Matagorda by Charles Kruvand
Matagorda Bay depends on fresh water from the Colorado River for shrimp, redfish, trout and the Gulf fishery.
FOR RELEASE: Tuesday, July 19, 2011
CONTACT: Lydia Avila, Sierra Club’s
Beyond Coal Campaign, 626-506-9651 Neil Carman, Clean Air
Program Director, Lone Star Chapter Sierra Club, 512-663-9594
Donna Hoffman, Communications Coordinator, Lone Star Chapter
Sierra Club, 512-299-5776
Study: More Houston Smog If Coal Plant Built
New air quality modeling analysis of the proposed White
Stallion coal plant predicts dangerous levels of smog for
Houston, TX – Today, Houston’s Vice Mayor Pro Tem, City Council Member Ed Gonzalez and Houston Council Member Jolanda ‘Jo’ Jones gathered with health and environmental advocates in front of an eighteen-foot inhaler at the reflection pool outside Houston City Hall to release Sierra Club’s new study showing the potential risks to Houston residents of increased ozone smog from the proposed White Stallion coal plant.
“We must do everything in our power to ensure clean
air for our families, neighbors and friends,” said Houston Vice Mayor Pro Tem, City Council Member Ed Gonzalez. “The proposed White Stallion Energy Center, if built, would be located just 20 miles outside the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria non-attainment region. I’m
concerned that it would put the City of Houston at greater
risk for additional bad air days and affect the quality of
life for our citizens.”
Council Member Jolanda ‘Jo’ Jones described one of her primary motivations in advocating for clean air – “Houston’s air is already thick with environmental pollutants and smog doesn’t
stop at city borders. As the mother of a son with asthma,
I know the detrimental effects poor air quality has on people.
Rest assured, I will be keeping a close eye on the proposed
White Stallion plant.”
Sierra Club’s new report, White
Impact on Houston Air Quality, prepared by Dr. Tammy M. Thompson with MIT’s Joint Program for the Science and Policy of Global Change finds:
• Ground level ozone concentrations, or smog, measured at air quality monitors in the Houston area and averaged over eight hours, are often above the 84 parts per billion (ppb) limit, a National Ambient Air Quality Standard set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1997. The Houston area therefore has been designated a “non-attainment” area for ozone and the City will struggle to meet attainment of the 84 ppb ozone standard by the year 2018. The US EPA will announce in mid-2011, a new, health-based standard that will be a value between 60 and 70 ppb.
• White Stallion proposes to release emissions of 4,048 tons/year of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), 288 tons/year of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and 5780 tons/ year of Carbon Monoxide (CO) from two stacks that would be located near Bay City in Matagorda County about 75 miles to the Southwest of Houston.
• For the Houston area monitors, the maximum increases in daily peak ozone concentrations averaged over 8 hours and averaged across all days of the episode when ozone values were greater than 70 ppb, 65 ppb, and 60 ppb was 0.03 ppb, 0.04 ppb, and 0.04 ppb respectively.
The potential threat of additional pollution in the Houston area from the proposed White Stallion plant is cause for concern from Houston parents of children with asthma like Council Member Jolanda ‘Jo’ Jones and Dr. Stuart Abramson.
Dr. Abramson, a member of the Leadership Council for the American Lung Association of the Plains-Gulf Region and a Houston area, board-certified allergist/immunologist and asthma specialist warned of threats to public health from the proposed White Stallion coal plant saying --
There are already substantial health effects seen in sensitive individuals at current levels of ozone air pollution in the Greater Houston area. When our Houston air quality intermittently exceeds the health-based standards, the pollution levels trigger yellow, orange, and red alert status. The additional pollution from projected emissions from the White Stallion power plant, though proposed for 75 miles southwest of Houston, could only exacerbate ozone levels in the Greater Houston area and make it more difficult for sensitive individuals, particularly those with respiratory and cardiovascular disorders.
Lydia Avila, Conservation Organizer with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, “The last thing Houston needs is another source of pollution that’s going to put our community in even greater risk of health problems. It’s
time for the City of Houston to take a real stand against
the proposed White Stallion coal plant and be an even bigger
advocate for clean energy.”
Background Information – White
Stallion Facing Obstacles
Although the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality gave
White Stallion a permit, the permit was remanded after a
legal challenge showed that White Stallion filed multiple
and conflicting plot plans to different governmental agencies.
The proposed White Stallion coal plant faces obstacles and
may not be built: