Tag Archives: unhealthy air

Gasping for Air: White Stallion’s Threat to Houston’s Health

Study Predicts More Unhealthy Air for Houstonians if Proposed Coal Plant Built

 New air quality modeling analysis of the potential White Stallion coal plant predicts dangerous levels of smog for Houston residents

Yesterday, Houston’s Vice Mayor Pro Tem, City Council Member Ed Gonzalez 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.”

Sierra Club’s new report, White Stallion’s Potential 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 and Dr. Stuart L. 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:

  1. Air permit remanded back to TCEQ
  2. 404 Permit from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  3. Waste Water Permit from TCEQ
  4. Water contract from LCRA
  5. Other economic obstacles

Posted by Donna Hoffman, Communications Coordinator, Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club.  Thanks Jared Pesseto, Sean, and Ben for inflating that humongous inhaler hand in front of Houston City Hall.

Check out the photo album on the Texas Sierra Club page on Facebook!

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Press Event in Houston: Study Predicts More Unhealthy Air for Houstonians if Proposed White Stallion Coal Plant Built

Things are gaining momentum in Houston.  The results of a pollution study are in, conducted by Dr. Tammy Thompson, postdoctoral associate from the MIT Joint Program for the Science and Policy of Global Change.

This report studied how the pollution from White Stallion Energy Station will make it even harder for Houston to have clean air, and how residents with lung disease will have one more source of breathing problems.  Even those without lung disease are at risk, since coal is a dirty source of energy and leaves its mark in our air.

Texas Sierra Club will have a press conference detailing the findings of the report, at Houston City Hall on Tuesday, July 19, 10:00 a.m. We’re very excited to have Council Member Gonzalez, Council Member Jones, Dr. Thompson and Dr. Stuart Abramson, M.D., as speakers.

Everyone is invited and urged to come out and show their support in our fight against coal, which destroys ecosystems, water systems, and threatens our right to clean air.  Houston already has a bad reputation for dirty air, and simply cannot make room for another source of air pollution.  Join us on Tuesday, July 19th, 10am at Houston City Hall- look for the HUGE inflatable inhaler!

WHAT:        Sierra Club releases a report titled, “White Stallion’s potential impact on Houston Air Quality” at a PRESS CONFERENCE

WHO:  Houston Vice Mayor Pro Tem, City Council Member Ed Gonzalez

Houston City Council Member Jolanda “Jo” Jones

Dr. Tammy M Thompson, MIT Joint Program for the Science and Policy of Global Change

Dr. Stuart Abramson, member of The Leadership Council for the American Lung Association of the Plains-Gulf Region, Houston area,board-certified allergist/immunologist and asthma specialist

Lydia Avila, Conservation Organizer, Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign

WHEN:                    Tuesday, July 19, 10:00 AM

WHERE:   Hermann Square Reflection Pool, 901 Bagby, Houston, TX 77002, Houston City

Email kat.m.herrera@gmail.com for more information!