NY Times cites Public Citizen report on harmful chemical emissions in Texas after Hurricane Harvey

By Troy Griggs, Andrew W. Lehren, Nadja Popovich, Anjali Singhvi and Hiroko Tabichi

Houston’s sprawling network of petrochemical plants and refineries released millions of pounds of pollutants in the days after Hurricane Harvey began barreling toward Texas.

Even under normal operations, the hundreds of industrial facilities in the area can emit harmful chemicals. But from Aug. 23 to Aug. 30, 46 facilities in 13 counties reported an estimated 4.6 million pounds of airborne emissions that exceeded state limits, an analysis by the Environmental Defense Fund, Air Alliance Houston and Public Citizen shows.

Federal and state regulators say their air monitoring shows no cause for alarm. But the extra air pollution is just the latest concern for residents and environmental groups in the days after the storm. At least 14 toxic waste sites were flooded or damaged, raising fears of waterborne contamination. And nearly 100 spills of hazardous substances have been reported.

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