Young Sierrans – Dallas Sierra Club

young professionals section of the dallas sierra club

EPA Coal Ash Rule Hearing – Sept 8th – Dallas

Posted by youngsierrans on August 31, 2010

This is another great opportunity to remind the EPA why we need their help in Texas!

Coal Combustion Residuals (CCRs), often referred to as coal ash, are residues from the combustion of coal in power plants and captured by pollution control technologies, like scrubbers. When coal ash is impounded or deposited in landfills, impoundment structures can fail and landfills can leach coal ash into groundwater. An EPA report (2007) looked at 181 coal ash disposal sites throughout the US and found that these sites release toxic chemicals and metals such as arsenic, lead, boron, selenium, cadmium, thallium and other pollutants at levels that put human health at risk. Coal ash dumped in unlined or clay-lined ponds and landfills pose the greatest risk. At least 23 states have poisoned surface or groundwater supplies from improper disposal of coal ash. Texas has one of the highest levels of coal ash generation, and is home to 21 known coal ash sites (TX Coal Ash Factsheet).

In Texas, the Brandy Branch Coal ash dump, the Southwestern Electric Power Co. coal ash dump, and the Texas Utilities Electric Martin Lake Reservoir have leaked elevated levels of selenium and toxic metals. There are no leachate collection systems in Texas, and there is no groundwater monitoring.

Coal ash is currently considered exempt waste under an amendment to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). EPA is proposing to regulate, for the first time, coal ash to address the risks from the disposal of the wastes generated by electric utilities and independent power producers. We’re encouraging that EPA support the first proposal (RCRA, subtitle C designation), to allow coal ash to be classified as a HAZARDOUS WASTE.  We hope you will join us in Cleaning Up Texas from this unchecked industrial waste which pollutes our air, land and water while risking citizen health!

> What can I do? The Dallas hearing has passed (and was a great success!), but you can still comment online or email EPA (Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-RCRA-2009-0640).  The public comment period has been extended until November 19, 2010. Click here and scroll down to “Addresses” for other methods of communication.

> Related Links and Resources:
* EPA Coal Ash Rule Hearing Website (includes 8/2010 Webinar Presentations, rule background, much more)
* EarthJustice “In Harm’s Way” Coal Ash Report (released 8/26/2010)
* EarthJustice Coal Ash Myths
* NYT Editorial “Unsolved Coal Ash Problem” (9/5/2010)
* 2008 TVA Coal Ash Disater Video
* 60 Minutes – Coal Ash Segment (8/15/2010)

Posted in Action, Air/Energy/Water, Events, Infoshare, Local-North TX/DFW, Texas Conservation | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

FREE Dave Matthews Band Concert Admission – Eco-Volunteers Wanted

Posted by youngsierrans on August 30, 2010

Update – I’ve been informed that there are enough volunteers for their Dallas show!  Thanks to everyone who is volunteering!

We are working with Effect Partners to gather eco-volunteers to help at the Sept 11th Dallas DMB show. Free concert admission after your shift!  Open to the public; all are welcome to participate!

DATE: Saturday – September 11th, 2010
LOCATION: Superpages.com Center (Fair Park) – 1818 1st Avenue Dallas, TX

> Option 1: Encourage fans to refill their bottles at one of our Brita Hydration Hubs inside the venue
WHAT: Brita FilterForGood volunteers will help operate Hydration Hubs and encourage fans to refill their water bottles, to help reduce plastic water bottle waste!
HOW LONG: 4:30 – 8:30p (…or whenever DMB goes on stage)
TRAINING: On-site before shift starts (training manual to read before show)

> Option 2: Encourage fans to recycle their waste in the tailgate parking lots before the show
WHAT: So Much To Save Recycling volunteers to encourage and help fans recycle in the parking lots
HOW LONG: 3:30 – 7:30p
TRAINING: On-site before shift starts (training manual to read before show)

** DRESS CODE: You will be given a t-shirt (to keep!), please wear comfortable walking shoes, comfortable and presentable shorts/pants/skirt

Posted in Art/Music, Clean Up Activities, Events, Infoshare, Local-North TX/DFW, Service, Social, Volunteer Opportunities | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Guided Tour – LEED Gold Project: Park Seventeen (8/21/2010)

Posted by youngsierrans on August 12, 2010

Join us for a behind-the-scenes tour of the newest addition to the City of Dallas skyline. Park Seventeen is a modern, mixed-use 2.2 acre development designed by Dallas area architects, Good Fulton & Farrell, and is Dallas’ first LEED Gold high-rise office building. The project contains a luxury Residential Tower (292 rental units), Office Space (360K rentable sq ft) and Retail Space (15K rentable sq ft) in the heart of Uptown Dallas. The property was completed earlier this year and is mindfully designed around LEED CS v2.0 standards. Come learn about the building’s features and innovations while enjoying the views from the 17th-level balcony and the one acre amenity/greenspace deck.

Date: Saturday – August 21st, 2010
Time: Tour beings 10am (2hrs)
Address: 1717 McKinney Ave., 75202
Parking/Meeting: Tenant/Visitor Entrance off Akard (East side of property – map)
Cost: Free!
DART: 10 minute walk from Akard or St. Paul stops
Optional Lunch: The Common Table (Uptown, 2917 Fairmount St.) – Noon

Park Seventeen – LEED Pre-certification Review Document

All are welcome to attend. Please RSVP to the Facebook Event Page, the Evite or by email. Thanks! We hope you can join us!

Posted in Educational, Events, Infoshare, Local-North TX/DFW, Social, Tours | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

EPA Oil & Gas Air Regulations Meeting (8/2/10)

Posted by youngsierrans on August 2, 2010

EPA will be conducting only TWO public meetings in the country to provide an opportunity for public involvement during EPA’s review, and potential update, of air regulations affecting the oil and natural gas industry.

The review in progress covers oil and natural gas exploration and production, as well as natural gas processing, transmission, storage, and distribution. This review may potentially affect any segment of the oil and natural gas industry, which includes, but is not limited to: Offshore drilling; onshore drilling; oil and natural gas production; natural gas processing; natural gas transmission; and natural gas distribution. You may be affected in some way by regulatory action following this review if you own, operate, work, or live near oil and natural gas operations in the segments listed above.

  • Submit Written Comments to Nick Parsons – parsons.nick@epa.gov or (919) 541-5372
  • Suggested Talking Points (click)
  • Initial EPA Announcement (click)
  • EPA Rule & Implementation Info, Meeting Presentations, Comments, etc. (click)

Posted in Action, Air/Energy/Water, Educational, Events, Infoshare, Local-North TX/DFW, Texas Conservation | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

EPA Hydraulic Fracturing Study – DFW Public Hearing

Posted by youngsierrans on June 28, 2010

The EPA is hosting a public information meeting on the proposed study of the relationship between hydraulic fracturing (HF) and its potential impacts on drinking water. Please register to attend and/or speak at his important opportunity to voice your concerns about North Texas Barnett Shale drilling practices and risks.

WHEN/TIME: Thursday, July 8th (6:00-10:00pm)
WHERE: Hilton Fort Worth (downtown, 815 Main Street – map)
REGISTER: Due to possible venue capacity constraints, the EPA encourages everyone who plans to attend the DFW public meeting to register in advance.

WHY SHOULD I ATTEND: There is currently great debate surrounding the health and ecological consequences of the practice of gas drilling hydraulic fracturing, or “fracing” (like “cracking”), across the US/world. The North Texas Barnett Shale is experiencing a gas drilling boom, and fracing has brought urban natural gas extraction into our communities (within a few hundred of feet of our homes/schools, in many cases) and below our drinking aquifers. Industry claims that the chemicals used in their processes are safe, but they won’t disclose their ingredients (“secret formula, like Coca Cola,” one exec has quoted), stating exemption from the Safe Water Drinking Act, Clean Air Act and Superfund, as granted to them under the 2005 Energy Policy Act. Independent tests have identified dozens of neurotoxic and carcinogenic chemicals used in the fracing process. Locally, XTO Energy (now Exxon Mobil) submitted a request for a specific use permit for a gas well (here, here, here) on May 25 to the City of Dallas. Dallas City Councilman Sheffie Kadane said he is in favor of XTO’s plan to drill on its lease and said he hoped the two lessees would follow XTO’s single permit application with other requests for approval to drill on their existing leases. However, as far back as Feb. 2008, City Councilwoman Angela Hunt was in the minority when she expressed concern over leasing city-land for gas drilling (here).

WRITTEN COMMENTS: To submit a written comment, send your email to hydraulic.fracturing@epa.gov.

For more info about the EPA HF Study Background, Intent, Timeline and Web-based Outreach, click here.

Posted in Action, Air/Energy/Water, City of Dallas, Educational, Events, Infoshare, Local Conservation, Local-North TX/DFW, Texas Conservation | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

TCEQ DFW Clean Air Public Meeting

Posted by youngsierrans on June 17, 2010

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will be hosting a public meeting to discuss the New DFW Clean Air Plan next Thursday, June 24th, at Arlington City Hall (same location as the March ozone hearing) from 7-9pm.  This meeting is being organized because DFW violated the federal smog/ozone standard last summer, and the TCEQ is responsible to create a plan to bring our area back into attainment.  This meeting will allow North Texans to ask questions and offer suggestions on HOW and WHAT to include in this New DFW Clean Air Plan.  Our message is simple: Citizens Demand the Same Pollution Controls for Industry as for Our Autos!

What Should the New Plan Accomplish?

  • Adopt all the recommendations from the 2006 local clean air committee that were dumped by the state four years ago.  (YES, most of this same clean air planning work has been done before and was rejected by Austin/TCEQ!)
  • Crackdown on industry as much as my car. Demand 90% controls on coal, kilns and gas. (The industrial technology exists and is in USE across the country/world, just not in TX.)
  • Do more than the minimum. No more paper exercises. Go further than required. (We’re looking for more than a “goal seek” solution.)
  • Aim the plan where smog pollution is worst: Tarrant, Denton, Wise, and Parker Counties. (Asthma rates for children under 14 are THREE TIMES HIGHER (22%) in western DFW area than across the state of TX!)

Here’s the flyer for this public meeting which can be printed and widely distributed.

There’s a pre-meeting meetup at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop (510 E. Abram St, 3 blks from City Hall) at 6pm for anyone interested. Get your tacos and beer buzz on to get you in the mood!

For more information or to carpool, please contact the North Central Texas Clean Air Task Force: dfwsip[at]gmail.com or 972.230.3185.

Posted in Action, Air/Energy/Water, Educational, Events, Infoshare, Local Conservation, Local-North TX/DFW, Texas Conservation | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »