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MARCH NEWS2004 5-00-1.jpg (31968 bytes)

redhot.gif (1175 bytes)   Important Upcoming Events

Place: Blucher Nature Center (across from Blucher Park)
              205 N. Carrizo, Corpus Christi

SIERRA CLUB February 2004 Meeting Minutes

A political donation, Earth Day/Bay Day, a more upbeat report on City recycling,
a word on the Kemp’s ridley sea turtles, and an update on improving the monitoring
of plumes from refinery row plants all came under discussion at the March 2004 meeting.

At the opening of the meeting, Pat Suter, Chairman, asked Hal Suter, Political Committee
Chair, to report on the State Representative, District 34 race. Discussion followed and all
of the members present voted to donate $100.00 from the Coastal Bend Sierra Club to
Abel Herrero, who is in the Democratic runoff.

Earth Day/Bay Day activities will be held at the U.S. Naval Air Station April 17.

(Attendees should bring picture ID, and automobile insurance if driving.) Kathy Griffith,
Field Trips Co-Chair, is heading up an ED/BD Bird Walk in a secure area on the Naval
Base. She said that she will spread the word to people outside of Corpus Christi – Kingsville,
Rockport, etc. -- AND that she needs around 20 helpers. Call Kathy if you would like to
sign on.

Corpus Christi Solid Waste Services will provide bins for Earth Day/BD. Ken Jobe, who
chairs the Sierra Club Recycling Committee and is on the
Mayor’s Advisory Council on
Recycling and Waste Reduction, said that there will be a Recycling Table at the event.
Ken is encouraged that the City is placing more emphasis on recycling and wants more
volunteers on the Mayor’s Advisory Committee. If interested, call City Hall or contact
Jeff Kap, Director of the Solid Waste Services.

Venice Scheurich, Conservation Chair, announced that orientation on the Turtle Patrol
has started. She noted a feature story in the Caller-Times reporting that the Padre Island
National Seashore (PINS) is one of 35 stops on the National Park Foundation ‘s 2004
National Park America Tour. The Foundation sponsored the Malaquite Beach cleanup on
Saturday March 12. PINS came to the Tour’s attention through the local program to
preserve and propagate Kemp’s ridley sea turtles.

Joyce Jarmon, who lives in Oak Park, has been active for a long time in matters that impact
the health of the neighborhood people living in the areas along "Refinery Row"..

Over the years, two major problems stand out in handling chemical emergencies: What,
in what concentrations, is in the plume (the stack that lets out into the air the waste products)
and, where is it going? Monitoring of these plumes has been controversial. It’s costly;
requires a lot of records, can lead to heavy fines, etc. In time, largely through the work of
the public LEPC (Local Emergency Planning Committee),the handling of emergencies
and keeping impacted people informed on what to do has vastly improved.

But there still was a major problem: How can we keep track of where everything is going?
NOW, Joyce reports, "we will have satisfactory monitoring from all directions." No more
guess work. A required program calls for the installation of 33 monitors that will cover the
area from downtown Corpus Christi to Callallen, with an alarm system that will notify the
public within 15 minutes after a release of toxic substances.

Frank Hankins, Secretary