San Antonio, TX

Over 1,000 Hot Spots Exist and Air Pollution in Some Texas Cities May Cause Cancer

Tom Handy

A non-profit organization did the research and concluded that several cities have toxic air which causes cancer. According to KSAT, in the state of Texas, San Antonio is one of those hot spots. Dallas, Houston, El Paso, and a few other towns also made the list according to MySan Antonio.

The non-profit organization, ProPublica Analysis conducted the research, and this month released its findings. They compiled five years of data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and modeled it on a map.

According to the report:

“(The EPA) has never released this data in a way that allows the public to understand the risks of breathing the air where they live. Using the reports submitted between 2014 and 2018, we calculated the estimated excess cancer risk from industrial sources across the entire country and mapped it all.”

The non-profit organization feels the low level of cancer-producing agents causes a concern. They feel a cancer risk of 1 in 10,000 is acceptable. The map they produced highlighted the cancer risk was about 1 in 100,000. This was a lower threshold than the EPA standard, they still considered this a concern.

ProPublica stated:

"We also want to answer questions to help people understand what pollution means for them."

According to My San Antonio, the non-profit stated that a city making the list doesn't mean the entire area has toxic air. Only a few hot spots in the city limits made the city eligible for the report. In San Antonio, the map showed the hot spot is near Calumet San Antonio Refining, which includes part of the San Antonio River, South Presa Street, and Dan Court.

Their website stated:

"People living in this area have at least an estimated 1 in 100,000 excess lifetime cancer risk from industrial air pollution based on a ProPublica analysis of five years of EPA modeling."

ProPublica shows data from the emissions of Benzene, Naphthalene, and Ethylbenzene from the plant contribute about 99.5 percent of the excess cancer risk in the area.
ProPublica screenshot from Twitter

ProPublica shared its findings on Twitter. They encourage people who live in these areas to send their feedback. Once they have the information, they will compile it and then share the tips either online or by passing out fliers.

The Company is making improvements

My San Antonio reported the oil refinery was sold by Indiana-based Chalumut in November 2019. The new owner is a Houston-based company, Allegiance. They have made health and safety a top priority to workers and the community.

"Allegiance Refining has focused on investing in opportunities that improve the refinery’s environmental stewardship. Significant capital investments have been made to replace, repair, and add new process equipment and additional monitoring to improve reliability and reduce overall emissions at the refinery," the company tells MySA."

Are you concerned about the pollution in your area?

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