Earlier this month, we learned that North Texas has the worst air in the state, even worse than Houston’s. Now the folks at Downwinders at Risk inform us that TXI has gotten permission from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to burn 12 new kinds of hazardous waste in its cement kiln — and it got this permission without ever serving public notice, fielding comments, or holding a hearing, and based solely on data from other cement plants. From Downwinders:
“This is the worst case of intentionally avoiding public participation since 1987, when the same company began burning hazardous waste without public knowledge” said Jim Schermbeck, director of Downwinders at Risk, the DFW-based group originally formed to fight the burning of wastes in Midlothian cement kilns in 1994. “State and company officials have learned nothing from the past 20 years except how to further exclude the public from decisions about these cement plants affecting our health and property.”
TCEQ gave TXI the new permit without any public notice or chance to challenge it despite the fact that TXI is on the EPA’s “Watch List” of 1600 “High Priority Violators” identified last week through an investigation by National Public Radio.
If you breathe air, you should read this entire story, and you should be upset.