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EPA HEARING IN GALENA PARK

SARA ZARATE, a resident of Galena Park, testifies to the EPA committee about the high incident of cancer cases on her street, near Industrial Street. She attributed the sickness to pollutants that come from adjacent refineries, and said that industry had an obligation to clean up the air, and to pay for medical bills for those who are sick in the community.

SARA ZARATE, a resident of Galena Park, testifies to the EPA committee about the high incident of cancer cases on her street, near Industrial Street. She attributed the sickness to pollutants that come from adjacent refineries, and said that industry had an obligation to clean up the air, and to pay for medical bills for those who are sick in the community.

Air Pollution testimony presents 2 sides

The U.S. EPA, or Environmental Protection Agency, is planning to issue new guidelines for the 149 petroleum refineries in the country, to reduce pollution from emissions that affect surrounding neighborhoods.

EPA is holding two all-day hearings nationally, one in California and the other in Galena Park, Texas. This hearing took place at the Baggett Community Center on Tuesday of this week, and an EPA committee heard testimony from about 100 persons, that included Congressmen, industry spokespersons, environmental activists, and ordinary citizens that live near the refineries.

EPA director Fred Thompson told the audience that the proposed rules would add emission control requirements for storage tanks, flares and coking units. Also, the proposal would require monitoring of air concentrations at the fenceline of refineries, to test for toxic air pollutants such as benzene, toluene and xylene and volatile organic compounds that exceed health standards. The rules in particular are aimed at releases during SSMs, or startups, shutdowns, and malfunctions.

Speaking for industry interests were Congressmen Gene Green and Pete Olson, as well as representatives of industry organizations API and AFPM.

Green said that the new rules would burden industry with high costs and unnecessary reporting, and were redundant with current regulations.

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First Baptist Church of Jacinto City celebrating 70 years

jacinto city churchJACINTO CITY – Remaining in the same location since the beginning, the First Baptist Church of Jacinto City (FBCJC) will celebrate its 70th anniversary on August 17, 2014. Located at 10701 Wiggins, the church and its members have seen many changes throughout the community but it has remained strong and committed to presenting the message of Jesus Christ and His resurrection.

With the first meeting on August 6, 1944, and housed in a tent, a church was formed with the name of Universal Baptist Church. With an initial membership of 117, the last charter member on the roll died in 2008. The first building was completed in 1945 and served as the sanctuary, office space and classrooms. This building now serves as a worship center for a Hispanic Congregation, Iglesia Bautista Resurreccion, and the church offices.

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