 12-step programs, the first step toward recovery is admitting that there's a problem. Texas, we have a problem: It's called "hotspots." The Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) recently released the 2009 Air Pollutant Watch List (APWL) report, which outlines areas around the state where pollution levels for one or more toxic compounds exceeds the state’s health-based levels of concern, referred to as "effects screening levels" or ESLs. Some of the pollutants within these hotspot areas can cause cancer, birth defects, or even death. Read More »

Posted in Air Pollution, Clean Air Act, Climate Change, Flare emissions, TCEQ, Texas Permitting / Tagged , , , | Read 4 Responses