Know What You Breathe.
Share What You Know.
SHAPE THE FUTURE
Be part of our citizen's air monitoring grid
For dangerous particulate matter (PM) pollution, TCEQ — the state regulating agency — has relied largely on a single air monitor that was taken down in April 2022 and has yet to be re-installed. This means the only way to know what we are breathing currently is by expanding our citizens' network of PurpleAir sensors.
We need help finding hosts! Take a look at our map of target sites.
Why current PM levels matter
Check out this map depicting the effects of PM pollution on Ellis County in 2016.
Note how PM levels increase downwind of the Holcim cement plant (red rectangle), based on usual prevailing winds—which blow most often from SSE to NNW (depicted on TCEQ's windrose diagram inset). See all the stats, for the rest of Texas, too.
Myths we hear
THAT'S JUST STEAM COMING OUT OF OUR AREA SMOKESTACKS
No, it's not. That "steam" from the stacks of our three local cement plants releases carbon monoxide, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxide — all pollutants — into the air we breathe.
Of the 11 cement plants in Texas, Holcim released the highest PM 2.5, sulfur dioxide and volatile organic compound emissions and the second highest PM 10 and lead emissions in 2021. Overall, it had the second highest total emissions of Texas cement plants. Find out more.
HOLCIM IS A GREAT CORPORATE CITIZEN
Yes, Holcim donates to local events and makes a visible stance in our area. But at the same time, it uses staff lawyers and deep funds to automatically file property tax lawsuits without mediation. Using legal maneuvers, it’s forced back millions of dollars from our school district, city and county. Finally, the Ellis County Appraisal District decided to fight back. Find out more.
THE EMISSIONS MEET EPA STANDARDS
On average, they do. But the current EPA target for "safe" PM (particulate matter) 2.5 is exceeded at some point almost every day and has been exceeded multiple days for each month on record. The EPA is now proposing new, more rigorous limits on PM standards. Find out more.
Also, there's growing research about the long-term effects of PM exposure...even at levels below current EPA standards. Find out more.
Plus, check out other health-related articles in Current News.