Friday, June 13, 2014

YOU are invited

Media Alert 

Citizens’ Groups to Take on State and EPA over 
“Close Enough” DFW Air Plan for New
Smog Standard at Monday Meeting

Downwinders: Agencies “breaking the law” if new controls 
aren’t required for cement kilns and gas compressors

What: Regional Clean Air Meeting on New Anti-Smog Plan
When: Monday, June 16th 10 to 12 noon
(citizen presentations from 11 to 12)
Where: North Central Texas Council of Governments HQ
616 Six flags Road, Arlington
Who: Downwinders at Risk and Texas Sierra Club
Why: State is proposing no new air pollution controls to reach tougher new smog standard by 2018 because it gets “close enough” without them

(Arlington)--- A local group that has a decades-long interest in cleaning-up DFW’s chronic smog problem will tell local officials why the EPA is under a legal obligation to require new controls for major sources of pollution in the next round of clean air planning at this next Monday’s regional meeting at the North Central Texas Council of Governments headquarters in Arlington.

Both the Texas Sierra Club and Downwinders at Risk were asked to present their cases for more controls as part of the requirement under the Clean Air Act to implement all “reasonable available control measures" or “RACM” (pronounced “rack-em”) in the new anti-smog plan that has a deadline of 2018 to reach a tougher ozone pollution standard of 75 parts per billion over an eight hour stretch. DFW has yet to meet the old 1997 standard of 85 ppb.

“Rick Perry’s ‘environmental agency,’ and I use the term loosely, says it doesn’t believe we need any additional pollution controls to reach a level of air quality never before attained in North Texas. The last time they said that, they actually managed to raise smog levels,” complained Downwinders at Risk Director Jim Schermbeck. “We have an excellent case for why the EPA must require the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to do more than sit and watch as the Clean Air Act is willfully violated again. In terms the TCEQ might understand, ‘the chickens are coming home to roost.” TCEQ Chair Bryan Shaw has a degree in Poultry Science.

Specifically, Schermbeck claims requirements for state-of-the-art controls on the Midlothian cement plants, and electric compressors, are long past due, and will argue that ignoring them puts the state’s plan in violation of the RACM section of the federal Clean Air Act. He says there’s a long history of the state going out if its way to obfuscate the obvious impacts these sources have on the areas in DFW with the most stubborn smog problems – Tarrant and Denton Counties. “It’s time to bring safe and legal air to DFW. “

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