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 I apologize that this page is often a few months out of date, but I'll update it as often as I can.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
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.
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.
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.
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
A memo I wrote to TCEQ about the disproportionate impact of the cement industry on DFW air quality.
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)
Nippon Shukubai p. 2.
Argillon (English Translation).
Hammon Research Cottrell
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
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.
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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 972-365-8370.