You won’t find it in the official stories being written by The Caller, or the National Review, or Forbes or Politico. That’s what dog whistles on the Right are for. But you sure will in the comments sections of each of those publications. Even in the laid back Dallas Observer piece on the contrived controversy.“Spic, “Beaner,” “another product of the Black Plague,” “Don’t let the country re-nig” - these are just some of the lovely things being written by folks in making the argument about how why Dr. Armendariz should resign. It’s ridiculous to think that these people will be satisfied with Dr. Armendariz’s resignation – they’re still mad a black guy is President. And it’s one more reason why we need to loudly speak up for him. If you don’t think the ethnic origin of his last name has anything to do with the last couple of days of faux-outrage, you’re kidding yourself. Go read the comments sections and then go send an e-mail to EPA Administrator Jackson asking her to stand with Dr. Al and against this kind of racism: firstname.lastname@example.org
In this exchange between Joe Shine, who evaluates air permits for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and Jeff Stovall, who cooks up the permit numbers for Williams and Mockingbird, we find a number of disturbing elements. We know so many of you ABCAlliance blog readers are sharp, too, so weigh in. We look forward to seeing your reaction to this exchange.
Dad always said don’t be using the wrench handle to whack at a nail. Go get the hammer.
Why do state regulators allow a WATER SAMPLE to determine fugitive AIR emissions? Loading doesn’t just happen at the produced water tanks. There’s a slop tank and frack tanks at Argyle Central, too. If residents report odors during loading — which they have — then why isn’t there AIR SAMPLING to know what the truckers and the neighborhood are truly being exposed to IN THE AIR?
How many thousands of other natural gas facilities in our non-attainment area are allowed to gloss over this requirement?
Nothing about these air permits are truly about protecting the air. All it does is give operators the regulatory cover they need to pollute our neighborhoods.
That’s why the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has 3,516 employees. That’s a lot of regulatory cover.
Hey, Dad, where did you put that hammer?
Maybe it’s because those compressors are so loud, that the gas companies can’t hear when the regulators say stop.
Here is a Williams compressor on fire.
You know, like the kind we have by Liberty Christian School and on Jeter Road and Porter Road and Scenic Road and …
And here is how poorly they listen to the people in charge of everyone’s health and safety.
Cross posting from Texas Sharon:
I know several people in the Barnett Shale area who have experienced this problem.
New research on the air quality around natural gas wells provides additional evidence and controversy about the possible health effects from hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” In Colorado, scientists found that fracking wells emit potentially toxic hydrocarbons into the air.
Amy Paré is a plastic surgeon in Washington County, south of Pittsburgh, where over 500 wells have been drilled thus far. Paré specializes in cosmetic procedures — lifts and tucks, and breast implants. Two years ago, Paré started seeing patients with an unusual condition.
“We started to have more patients that would have open areas or recalcitrant lesions, that bled, ulcerated, didn’t quite heal. And usually they’re on your face,” she said.
Concerned about skin cancer, Paré took biopsies of the patients.
“And when we would send them off to a lab, they wouldn’t come back as a cancer but they wouldn’t come back normal,” Paré said. “And then we thought, ‘Well, are these patients exposed to anything?’ So then we would ask the patients are they exposed to anything at work or at home?”
It turned out many of these patients had one thing in common: They all lived near Marcellus shale gas wells. Paré asked her patients to take a urine test.
The urine test results are similar to what was found when the Department of Health Services did the blood and urine testing in Dish, Texas.
“Unfortunately we did find quite a few people that did have urine that had methane in it, toluene, and hippuric acid,” Paré said.
Unfortunately, industry has been successful in misstating the results of the Dish study so often that residents believe their spin. Ed Ireland still has misleading information about the study on his website.
Do airborne toxins from natural gas drilling cause illness?
A recent study of 28 people in Dish, done by the State Health Department, should be released any day. Preliminary results reported by people who participated in the study indicated that there is no evidence of any illness. Highest levels of benzene were found in the blood levels of people who smoked. See Frequently Asked Questions
I have heard Gilbert Horton, Devon Energy, repeat this misleading information when he speaks at council and task force meetings.
Several months ago I submitted an oped to the Denton Record Chronicle in an attempt to set the record straight. They still have not printed it. Here are some hard facts from the Dish blood and urine test:
- Half the people who were tested–HALF THE PEOPLE–had chemicals in their blood over the levels of the general population of the US.
- The chemicals in the blood, urine and tap water were the same chemicals found in exceedances in the previous air sampling.
- 15 chemicals were over the limit for the whole United States.
- 10 of those 15 chemicals were more prevalent in the non-smokers.
- 2 where equal in the non-smokers and smokers
- Only 3 of the 15 chemicals were higher in the smokers
- 50% of those tested had concentrations over the average for the United States.
We’ve been busy, busy here at the ABCAlliance. Super busy preparing lots of material, hoping to effect change in our community. We haven’t been blogging about it, but we will soon.
(And no, it has nothing to do with upcoming elections, but we like those challenges we see. Make those candidates work for it, voters.)
Ever since 65 air toxics were detected on the marching band parking lot a year ago, we have asked and asked: what will that chemical cocktail do to our kids?
Tufts University has proven scientists need not count very high before exposure to certain chemicals has a life-altering effect.
Last year, the state’s cracker-jack toxicologists sent re-assuring words to the Argyle ISD that there was nothing to worry about with our kids breathing those 65 toxics.
(And lest you forget, school officials brought ZERO skepticism to the table with that report.)
You see, toxicologists are all about the dose. As in, how many ibuprofen can you take before you poison yourself?
(The answer is: a lot. And that’s a good thing for those of us who must suffer methane hangovers all the time.)
For those low-dose threats, it’s all about the timing, Tufts says.
Let us spell it out for you.
This here project by our schools is b-a-d timing.
The timing of a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association does not escape us here at the ABCAlliance, and no we’re not talking about Go Red for Women.
If you don’t have a subscription to JAMA, and don’t want to pay the $30 for the single read, perhaps this summary from the Environmental Health News will help you understand why it has taken researchers so long to find the link between heart attacks and air pollution.
One of the most important findings of the new research is that it confirms that heart attacks increase even when exposures to worsening air quality are short in duration.
“We don’t have to be exposed for weeks or months or years,” Araujo said.