Downwinders at Risk Hails SMU Engineering Prof's Appointment as EPA Administrator

Al Armendariz,

a research associate professor in SMU's Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering, was on National Public Radio earlier this week discussing health issues suffered by folks living near the Barnett Shale; said Armendariz of airborne toxins discovered by researchers, "the oil and gas production industry around Fort Worth is a major contributor to both local and global air pollution problems." Around the same time, the engineering professor was posting to his personal Web site a note addressing rumors that he was about to be tapped as the Environmental Protection Agency's new regional administrator over Texas: "I am honored to have the endorsement of several area Democrats for a federal appointment within EPA. If selected, it would be a privilege to serve the country in this capacity."

He has been selected, of course, and Downwinders at Risk are tickled by the appointment, according to a statement received by Unfair Park:

"Dr. Armendariz is exactly the kind of person you'd want to have this job, but seemingly never gets it. Because of what's at stake and the fact that Texas is the belly of the polluter beast, this may be one of the most important, far-reaching appointments the Obama Administration makes. Downwinders at Risk is proud to have been the group that first utilized Dr. Armendariz's expertise in 2005 for our cause of cleaning up the Midlothian cement kilns. That work led directly to his becoming the premier 'citizen's scientist' in Texas on air pollution, and paved the way for his much larger influence on the state scene. Congratulations to both Dr. Armendariz and the EPA."

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky