Last night at the Argyle Town Hall Meeting, I asked Tony Walker, TCEQ Regional Director, about their monitoring standard:
the TCEQ investigators are only required to collect an air sample, if the total chemicals in the air are more than 140 times the average amount for the Metroplex
If we are breathing chemicals near that benchmark, it seems alarming to me! Walker said TCEQ has no such benchmark and it was misreported in the media, but he is the one who is mistaken. 140 times more than the average amount of VOCs for the Metroplex is the TCEQ must test benchmark.
I don’t think Walker intentionally misled us. He is an administrator, not a technical or scientific person. Maybe Dr. Honeycutt some technical person at TCEQ could help him understand.
Here’s how I think it works:
TCEQ takes their TVA monitoring device to measure the VOCs in the air. Much like an IR video camera, a TVA cannot tell you what specific VOCs are in the air. It only measures total chemicals and it is a fairly imprecise instrument. If VOCs are detected at 5000 ppb then the TCEQ MUST test.
The average amount of VOCs is 35 ppb.
142 rounds down to 140 times the average amount for the Metroplex.
TCEQ, just FYI,
When you send people to meetings like the one in Argyle where people are already extremely angry, it does not help your image when they either cannot answer questions or they answer them incorrectly. There is no doubt that Walker is an excellent communicator but he needs to be sure he is communicating the correct information.
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The TCEQ is an out-of-control lap dog for the gas industry. Clearly no one in their right mind would willfully endanger folks with such an utterly ridiculous policy – and then say “Everything is OK”?
We need INDEPENDENT TESTING! Let's FIRE the TCEQ!
The tainted TCEQ is showing no Quality–Environmentally, scientifically, or most troubling ETHICALLY. Texans should Commission an independent and trustworthy (i.e. just be honest in their professional actions and public informations)entity to CLEAR THE AIR CAUSED BY A TAINTED STATE AGENCY'S CONDUCT and to help determine if actions are needed TO CLEAN THE AIR WE AND OUR CHILDREN BREATHE that are the byproducts of dirty drilling practices to produce "Clean Burning Natural Gas" (and more importantly to line the pockets of corporate executives and the toxic politicians inside those big dirty pockets). Take it away, EPA.
Exactly, if you don't want EPA breathing down your neck, then you have to do it RIGHT at the state level. Due to historical evidence and "just the way things are in Texas" no one trusts that it is being done correctly. Look, I don't want the EPA in here, but when the balance of power has shifted so far to one side, some times the feds have to get involved.
Tim Ruggiero says
I take a little bit of an issue with your comments about Walker.
I don;t think he intentionally misled us, either, but keep in mind, this is the very same 20+ yr TCEQ who felt the need to tell Brett Shipp that thew cause of the radioactive water could have been from something other than gas well drilling, such as 'naturally occurring.'
I don;t think you have to be Jerry Lobdill or Wilma Supra to know that NORM just doesn't find it's way to the surface or in ground water 'naturally'.
I think every one of those people there last night – from the TCEQ and TRRC should have been outraged at some of these findings, and should have, at the very least, been more empathetic to the residents and their plight.
Not one of them seemed to give a damn anymore than the cretins from William's standing in the back with their posters of happy royalty check cashers and other useless propaganda.
I'm going to go to every meeting I can where these people attend, and I'm going to keep asking the same questions I did last night, and making the same demands I did last night until we get a straight answer.
Tim, These people like to hang out at Flower Mound Town Council Meetings. You will get to hear all their shiny happy stories over and over again. I'll send you a schedule and bring a barf bag, a shovel and some tall boots.
Jerry Lobdill says
I would really like to see the policy statement where this 140 factor is specified. It seems unbelievable.
Also, it is embarrassing to be mentioned in the same sentence with Wilma Subra. Please, she's way beyond my pay grade.
The more we hear from industry and their handmaidens in government the clearer it is that Don Young's advice was the best—"Just say NO!"