Tag Archives: Corpus Christi Texas

Representative Farenthold Listening Sessions in South Texas

Representative Blake Farenthold will be holding several constituent listening sessions in South Texas this week.

This is an excellent opportunity to go pay him a visit and be the first line of education and information for Sierra Club priority issues.
Listening Session at Los Fresnos Area Chamber of Commerce (203 North
Arroyo Blvd., Los Fresnos, TX 78566). It will start at 6 p.m. CST.

Corpus Christi Listening Session: Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 6 p.m. CST
Location: Moody High School (1818 Trojan Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78416)

Open House in Corpus Christi: Thursday, May 19, 2011, Time: 2-5 p.m. CST
Location: Corpus Christi Office (101 North Shoreline Blvd., Suite 300, Corpus Christi, TX 78401)

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Take Action Online Against Las Brisas!

Towards the end of January an independent panel of judges, the Office of Public Interest Counsel, and the EPA all recommended that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality deny the proposed Las Brisas petroleum-coke burning plant an air permit, based on its multiple deficiencies and clear violations of the Clean Air Act. The Perry-appointed commissioners approved it anyways. According to its own permit, Las Brisas will emit 220 pounds of mercury, 100 pounds of lead, 8,096 pounds of sulfur dioxide, and 1,767 tons of particulate matter on a yearly basis.

Communities in Corpus Christi are left with few options: the ultimate authority of the EPA, and the leadership of their elected officials.

“This is my hometown, and I love it,” Rebecca Lyons, a graduating honors student at TAMU Corpus Christi, told Matt Tresaugue of the Houston Chronicleback in January, “But I don’t want to raise a family here because of the health risks…There has to be a better way.”

After hundreds of letters, petitions, and phone calls made to the EPA, Corpus Christi residents are taking their fight to the online world. Join us!

Take Action Online!

Copy and paste this status and video to the EPA’s Facebook pages!

Corpus Christi doesn’t want Las Brisas. Stop the air permit now! http://bit.ly/merA7n

EPA’s Facebook Page: http://on.fb.me/X4FYe

EPA Region 6 Facebook Page: http://on.fb.me/lBXW9C

Administrator Lisa Jackson’s Facebook Page: http://on.fb.me/130rQ6

Are you on Twitter? Tweet with us!

@epaGOV @lisapjackson I want clean air! Stop the Las Brisas air permit in Corpus Christi, TX! http://bit.ly/merA7n

Ready to go the distance? Ask your elected officials if they support responsible growth, or Las Brisas…Copy and paste this to their Facebook pages:

I’m a voting constituent, and I don’t want Las Brisas. Do you? http://bit.ly/merA7n

US House Rep Blake Farenthold: http://on.fb.me/f2XnkP

State Rep Connie Scott: http://on.fb.me/jj0qJv

State Rep Todd Hunter: http://on.fb.me/mpSG5d

Mayor Joe Adame: http://on.fb.me/km137a

State Senator Judith Zaffirini: http://on.fb.me/lbxOW5

State Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa does not have a Facebook page. Send his office an email instead by scrolling down here.


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There’s Something in the Dirt in Texas

“What I don’t understand is why Texas always has to take care of everybody else’s crap,” says Kenny Ahlrich, a cotton and milo farmer in Robstown, Texas. We’re riding his pickup truck along the perimeter of his property, which happens to be right next to U.S. Ecology, a hazardous waste treatment and disposal plant.

Kenny and Virginia Ahlrich

A known rabbler-rouser in Corpus Christi, Carolyn Moon, had written an email to a group of activists about her visit a few days before: “I was out there for a half an hour and started to cough. A big black cloud of particulate matter puffed into the air while I was watching, and black smoke was coming out of the processing building. Virginia Ahlrich called the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s 800 number, but it didn’t sound like they were interested, and they didn’t give her an incident number.”

As U.S. Ecology undergoes a permit modification with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the public is wondering just how many incidents there have to be before a toxic waste processing facility becomes a danger to the public. The dump has been there since 1973. The Ahlriches started farming there at the end of that decade. The tap water is undrinkable, and Kenny has been treated for heavy metal poisoning multiple times.

The facility has had multiple incidents, only some of which have gone recorded. Huge plumes of dirt from the facility have flown up and been dispersed for years. And in this part of the Texas, the wind can really blow.

As we ride around the property, Kenny Ahlrich shows me pictures of dirt falling from dump trucks that passed by his property years ago.

We drive by a large, damp spot, caused by uncontrolled drainage from the site. The farmer who plows that land had to go around it. Growing cotton in toxic soil doesn’t sound particularly appealing to him.

As US Ecology undergoes a permit modification, citizens in the area have become increasingly aware of the problems associated with the facility, and are turning out for hearings and passing the word along to their neighbors. When it comes to protecting public health, they’re not going to leave it to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to do the right thing.

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Corpus is ready for a Break and Some Good Clean Air

Suzie Canales with Citizens for Environmental Justice in Corpus Christi says, Watch Nightline tonight…

ABC World News will air a story on the dangerous chemical Hydrofluoric Acid (HFC) and, in large part due to all of Suzi’s hard work, her home town Corpus Christi will be featured.

(Corpus Christi, Texas) Recently a producer from ABC World News visited Corpus Christi to work on a story on Hydrofluoric Acid (HF) a severe poison that, under certain circumstances, can form a toxic cloud and travel great distances, possibly killing thousands of people in the process.

Local EJ activist group, Citizens for Environmental Justice (CFEJ) was contacted by ABC News and worked with them on the Corpus Christi aspect of the story.

“We are grateful to ABC News for placing national and global attention on this very serious issue,” said Suzie Canales, CFEJ executive director. “This chemical has the potential to create a Bhopal-like disaster here in Corpus Christi – industry has alternatives to use something else but refuses to.”

The show is scheduled to air today, February 24, 2011 on:

ABC World News with Diane Sawyer (5:30 central); and tonight on Nightline (11:00 p.m. central)

Although the piece is scheduled for the above listed times, there is a potential for it to be postponed in the event of any national or global breaking news.)

The Fight is Not Over

Today the Perry-appointed Commissioners of the TCEQ flagged their noses at federal law and voted to give a permit to a petroleum coke-fired power plant Las Brisas.  Also known as Lost Brisas. 

The bridge crossing into Corpus Christi.
Image via Wikipedia

A group of valiant Corpus Christi retirees traveled four hours from the Gulf Coast to the Capitol of Texas to represent hundreds of citizens, numerous organizations, and several counties’ medical societies opposing the dirty Las Brisas coke-fired power plant.  After the TCEQ’s illegal decision allowing the permit, the fed up Corpus Christi people headed to the Capitol to let our outlaw Governor know what they think of the decision. 

Yesterday the EPA told the TCEQ not to do it.  Today, the TCEQ ignored the directive from their accrediting agency and violated the law.

The fight is far from over.  And though tenacious troops may feel weary today that our state has gone outlaw and failed to protect, we are just catching the collective breath — because we still can…a deep breath!  And we’re ready to keep up this fight to block Las Brisas.  Watch the KIII-TV news coverage.

On our side is the federal Clean Act.  We’re calling on the EPA to uphold it in Texas where the outlaw TCEQ would allow large, ready polluters to have their way with our health and environment.

Read more to find out why this plant would be a grave malignant travesty and why Sierra Club and our friends are not going to let it happen.

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LIVE at the EPA hearing on Greenhouse Gases

Hey Folks,

There’s no wireless in the hearing room, so we can’t liveblog. However, you can follow the Texas Sierra Club Twitter feed for live updates:

www.Twitter.com/texassierraclub

See the photo album of the fabulous turnout of Texans from across the state at the EPA’s greenhouse gas hearing in Dallas today. and you can read the full press release here.

So far, so good. Industry goons got scared off, and it’s pretty much all public citizens who care about clean air. Plus, Al Armendariz is here, and we hear that several people from Corpus Christi cornered him to talk about the proposed petcoke Las Brisas plant…

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Tuesday Round-Up

Some articles you’ve seen and some you haven’t, on a totally random Tuesday.

Full speed ahead on regulation of GHG gases. Because climate change is real.

From our friends at Public Citizen, it’s time for a new industry watchdog: citizens.

Sweeping changes for the Railroad Commission. No kidding.

Uranium mining permit in Goliad moves forward. Last time we heard, Goliad didn’t really want it.

Meet Al Armendariz, EPA Region 6 head honcho.

Corpus Christi has had enough. Suzie Canales brings straight talk to the White House, and students protest inside TCEQ headquarters.

Meet our bad-ass conservation director, Sarah Hodgdon.

And see Sarah and Mike Brune, our ED, review 2010. Best holiday wishes, everybody. Onward.

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