TEXAS CITY The latest air quality data released last week shows that benzene levels are below a level of concern in Texas statewide, including Texas City.

That was the message from Darrell D. McCant, a senior toxicologist with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. McCant s comments came during a look at the latest air quality measurements for the Texas City-La Marque area.

The reduction in benzene levels has state environmental regulators considering removing the carcinogen from the air pollutant watch list, McCant said.

Five years ago, benzene levels in Texas City, particularly in (the Air Pollutant Watch List 1202), were above our long-term comparison value, and a reduction of benzene emissions in this area was recommended, McCant said.

Starting in 2010, for the first time in years, annual benzene levels at both BP and Marathon sponsored monitors were below our long-term Air Monitoring Comparison Values. Annual benzene levels at the BP monitor had been at or below the long-term AMCV since 2007.

Air Monitoring Comparison Values or AMCV are used to monitor the ambient air quality in the community.

Click here to read more at the Galveston Daily News.

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