Nitrogen Oxides

State officials and industry PR types thought they'd caught a break last summer when two things produced a much lower annual smog average, called a "Design Value."  Since it's a three-year rolling average of smog numbers, past years roll off as new ones come on. Smog numbers from 2011 that had been so high they'd […]

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By this point, most of you will have been inundated with opinions and factoids about what President Obama's new "Clean Power Plan" will and won't do about climate change. Bottom Line: while it sets a precedent and an emissions floor for the largest sources of CO2, it does so in a way which turns out […]

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Mercifully, the 2015 Texas Legislative Session is almost over. Since January we've seen cities stripped of their traditional zoning power over oil and gas facilities, citizens' ability to challenge new pollution permits further suppressed, and renewable energy sources singled-out for financial punishment. But the circus leaves town on June 1, and shortly after that Downwinders […]

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When environmental health advocates speak about the dangers of dirty air, the effects are often categorized as long term and cumulative. But the more scientists delve into the subtleties of the human body and what outside influences can do it, the more they realize that even short term exposures can be harmful. That's been especially […]

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Study: Less Smog Means Healthier Kids

by jim on March 5, 2015

Up to this point almost all studies about air pollution have tracked increasing levels of air pollution with decreasing levels of health. Respiratory problems, strokes, heart disease, Autism, Parkinson's-like symptoms – they've all been linked to exposure to high levels of air pollution vs exposure to less severe air pollution. Now, comes a new study […]

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There was at least one truth uttered by Steve Everley, the professional PR spokesperson for Energy in Depth, itself the PR arm of the Gas Industry, during his testimony at last Thursday's EPA ozone standard hearing in Arlington: "…natural gas producers will be significantly impacted by EPA’s proposal to reduce the National Ambient Air Quality […]

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(Midlothian) After a 14-year effort by local citizens, Holcim US Inc. is applying for a permit to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to install a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) unit in their Midlothian facility. It's the first application for commercial use of SCR technology in any U.S. cement kiln.    DFW-based clean air group […]

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Dallas Resident Liz Alexander showed up at the Council of Governments meeting room on Tuesday to lend her support to the effort to get more out of an anemic state ant-smog plan than the state wants to give. She was a warm body whose presence would be its own statement of concern. She was being […]

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It was only eight days ago the that online Texas Tribune did the first real overview of DFW air quality for this "ozone season." Borrowing heavily from the June 16th Downwinders at Risk presentation to the North Texas regional air quality committee, it concluded that there had been no discernible progress in regional air quality […]

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Swiss-based Holcim Cement is requesting a permit amendment to add new piece of pollution control equipment to its Midlothian cement plant, one of three cement plants that make the city the "Cement Capitol of Texas" and the largest concentration of cement manufacturing in the U.S. Good news, right? The problem is that the company is […]

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Want to see one example of how low state bureaucrats will stoop to underplay the significance of the impact of oil and gas pollution on DFW air quality? Take a look at some slides that were part of Monday's presentation by Downwinders at Risk's Jim Schermbeck to the regional air planning meeting. In the first […]

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The latest chapter in a decades old mystery game of "Get a Clue" happens tomorrow morning, Monday, June 16th when representatives of the Sierra Club and Downwinders at Risk present their case against the current state anti-smog plan during the regional air planning meeting at the headquarters of the North Texas Council of Governments, 616 […]

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A year from now, last Thursday' meeting in Arlington may be seen as a turning point. Local residents refused to let the air quality planning process die, showing up in numbers that forced officials to switch to a larger room, and making sure their opposition to another state "do-nothing" air plan was heard loud and […]

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This is why citizen participation matters. Last week, local officials were balking at reserving a slot at next Thursday's regional air planning meeting for a presentation by UNT researchers on how gas industry emissions from the Barnett Shale could be adding to DFW's chronic smog. After reading about the UNT research in the Denton Record […]

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Since fights over fracking began in the Barnett Shale, they've been mostly fights over specific permits, leases, or rules fought in one city at a time. Other than an occasional trip to Austin or DC to stop or support some piece of legislation, the action takes place in whatever community is putting up the most […]

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A Barnett Shale Manifesto…From Austin

by jim on March 31, 2014

Sometimes it takes a perspective above the grind of trench warfare to give you a better sense of what the entire battlefield looks like. That's what UT Law Professor Rachel Rawlins has done for Barnett Shale activists with the recent publication of her article "Planning for Fracking on the Barnett Shale: Urban Air Pollution, Improving […]

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