May 10, 2000
- BIG BEND
NATIONAL PARK IN TEXAS HAS "DIRTIEST AIR" IN THE WEST
State Wants More
Study Before Acting
Austin...The air quality at Big Bend National Park in Texas has deteriorated
more dramatically than any other national park in the West, according
to documents released today by Texas Public Employees for Environmental
Responsibility (Texas PEER). Local residents are complaining about growing
health effects as well as declining visibility.
According to studies, major contributors to the heavy haze over Big
* Smog from urban and industrial areas in Houston and Galveston.
* Older coal-fired plants which have been "grandfathered" to exempt
them from modern pollution control equipment;
* Mexican coal-fired plants that lack air scrubbers and are balking
at installing the pollution control equipment that has yet to be required
for similar plants in Texas.
The Texas Natural
Resources Conservation Commission (TNRCC), the state environmental
agency, has refused to even begin evaluating pollution control measures
until further studies of pollution in the Big Bend region are completed
in late 2001.
"One of the last, best natural places in Texas is being sacrificed
for corporate convenience," stated Texas PEER Coordinator Erin Rogers.
"Big Bend is one of the crown jewels of the National Park System but
its sparkle is lost in the smog."
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· P.O. Box 1522; Austin TX ·
441-4941 · txpeer@PEER.org