TCEQ Considers Removal of Port Arthur from Air Pollutant Watch List
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality announced today that due to successful reductions of benzene from the area, it is considering removing Port Arthur from the Air Pollutant Watch List.
Annual average benzene concentrations have decreased significantly over the past 11 years, as several sources within the area have implemented improvements leading to the reductions in emissions. Port Arthur was added to the APWL in 2001, after benzene concentrations at the TCEQ’s City Service Center monitor persistently exceeded the TCEQ’s long-term, health-based air monitoring comparison value.
The monitoring network in Port Arthur includes six ambient, stationary benzene monitors—three operated by the TCEQ, and three owned by the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission. While the TCEQ is proposing to remove Port Arthur from the Air Pollutant Watch List, monitoring in the area will continue to ensure that no issues arise.
A public meeting will be held to explain the proposal, answer questions, and accept public comment.
October 8—6:00 p.m.
Lucy Stiefel Gallery in the Port Arthur Public Library
4615 9th Avenue (at Highway 73), Port Arthur, Texas
Written public comment will be accepted through October 11.
The TCEQ maintains APWLs for areas of Texas where specific pollutants have been persistently measured at levels that exceed the screening level (called the air monitoring comparison value, or AMCV) for that compound. The AMCV is a measured level at which no health effects would be expected, but readings above the level will trigger further investigation by the TCEQ. When an area is listed on the APWL, it allows the TCEQ to focus agency resources such as facility inspections, field investigations, and enforcement activities on the area, and work with the regulated industry in the area to identify and reduce emissions. Additionally, permitting of new or modified sources of these emissions undergo a more stringent review, encouraging concurrent reductions with the permitting actions.