The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) announced this week that state efforts have been successful in reducing benzene emissions in the Galena Park area in Houston. Due to additional monitoring and controls and targeted pollution prevention and public awareness, the Galena Park area that previously had high levels is now below the Air Monitoring Comparison Value for benzene.
Each year the TCEQ collects an extensive amount of ambient air monitoring data and evaluates the potential for adverse health effects. Texas has one of the most extensive networks of ambient Volatile Organic Compound monitors in the country and evaluates VOC data from 15 monitoring sites in Harris County alone. The TCEQ’s Air Pollutant Watch List highlights areas in Texas where monitoring data show persistent, elevated concentrations of air toxics.
Following a listing, the TCEQ works with existing industry to reduce levels and with new applicants to limit emissions of the identified pollutant. Once levels are reduced and show consistent compliance, a site can be “de-listed” from the APWL.
For more information, see APWL sites and successes.