May 2013

(Frisco)— The local citizens group monitoring the clean-up of the former Exide lead smelter site in Frisco released a letter it’s sent to the Frisco City Council citing what they say is a contradiction between the City’s stated goal of meeting strict “residential” standards for toxic contamination removal, and the use of less-stringent “industrial-site” testing […]

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Around 2003 or so, the Dallas Morning News editorial board convened a roundtable of air pollution stakeholders and more or less facilitated a discussion of what could be done to clean up DFW's dirty air. You see, the area still hadn't complied with the 1997 national smog standard and more and more official air quality […]

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Tools for Citizens

by jim on May 24, 2013

The Texas Tribune is a completely online journalistic experiment. Of late, it's offered some cool interactive tools for the curious-minded: 1) Interactive Map of Ammonium Nitrate Sites in Texas Wondering if your friendly neighborhood feed store is another "West" explosion waiting to happen? You can track down over 110 sites listed by the State Health […]

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This is a 23 second video shot on the corner of Eubanks and 5th Street  in Frisco earlier this month. This corner is the northeast border for the property owned by the Exide lead smelter. When it begins, the camera is looking south toward the now shuttered smelter. In fact, at the 3-second mark, you […]

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Behind Closed Doors Again

by jim on May 23, 2013

On Wednesday the Dallas City Council met in executive session to talk gas drilling. Will there be a move to vote on the Trinity East permits before the new, slightly less drill-enamoured Council is seated on June 24th, or was this just another chance for the City Attorney to lecture members about how dire the […]

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We Need More Claudia Meyers

by jim on May 21, 2013

There are failures and then there are glorious failures. Just ask William Travis. Claudia Meyer did not win her District 3 council race against Vonciel Hill on May 11th. Odds were heavily against her doing so. But Claudia knew this going in. And still she fought a good fight.  "I wanted you to see what […]

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Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe (R), who maintains that global warming is a hoax created by former Vice President Al Gore and the United Nations, said on Tuesday that it was "hard to explain" why Monday's tornado was "so much worse." During an interview with John Berman on CNN, Inhofe remarked that the storm had transported […]

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How Mary Suhm Fracked Herself

by jim on May 17, 2013

When you take on polluters, you take on the government that lets them pollute. The two are intertwined. On Thursday, Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm announced that she was resigning. Just about every news account of her announcement connected it to a series of missteps over the last several years, most prominently, the February disclosure […]

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The dust hasn't completely settled, but it's clear that Saturday's municipal election generally strengthened anti-drilling sentiment on the Dallas City Council. This happened because of two things: 1) Residents elected anti-drilling candidates outright (Griggs and Medrano, with a run-off for Kingston), and 2)  a couple of hard core supporters of the Mayor's and Mary Sumh's […]

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Some cynics don't think voting matters. They're wrong. It matters a lot. Especially local elections. Because the pool of votes is smaller, each vote is magnified. Your vote literally counts for more. Because the elected official is a neighbor and governs from City Hall or the Courthouse instead of Austin or Washington, they're more directly […]

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Get ‘Em While They Last….

by jim on May 8, 2013

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Residents who live in more polluted parts of their town may have as much as a 2% greater risk of strokes and heart attacks than people who live in areas with cleaner air. That's the conclusion of a new study that specifically links PM 2.5 – that is soot or particulate matter that is 2.5 […]

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Coming down the hill from the west is a freight train full of woe for Exide. It's carrying at least five shareholder lawsuits aimed at the company for not disclosing its environmental liabilities, including those stemming from the operation of its Vernon, California smelter. That would be the same smelter California state officials shut down […]

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There's a new short video series called "Retro Report" that the New York Times is producing. Its first effort is about the wayward voyage of the Mobro 4000 –  not a new video game, but a six-million ton floating pile of New York City garbage that captured the nation's attention in 1987. 12 minutes of […]

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You can't tell the players without a program. Read this take on the recent flare up between John Wiley Price and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins on the issue of aerial sprying for West Nile. Schutze is the only writer using the term "endocrine disrupter" in connection with what the authorities want to spray and […]

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According to today's Dallas Morning News, the Holcim cement plant in Midlothian is storing 45 tons of ammonium nitrate, the same substance that authorities believe caused the West blast, in its limestone quarry. Apparently no DMN reporter asked what a cement plant was doing with so much "fertilizer" on its premises. Using it as another […]

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