Houston Air

02008-07-13 | Health, News | 3 comments

Houston Mayor Attacks EPA over Air Pollution : TreeHugger
Bill White, the Mayor of Houston, thinks the air over his city is a toxic soup because of emissions from chemical plants and refineries. But he doesn’t know for sure, because the Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t test for it, it just relies on estimates from the producers.

According to the Houston Chronicle:

White said studies show that actual emissions can be 100 times greater than EPA estimates, which are based on industry-provided data.

To produce more reliable information, the federal agency should require refineries and chemical plants to verify the accuracy of their emissions with emerging laser technology and fence-line monitors, among other steps, White said.

“Up until now, the EPA has relied on rough estimates (((WHAT???!!))), and the companies themselves have done the estimates,” he said. “It’s a simple request, but it’s a very bold request. It’s a request that will allow the people of Houston to know what’s in their air.”

White said the EPA uses formulas, equations and assumptions to determine pollution levels from refineries and chemical plants that the agency itself described as flawed 12 years ago. ::Houston Chronicle


  1. Rik

    I work at one of those Houston area chemical plants. We are restricted in our emissions by a permit called Title V (five). It is basically a self governing permit by which we monitor our emissions ourselves and report the findings, good or bad. Based on those findings, we can be fined for deviations from the allowable emissions.(yes, allowable emissions) The company I work for shows good ethics in that we accurately report our emissions. I know, I am involved in part of that process. The trouble is, not every company is that way. Think what would happen if drivers were to send in a report for every traffic law we broke and then the local law enforcement agency sent us the applicable fines. I would be afraid to be anywhere near roads governed that way.

  2. dave

    The gov’t is too tight with big corporations.

  3. calittle

    I always knew I didn’t like Houston. Or big government.


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