Ms. Karen Leidy
Editor, Freestone County Times
401 East Commerce St.
Fairfield, Texas 75840
December 29, 2009
Subject: Letter to the Editor: What’s the Hurry with Air Monitor Installation?
Since the budget meetings in July and August of 2007, we citizens have been trying to get an air monitor station installed in Freestone County. That’s almost two and a half years ago. Again, in 2009 budget meetings, an air monitor was approved by the Commissioners’ Court. Why can’t the Commissioners’ Court get it done? I believe there is a continuing conspiracy against our people to not get the air monitor installed. Our elected county officials responsible for getting the project completed should hear from each of you by way of a phone call, letter or speaking up at the next Commissioners’ Court meeting 9:00 a.m. January 4th, 2010. What is their schedule for getting it done? I provided a schedule, but it has been ignored.
How long are our citizens going to remain complacent and wait on someone else to insure the air monitor project is done expeditiously? Our citizens think they are not affected . Why? They don’t see, feel or taste the pollution, so they assume it’s not there. Yet the large number of deaths due to cancer continues year after year. Relay for Life won’t stop the cancer. We must get to the root cause?
We have been briefed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) that Freestone County is the most polluted county in Texas. Why is this? Because we have Big Brown I and II, the dirtiest, most polluting coal fired electric power plant in Texas that emits 76,000 to 96,000 tons per year of Sulfur Dioxide alone. Now add to that 130 natural gas compressor stations with no stacks that are allowed to emit 35,250 tons per year of toxic pollutants via a permit by rule that the public does not get to comment on.
All of these pollutants amount to a 50 pound feed sack of toxic pollutants in every Freestone County resident’s face every day. A properly installed air monitor will prove that our air does not meet national air standards.
Then what? The company’s responsible for the pollution must clean up the air. This will create jobs in our county. Cancer deaths and asthma will be cut dramatically in Freestone County.
If Commissioner’ Court continues to drag its feet, Big Brown I and II will be able to renew its current high level of emissions air permit because we won’t have air monitor data to make the clean-up happen. We will be condemned to cancer and asthma for another five years. That’s the time period of a renewed air permit.
Our citizens should Call, write or attend the meeting and demand a schedule for completion of the air monitor installation. It’s been put off too long.
Charles E. Morgan, P.E. , Inactive
Citizens for Environmental Clean – Up (CEC)
Wake -up and smell the gas