Tag Archives: Environmental impact statement

Houston City Council Members Support White Stallion Fight.

White Stallion is a proposed coal fired power plant that would be located in Bay City. Residents of Houston are taking notice because they would experience the negative effects being the closest large city. Houston Mayor Annise Parker wrote a letter to the US Army Corps of Engineers asking them to not grant White Stallion the necessary 404 permit until they perform a thorough Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). White Stallion claims that they don’t need to perform an EIS. It is very important for them to perform an EIS so we have all the facts and know how dumping out multiple harmful chemicals will effect the environment around the plant. 

There have been five members of the Houston City Council who have joined Mayor Parker by writing letters to the US Army Corps of Engineers asking that an Environmental Impact Statement be done. The following City Council Members have written these letters: Jolanda Jones (At Large 5), Ed Gonzalez of District H, James Rodriguez of District I, Stephen Costello (At Large 1), and Melissa Noriega (At Large 3). We would like to thank these City Counsel Members and urge you to do that same.

Ways That You Can Take Action

  • ·You can join Mayor Parker and the City Counsel members by writing a letter to the US Army Corps of Engineers asking them not to grant the 404 Permit.
  • ·If you don’t see the name of your City Counsel Member ask them to join their colleagues by writing a letter the US Army Corps of Engineers against granting White Stallion a 404 Permit.
  • ·Sign up to volunteer for White Clouds NOT White Stallion because every volunteer can make a difference. Please email Kat Herrera at kat.m.herrera@gmail.com if you can help out.
– Sean Wicks, Sierra Club Beyond Coal Intern
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Hold that Horse—Houstonions demand an Environmental Impact Statement on White Stallion

As if the environmental impact on Matagorda county wasn’t bad enough, estimated tons of air emissions and chemical discharge from the White Stallion coal center of Bay City means that pollution contamination would reach miles beyond the plant’s physical location, affecting air quality in neighboring Houston, the most populous city in the southern US.  White Stallion’s emissions jeopardize public health and warrants the need for the EPA to conduct an overall Environmental Impact Statement, not just for the lives in for Bay City, but for Houston as well.

Air quality signboard indicating an ozone watc...

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EPA Air Quality Index

The once embarrassing title, ‘smog capital of the nation,’ jolted Houston into lowering emissions to finally meet federal levels in 2009, but tighter standards imposed last year by the EPA has put Houston back in the struggle to make deeper cutbacks.  The Houston Chronicle reports, the White Stallion facility would push Houston past federal limits for smog and ozone, pumping more than 4,000 tons of nitrogen oxides into the air, the equivalent of 4.8 billion cars, and singlehandedly increasing Houston’s ozone level by 2 parts per billion.  At a time when the EPA has taken strict controls on air pollution to halt new emissions, the need for an EIS on White Stallion is especially dire.  Mayor Parker of Houston has already called upon the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to require an EIS for White Stallion, and for that we thank Mayor Parker.

— Tyra Ismail, Sierra Club Intern —

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Thanks, Mayor Parker!

The Mayor of Houston Requests the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to Require Environmental Impact Statement from White Stallion Coal Plant

 Mayor Parker Concerned about Proposed Coal Plant Impacts on Houston Air Quality, Coastal Wetlands, and Lower Colorado River

(Houston, Texas)   Mayor Annise D. Parker sent a letter last week to the Colonel in charge of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District office requesting the Corps require an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) from the company behind the proposed White Stallion Coal Plant planned on Matagorda Bay southeast of Houston.

Mayor Parker cited concerns about air pollution:

I am concerned that the proposed White Stallion Energy Center (White Stallion) located just 20 miles outside the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria non-attainment region will put my city at risk for additional bad air days and will put at risk the investment made by industries within this area to clean up our air.  Houston’s industries have put time and money into reducing our air pollution.  Allowing such a large new source of nitrogen oxide (which is a key component of ozone), mercury, dioxin, sulfur dioxide, and lead from White Stallion to be emitted so closely to this should be examined through the EIS process.

 Prior to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) permitting the White Stallion plant in September, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warned the TCEQ that the White Stallion permit did not adequately address how it ‘would not cause or contribute to violations of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone.’  Mayor Parker bases her concerns on the EPA guidance to TCEQ.

“Houston is a severe ozone nonattainment area with one of the worst smog problems in the nation,” said Dr. Neil Carman, chemist and Sierra Club Clean Air Program Director.  “The truth is that without another source of pollution, Houston is already off to a roaring start to the 2011 ozone season with seven bad air days already through April 24.  Mayor Parker’s concerns are well-founded.”

Houston Mayor Parker also expressed concern that:

  1.  White Stallion project, if built, would dredge and fill wetlands needed for protecting coastal communities from hurricane storm surges;  and,
  2. Planned multiple, daily coal barge trips would require dredging and widening the sensitive lower Colorado and would likely ‘erode the unprotected shoreline, and eventually destroy recreational and subsistence fishing.

“We appreciate that Mayor Parker has taken this vital action to protect Houston air quality and the coastal wetlands environment from significant, proposed degradation by White Stallion coal plant,” said Lydia Avila with Sierra Club.  “The Army Corps will take the next step and the EIS will confirm our belief that the proposed White Stallion coal plant is not in the best interests of individuals, businesses, or the environment.  White Stallion should never be built.”

The EIS process is a provision of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) which requires federal agencies such as the Army Corps of Engineers to integrate environmental values into decision-making processes by considering the environmental impacts of proposed actions and reasonable alternatives.

Beside this EIS, White Stallion project would also have to obtain a water contract from the LCRA before it could operate.

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