Join The Discussion

 

Group buys former Armour meatpacking site in Stockyards

The 16.8-acre site of the historic, former Armour meatpacking plant in Fort Worth’s Stockyards has changed hands, and its new owners aren’t saying anything about their plans. Chesapeake Land Development Co., which bought the site

read more >

Hulen Pointe Shopping Center sold

Hulen Pointe Shopping Center, located in southwest Fort Worth on South Hulen Street one mile south of Hulen Mall, has been purchased by Addison-based Bo Avery with TriMarsh Properties for an undisclosed price.

read more >

Dallas-Fort Worth in top five commercial real estate markets in 2015

According to the Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2015 report, just co-published by PwC US and the Urban Land Institute (ULI), Dallas-Fort Worth ranks No. 5, with two other Texas cities, Houston and Austin ranking at No. 1 and 2 respectively. San Francisco ranks No. 3 and Denver No. 4.

read more >

Social House Fort Worth plans to open mid-November

Social House has leased 5,045 square feet at 2801-2873 W Seventh St. in Fort Worth, according to Xceligent Inc.

read more >

Fort Worth temporarily stops issuing new home permits in TCU area

The moratorium will give a committee and the City Council time to review a proposed overlay that will pare the number of permissible unrelated adults living in the same house.

read more >

Residents at Texas hearing: Restrict emissions at oil refineries


EMILY SCHMALL, Associated Press

GALENA PARK, Texas (AP) — Environmental advocates and residents living near oil refineries asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday to force petroleum companies to adopt stricter emissions standards and publicly release emissions data to help reduce communities' exposure to a cancer-causing chemical.

By midafternoon, about 60 people had addressed the federal agency during a hearing on the EPA's proposal to compel refineries — for the first time — to monitor and report emissions of benzene to nearby communities.

"I really didn't know the extent of the dangers of being exposed to all these fumes. Finding out what you're really breathing, it's scary. Still, better to know than be kept in the dark," said Maricela Serna, a Galena Park city commissioner.

The new rule also would compel refiners to purchase and place monitors to track emissions of the carcinogen into those communities, upgrade storage tank and emission controls on coker units, where crude oil is pumped at the beginning of the refining process, and reduce flaring.

Residents from Texas, California, Louisiana and Michigan attended the hearing in suburban Houston. It was the second and final public hearing resulting from a lawsuit filed by Earthjustice and the Environmental Integrity Project on behalf of U.S. communities near oil refineries. The suit, filed against the EPA, argued that the federal agency was more than a decade late in reviewing and updating toxic air standards for refineries.

Theresa Landrum traveled to Texas from Detroit to testify about the "toxic soup" she said she and her neighbors are exposed to from living alongside a refinery. A cancer survivor, Landrum said she lost her mother, father and brother to cancer she believes was caused by refinery emissions.

"The fenceline monitoring will help us determine what is coming out of those stacks," she said.

Adan Vazquez said that in winter, "snow flurries look like ash" because of a refinery near the Houston Ship Channel less than a mile from his Pasadena, Texas, home.

Kelly Haragan, who directs the University of Texas School of Law environmental law clinic in Austin, echoed the opinion of many environmental experts, saying that the EPA's proposed rules are important but insufficient.

While applauding fenceline monitoring of benzene emissions as a "wonderful concept," Haragan asked the EPA to also monitor other toxins and provide the data in real-time. The monitors the EPA has proposed would release data to the public two weeks after it is collected.

The EPA cannot use real-time monitors because they are less perceptive to low concentrations of benzene, according to EPA spokeswoman Alison Davis.

Haragan also asked the EPA to revise the 1 in 10,000 cancer risk from benzene emissions it currently deems acceptable, which Davis said EPA will consider in its review after the public comment period ends August 29.

On that standard, Matthew Todd of the American Petroleum Institute, an oil and gas lobbying group, testified Tuesday that EPA has determined that fenceline communities are shielded with an "ample margin of safety" from refinery emissions.

Todd added that air quality nationwide has improved significantly since major revisions to the Clean Air Act were made in 1990, in part because of billions invested by oil and gas companies to improve the "environmental performance" of facilities, operations and products.

EPA officials estimate the rules could reduce toxic air emissions by as much as 5,600 tons a year, directly affecting the 5 million people in the U.S. who live within a 32-mile radius of oil refineries.

In accordance with the terms of the lawsuit, a final EPA rule must be issued by April 2015.

 

 

 

 

< back

Email   email
hide
Ebola
How worried are you about Ebola spreading?