5 Plants to Blame for Most of North Texas' 78,737 Pounds of Air Pollution, Report Says

Industrial facilities in North Texas released 78,737 pounds of pollution into the air during 2017 without a permit authorizing them to do so, according to a new report by Environment Texas Research and Policy Center. The majority of that pollution in North Texas — 72,793 pounds — came from five facilities: the Muson Compression Station in Denton County, the West Johnson County Compressor Station, the Wylie Water Plant in Collin County, Versacold Logistics Services in Tarrant County, and Owens Corning Insulating Systems in Waxahachie, according to the report. Across Texas, industrial facilities reported releasing more than 63 million pounds of pollution into the air without permission in 2017, an increase of 27 percent compared with 2016, the report found. 2017 is the most recent year for which records are available.The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has the authority to issue fines for as much as $2.3 billion for the violations, but the report found that the TCEQ issued just $1.2 million in fines in 2017, or 2 cents per pound of pollution.Andrea Morrow, a TCEQ spokeswoman, said in an email that the agency does not comment on reports from other groups. "However, we vigorously defend our enforcement process," she wrote.Owners of the Muson Compression Station, the West Johnson County Compressor Station, the Wylie Water Plant, Versacold Logistics Services and Owens Corning Insulating Systems did not immediately respond to requests for comment.The 63 million pounds of pollution in 2017 came from 4,067 breakdowns, maintenance incidents and other emission events, according to the State of Texas Electronic Emissions Reporting System.Compared to the rest of the state, the Dallas-Fort Worth area ranked 13th on the report’s list of regions with the most unauthorized pollution in 2017. Midland took the top spot with 37,660,671 total pounds of unauthorized pollution, according to the report, followed by Houston, Beaumont, Lubbock and Corpus Christi.  Continue reading...

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