The State Plan, and the Reviews, Are In
Read it and weep. Or, if you're not the silent suffering type, jump into the
fray at the public hearings and let your voice be heard (see calendar on left).
Meanwhile, here is what the press is saying:
Dallas Morning News: "Smog Plan to Miss Goal"
Dallas Morning News: "Experts: Pollution Standards Not Enough to Protect North Texas"
Here are some excerpts from other articles:
Excerpted from Fort Worth Star-Telegram December 3rd, 2006:
Computer modeling indicates that a proposed new state plan to reduce pollution
in North Central Texas could fall short of attaining the federal air quality
standard for ground-level ozone by 2010. But state officials appear to be
banking on a "weight of evidence" rule that would allow the federal EPA to
approve the proposed plan if it concludes that it would at least get the region
close enough to meeting the standard and further improve air quality.
...the state and region should err on the side of caution and embrace an air
quality plan that is aggressive enough to meet the federal ozone standard
outright, without counting on a fudge factor such as the EPA's weight of
'Close' might be good enough in horseshoes and hand grenades, but it's not close
good enough to ensure easier breathing and better health for the region's
That's why the state plan should include tougher pollution control measures,
such as requiring larger reductions in cement kiln and power plant emissions
than are called for in the TCEQ proposal.
Excerpted from the Dallas Morning News, November 28th, 2006:
Smoke and Mirrors: TCEQ's taking the easy way out on air quality
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality settled for the path of little
resistance, forgoing restrictions that might curb our car culture. The agency
rejected calls for deeper cuts on cement plant emissions. And regulators did not
require power plants outside the nine-county non-attainment area to reduce
emissions at all.
The TCEQ sought only small sacrifices from both industries and individuals. As a
result, we will see limited improvement to the air we breathe. The state expects
that monitors in Frisco and Denton will still register ozone levels above
federal limits in 2009.
Instead of complying with the federal Clean Air Act deadline, the TCEQ is
relying on a provision that allows the states to make the case that pollution
cuts are within striking range of the goal and should gain the EPA's approval.
Call it the 'close enough' clause.
Using this easy way out provides little assurance that the state is serious
about clean air. This plan suggests that regulators were more concerned with
clearing this legal hurdle than with protecting public health.
Settling for a plan that doesn't meet federal standards is not only
disappointing - it's dangerous. When it comes to public health, 'close enough'
is not nearly good enough.