Saturday, August 9, 2014

benzene monitors

Residents from Texas, California, Louisiana and Michigan attended the hearing in suburban Houston. It was the second and final public hearing resulting from a lawsuit filed by Earthjustice and the Environmental Integrity Project on behalf of U.S. communities near oil refineries. The suit, filed against the EPA, argued that the federal agency was more than a decade late in reviewing and updating toxic air standards for refineries.

A spokesman for the American Petroleum Institute, and oil and gas lobbying group, testified Tuesday that EPA has determined that fenceline communities are shielded with an "ample margin of safety" from refinery emissions.

Port Arthur, comprised primarily of people of color, is located in an area where cancer rates are 15 percent higher among African Americans than they are for the average Texan. And mortality rates from cancer in Jefferson County where Port Arthur is situated are 40 percent higher, according to the Texas Cancer Registry.
In Houston, Texas, the largely Latino neighborhood of Manchester is home to the Valero oil refinery and lymphocytic leukemia rates are 56 percent higher for children. This issue is not limited to these communities alone.

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