The community service page

of Alfredo "Al" Armendariz, Ph.D.

 


 

Hello. I am a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

 

On this page, you can find some of the details of my community service activities related to environmental protection, as well as review some of the documents I and others have written about air pollution and public health issues in the Dallas area and throughout Texas. I apologize that this page is often a few months out of date, but I'll update it as often as I can.

 

 


 

 

DFW Air Quality

Memos, Documents, and Other Information

 

The area in which I live, the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area,  is classified as a non-attainment area for the ambient air quality ozone standard. Ozone is a toxic gas and numerous studies show that high levels of ozone are associated with increased respiratory and cardio-vascular problems.

 

In addition, this area is gradually approaching the ambient air quality standard for particulate matter (PM). It is probably only a matter of time before DFW area violates PM standards, unless stringent air pollution control measures are implemented.

 

As you can read in the memos I link to below, I believe that with our growing population, growing industry, warming climate, and increasing traffic, the plan that the TCEQ has crafted to eliminate the DFW ozone problem will fall short has failed. Until the State of Texas gets serious about mass transit, regional and high speed rail, renewable electricity generation, and adopting the latest pollution control techniques at industrial sources, we are in for many years of non-attainment with the ozone (and soon the PM) standard.

 

[July 2009 Update]

Here is a Dallas Morning News Op-Ed for July 13, 2009, on how the 2006-2007 TCEQ clean air plan (a.k.a. SIP) is failing to meet the requirements of the 2009 deadline, and how we need to bring regulators, the medical community, business and utility interests, and environmental groups in the region together to craft cooperative and new solutions.

 

[July 2008]

A Dallas Morning News Op-Ed I wrote for July 4, 2008 on the problems with TCEQ and EPA efforts to fix the ozone problem, with some suggestions of practical steps to improve the area's air quality.

 

[December 2007]

 A report on the ozone problem in the western side of DFW, in Tarrant and Denton Counties.

 

[July 2007]

 You can read a comprehensive report I wrote about the DFW ozone problem, and what TCEQ and EPA should do about it on this page.

 

[July 2007]

A Dallas Morning News Op-Ed I authored on July 25, 2007 regarding the ozone smog problem in DFW.

 


 

 

Impact of Cement Kiln Emissions

on DFW Air Quality

 

There are numerous (over 200) "major" industrial sources and electric utilities in the DFW area and throughout East Texas that emit pollutants that contribute to our ozone and PM problems. These include large aerospace and airline industries, a very large semiconductor and telecom industry, oil and gas production, numerous natural gas and coal-fired power plants, and many other sources. However, the largest emitting single industry  in the D-FW area is the cement industry located in Ellis County, just south of the City of Dallas. The 3 cement plants in Ellis County are only 3 out of 225 "major" point source accounts in the 9-county DFW area,  but they account for 25% of the industrial PM-2.5 emissions, 50% of the NOx emissions, and 80% of the SO2 emissions.

 

The cement companies operate a total of 10 cement kilns in Ellis County. Only 3 of them use scrubbers (FGD) to reduce SO2 and metal emissions, even though scrubbers have been standardair pollution control technology for more than 30 years in other industries. None of the kilns use selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology to reduce NOx, dioxin, hydrocarbon, and mercury emissions, even though SCR is standard technology at coal-fired power plants, waste incinerators, and numerous other heavy industries. Seven of the 10 kilns are "wet-process" cement kilns, which burn more fuel and generate approximately 40% more greenhouse gas CO2 and other pollutant emissions for each ton of cement produced than the 3 newer "dry-process" kilns. Overall, there is a lot this industry could be doing to help DFW get clean air.

 

[February 2007]

I suggested to the TCEQ that they more aggressively require cuts in car, truck, and industrial emissions to help reduce ozone levels and protect public health. You can read the comments I sent to TCEQ in this memo: Memo to TCEQ

 

[July 2006]

A memo I wrote to TCEQ about the disproportionate impact of the cement industry on DFW air quality.

 

       [July 2006]

You can read a report written by a blue-ribbon panel of outside

experts on what can be done to reduce the Ellis County cement kiln NOx emissions.

    You can review my comments in support of the conclusions of the blue-ribbon panel.

 

 

 


 

Cement Kiln Pollution Controls   

 

Cement kilns are among the largest industrial contributors to ozone and PM smog in DFW, and worldwide cement production is one of the largest industrial sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Many engineering companies that make a pollution control technology called selective catalytic reduction (SCR) are confident that this technology can greatly reduce emissions from cement kilns. These companies have advertised SCR systems for cement kilns, or attested to its great ability to reduce cement kiln emissions:

 

The Institute of Clean Air Companies (ICAC)

[ICAC website]

GEA-Lurgi-Bischoff

KWH Catalysts

ELEX

Nippon Shukubai p. 2.

Argillon (English Translation).

Hammon Research Cottrell

ITIA/VUT p.3

 

 Several cement companies are using SCR and others have made positive assessments about whether SCR will work to reduce cement kiln NOx emissions:

 

Cementeria di Monselice

CEMEX, pp. 107 and 116

Italcementi (ESSROC) pp. 32 and 33

Kirchdorfer Cement.

[November 2006]

Here is a report about the success of SCR to reduce emissions of NOx and other pollutants on an Italian cement kiln (Cementeria di Monselice), written by a cement company manager, an SCR company engineer, and a professional engineer from the state of Florida.

 

[July 2006]

You can read this report about the success of SCR to reduce emissions of NOx, dioxins, and other pollutants on a German (Solnhofen) cement kiln, an Italian (Monselice) cement kiln, and also on a municipal waste incinerator.


 

Links to Environmental and Energy News Blogs, Business Organizations, and Environmental Groups Active on Air Quality Issues In Texas and Other States

 

Downwinders at Risk

Sierra Club - Lone Star Chapter

Public Citizen (Texas)

Environmental Defense Fund

Friends of the Hudson

WildEarth Guardians

 

Texas Business for Clean Air

Institute of Clean Air Companies

Industry Professionals for Clean Air

 

Dallas Morning News - Energy and Environment Blog

Austin American-Statesman - Salsa Verde

 

 


 

NEW: Oil and Gas Sector Emissions in the Barnett Shale Area Around the City of Fort Worth

 

In 2008 I began to work on air quality issues related to oil and gas development near Fort Worth. Information about the work and some related documents can be found on this page.

 

 



 

 

Back to Al Armendariz's Home Page

Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering

SMU School of Engineering      

SMU

 

 

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER

 

The contents of this Web page are the sole responsibility of Professor Al Armendariz

and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of Southern Methodist University.

The administrator of this Web page is Professor Al Armendariz

who may be contacted at aja@engr.smu.edu or 972-365-8370.