Today, the Texas Grassroots Network (TXGN), released a new report titled “Oil & Gas Pollution's Impacts on Texas Families” which outlines how oil and gas development in Texas has exacerbated air pollution and public health issues, like asthma and other respiratory illnesses. The report tells the stories of three Texans, including a four-year- old boy, whose health has deteriorated as a result of harmful air pollution from oil and gas activities.
TXGN releases this report as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt threatens to extend the suspension of EPA’s 2016 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) which curb methane emissions, smog-forming VOCs, and other toxic air pollutants such as benzene – in new, reconstructed and modified oil and gas sources—just like the ones featured in the report.
“Much of the air pollution documented in this report is preventable. No one should have to worry about their children or family members getting sick from the oil and gas industry, but that is the reality we face if EPA’s pollution standards are suspended—or even worse, repealed,” said Sharon Wilson the Gulf Regional Organizer for Earthworks. “Our children deserve to be able to play outside with their friends without the fear that pollution will leave them wheezing and coughing. By threatening to suspend these vital safeguards, Administrator Pruitt seems perfectly content to sacrifice our children's health at the behest of the oil and gas lobby.”
Currently, Texas lacks meaningful standards for detecting and repairing leaks, which means they rely on the protections provided by the federal pollution standards to safeguard against methane and other toxic pollution and to curb public health impacts.