October 2011

The so-called “budget crisis” in Austin this last legislative session gave industry and their favorite presidential candidate the opportunity to slash the budget of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. One thing they cut were the programs that offer incentives to get your older, dirtier car fixed or buy a new cleaner one. You may […]

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A profile of a Florida Cemex plant reveals the fluidity of current fuel mixes finding their way to your local neighborhood kiln. The entire industry is in flux as a result of new EPA emission rules, concern about greenhouse gases, and the costs of coal in a poor economy. That’s opened up possibilities that just weren’t there […]

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  Because of the relative abundance of cheap land, most Western states have not seen the kind of garbage-incinerator building spree a lot of the East Coat and Mid-West has experienced over the last 30 or so years. We still landfill our trash in Texas for the most part. In their sales pitches, garbage burners […]

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Federal Ozone Soap Opera Continues

by jim on October 13, 2011

 EPA administrator Lisa Jackson has a young son with asthma. That’s one of the reasons she was such a passionate advocate for new, lower, tougher standards for ambient ozone pollution, or smog, before the rug got pulled out from under her by the President and his campaign advisers last month. In a newly released report […]

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Federal Ozone Soap Opera Continues

by jim on October 13, 2011

  EPA administrator Lisa Jackson has a young son with asthma. That's one of the reasons she was such a passionate advocate for new, lower, tougher standards for ambient ozone pollution, or smog, before the rug got pulled out from under her by the President and his campaign advisers last month. In a newly released report that […]

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TXI’s giant cement plant in Midlothian is seeking permission to burn a long list of so-called “non-hazardous” wastes, including a substance called ASR – Auto Shredder Residue. This waste, also called auto fluff, is composed of all the non-steel parts of a car or truck. The plastic and foam dashboard that turns into dioxin when […]

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Never doubt the ability of a small group of committed citizens to uncover government agency mistakes. Yesterday, a handful of Frisco residents met with EPA Region 6 staff about their local Superfund Site-in-progress known as the Exide lead smelter. The list of subjects to discuss was long and varied. Lead-paved streets, lead-lined creeks, lead contaminated […]

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In 1995, a Midlothian tire disposal company that collected, stored and shipped used tires for the near-by cement plants to burn in their kilns caught fire itself and burned for almost a month. It was located right across the street from the TXI plant. Black, toxic smoke wafted between high rise office buildings in Downtown […]

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The Asthma Epidemic In North Texas

by jim on October 3, 2011

 Jan Jarvis plays the Star-Telegram’s environmental reporter-for-the-day role and chronicles the updated inventorying of North Texas asthma rates as reported by the Cook Childrens Hospital’s Children’s Health Assessment and Planning Survey, or CHAPS.  Two years ago Downwinders was specifically invited to a presentation on the asthma data, because of a certain graphic that mapped where […]

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