June 2012

"Gas Emissions are too far west to impact DFW air quality." That was a statement by a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality air staffer at a Technical Committee meeting of the North Texas Clean Air Steering Committee in 2010 early on in the process of discussing a new clean air plan for DFW. That would […]

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June Smog Attack: Day 3

by jim on June 28, 2012

High ozone levels continued to take their toll on people and monitors Wednesday. Grapevine joined the Hinton Street Dallas monitor in recording its fourth "exccedence" of the old 1997 85 ppb smog standard and so establishing an official violaiton of it. This is an 8-hour standard wherein the average over eight hourly readings must be […]

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Unacceptable

by jim on June 27, 2012

On Monday, the Obama Administration announced that it was re-writing new pollution rules for cement plant pollution on the eve of their implementation, including delaying compliance by two years, almost doubling the soot pollution standard, and giving up trying to monitor that pollution in real time. This is an unacceptable rollback in emission rules that […]

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Happy Ozone Non-Attainment Day!

by jim on June 27, 2012

Ozone Non-Attainment Day is a traditional annual DFW event. Every summer there's a day when one or more air quality monitors records its fourth "exceedence" of whatever national ozone standard the region is violating. Then and only then does the monitor officially violate the Clean Air Act and put DFW in "Non-Attainment" of clean air […]

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What local news reports called a "massive fire" swept through the piles of industrial wastes waiting to be burned at the Argos Cement Plant in Harleyville South Carolina yesterday. Ten workers escaped injury, but the fire was so intense that it required the assistance of outside fire departments totaling 75 firefighters, three trucks and two […]

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As of 10 am on Tuesday, air quality monitors in Grapevine, Midlothian, Frisco and the Redbird area of Dallas had already recorded "Level Orange" concentrations of smog, including a 106 ppb reading in Grapevine. As late as 9 pm last night, ozone levels were still in the 90's in Weatherford.  It's going to be another […]

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Last Thursday an arm of the Centers for Disease Control issued a "Hazard Alert" concerning exposure to Silica pollution at fracking drilling site. This comes after nationwide tests by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health at 11 well pads showed alarmingly high Silica levels in the air. Silica is tiny sand particles. Breathe […]

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“Air Pollution Warning: Level Red”

by jim on June 26, 2012

Monday turned out to be the single worst day for smog in DFW in 2012.  Monitors in Northwest Ft. Worth, Grapevine, North Dallas and Dallas/Hinton Street recorded 8-hour averages of "Level Red" ozone –  a level of pollution according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that means, "The highest measured levels of ozone during […]

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Not many stories can startle you these days. But this one will. It's right out of one of those cheesy mid-70's eco-themed diatribes where Mother Nature finally gets her revenge for all the abuses heaped on her by humankind. Only this isn't a movie. It's real: a hybrid strain of Bermuda grass hypernized strain used […]

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Today's editorial in the Morning News on Injection wells is a good one, although you'd like it to add the lack of any good waste disposal options for billions of gallons of contaminated fracking fluid to the reasons not to allow fracking at all. At its core, the argument is whether it's fair for a […]

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Halfway to Failure

by jim on June 25, 2012

(Late Monday evening update: It's clear that the Hinton Street monitor will record its third "exceedence" of the 85 ppb standard this year, putting it just one away from making the entire region non-attainment" in 2012.) It's a bad sign when there are ozone problems on the weekends. It means that even with less people […]

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Fracking Call to Action

by jim on June 22, 2012

There are a bunch of grassroots groups endorsing and planning a late July series of actions in Washington DC aimed at countering the surge of fracking going on nationwide. The decentralized nature of the thing reflects the origins of the movement itself – one born inside the gas fields, not the Beltway. This is a […]

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Yeah, it's supposed to close by the end of the year. But that shouldn't mean the Exide lead smelter gets an even larger free pass to keep breaking the law on its way out the door.  Under the Clean Air Act, the facility is still subject to a clean-up plan for lead emissions that are […]

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Clean Air As Political Football

by jim on June 21, 2012

Yesterday's Senate vote on rolling back the new EPA Mercury rules for power plants is a great example of how both sides use fake controversies to puff-up their political bone fides and financial support. At issue is another move by Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma to gut the widely popular regulations that would establish limits for […]

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Not sure of what the point is of having a public hearing on a done deal, but that's what the Frisco Community Development Corporation is doing Thursday night at 6:30 at Frisco City Hall, where items 1 and 2 on the agenda are public hearings on the pieces of Exide plant property the CDC is […]

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Bad Air? There’s an App for That

by jim on June 21, 2012

Via the Dallas Morning New comes word that the American Lung Association has developed a new i-phone and Android app that can keep track of your local air quality status. It supposedly brings you real time smog and particulate matter info using the EPA's brightly colored Air Quality Index that you may have seen on […]

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