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 Downwinders At Risk - Press Room: January 2007

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Citizens and Environmental Groups to Challenge ...

Media Advisory
For Release: JANUARY 31, 2007

Rita Beving, Dallas Sierra Club, 214-373-3808
Becky Bornhorst, Downwinders at Risk, 972-230-3260, 214-912-2093 cell
Tom "Smitty" Smith, Public Citizen, 512-477-1155, cell 512-797-8468
Gary Stuard, Interfaith Environmental Alliance, 214-564-9329



Tonight citizens and environmental groups will testify and lay challenge to
the draft DFW air plan during a public hearing regarding the Texas Commission
on Environmental Quality's (TCEQ) draft DFW clean air plan.

Citing that the region has already dealt with two failed air plans, citizens
will claim that the 9-county region will once again face probable failure in
meeting federal standards as the plan falls short of the mandated requirements
under the Clean Air Act.

Testimony will identify that the plan misses its goal, barely achieving a
technical, legal solution with no margin of error. Groups will claim that in the
final analysis, incomplete and inconclusive data was used in producing the
draft plan.

Additionally, citizens will state that the draft air plan lets two of the
biggest polluting industries "off the hook" once again – namely the cement plants
in Ellis County and the coal-fired electric generating power plants.

The new air plan does not take into account the existing power plants in East
Texas or the 17 proposed coal-fired power plants currently moving through the
TCEQ's permitting process. Emissions from the coal trains that would be
traveling daily through the region carrying Wyoming powder basin coal to at least
14 of those plants were also not considered in developing the plan.

Additional public hearings will be held tomorrow Feb.1st at 2 pm at
Arlington City Hall and at 6:00 pm at the Midlothian Civic Center with written
comments taken by the TCEQ through February 12, 2007.

The TCEQ must submit its final plan to the EPA by June 2007. The EPA is
expected to rule on the plan by the end of the year.

WHEN: Wednesday, January 31
Press Conference at 6:30 pm in Dallas Downtown Library Lobby
Public Hearing at 7:00 pm in the Library auditorium

WHERE: Dallas Downtown Library, 1515 Young St., corner of Young/Ervay

WHO: Dallas Sierra Club, Downwinders at Risk, Public Citizen, Interfaith
Environmental Alliance

PHOTO OPS: Citizen wearing badges and giving testimony to the state
Smokestack float featuring Rick Perry and Dirty Industries


Rick Perry’s Smoke Stack Love World Tour

“The Float that TXU Doesn’t Want You to See” Hits the Road Again
to Publicize Public Hearings on Perry Air Plan for DFW

(Dallas--) Today Downwinders At Risk announces a sequel to the infamous “ Rick Perry’s Smoke Stack Love World Tour.” The group’s controversial 12-by-16 foot Mardi Gras-style float of a stack-smooching Governor Perry will be on the road again in DFW to promote public protest of a new state air quality plan for North Texas.

Last seen on a widely-publicized statewide tour in October, this time the giant editorial cartoon will stay in the DFW area, shadowing the three public hearings on Governor Perry’s new DFW air plan that begin tonight (Wednesday) at 7 in Dallas’ Central Public Library downtown, move to Arlington’s City Hall at 2 pm on Thursday, and end in Midlothian Civic Center at 6 pm Thursday evening.

The float will be on hand for tonight’s scheduled 6:30 pm kick-off press conference in front of the Dallas Public Library called by public health and environmental groups before testimony starts.

Although Downwinders was threatened with a lawsuit by TXU over the use of its corporate logo on the dirty smoke stack Perry is puckering up to kiss on the float, the group isn’t worried about what its members call the utility’s scare tactics. “As long as the first amendment is being enforced in this country, we’re safe,” stated board member Becky Bornhorst of DeSoto.

Bornhorst believes the float is the best, if also the most humorous, embodiment of the widespread view that the proposed Perry Air Plan for DFW is the culmination of an unhealthy coziness with the state’s largest industrial polluters. “Things like this new plan are the reason the float was made,” she said. “It represents some of the tightest intertwining of state government with corporate power we’ve ever seen. It’s turned the state into one of the biggest purveyors of junk science. All because Governor Perry puts his relationship with large corporations above those of the public at large.”