Monthly Archives: November 2010

PARENTS: Act Now Before Funds Run Out for Cleaner School Buses

Parents, if your children are riding to school in buses built before 2007, the air they’re breathing inside the bus may contain more than five to ten times higher the diesel pollution found outside the bus. Alarming, isn’t it?

Even more disturbing are the studies showing that these older school bus diesel engines spew nearly 40 toxic substances, smog-forming emissions and particulate matter, better known as soot.  Your children, who breathe in more air per pound of body weight than adults, are at an even higher health risk because their lungs are still developing.

Why am I telling you this? Because there’s hope on the horizon for those school districts that act fast and apply for new funding that could help make their school buses cleaner.

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Offending Those of Us Who Care About Clean Air

Photo taken by Uwe HermannThe Texas clean air disinformation campaign is still alive and kicking as shown by Kathleen Hartnett White and Mario Loyola in their Nov. 17 Washington Examiner op ed, “EPA is offended by Texas’ successful permit rules.”

My colleagues Ilan Levin with the Environmental Integrity Project and Matthew Tejada with Air Alliance Houston agreed that such disinformation deserved some clarification to help Texans put the issue into proper perspective. Our responses to their Nov. 17 claims:

  • Despite being a world center of energy production, Texas has dramatically improved air quality. The air in Texas is getting better, but we have a long way to go. Our own state environmental agency (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) released a report earlier this year outlining areas around the state where the pollution levels for air toxics exceed the state’s OWN screening guidelines. Only four of the 13 areas around the state listed are showing any improvement. The other nine are static or getting worse. Some of these areas have been on the air pollution watch list for more than a decade. Texas also continues to be number ONE in emissions of many of the most serious pollutants, including nitrogen oxides (a precursor to ozone), carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds, particulate matter (PM10) and mercury from power plants. Read More »
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Clearing the Air About the Air in Texas

It’s been a while since I’ve written, but after a series of public statements from Governor Perry and his appointed officials, I thought it was time to jump back into the game and clear some of the recent mis-statements about Texas air quality. Texas officials have said that the air in Texas is cleaner than any other state in the country and that it’s due to the state’s environmental policies. But is that true?

I don’t think so, and here are just a few of the reasons why: Read More »

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