HOUSTON - Air Alliance Houston, a local non-profit, took students from St. Catherine Montessori on a field trip with a twist Wednesday.
Adrian Shelley, the Executive Director of Air Alliance Houston, called it a “Toxic Tour” of the east side of town.
“What were the two ozone precursor pollutants? Anybody remember?” said Shelley, as he pressed the class.
It seemed like a typical day, until it was time to put the pencils down and pile into a van to head out on a field trip. It drives by first, the air monitor location on Clinton drive, then a dredge material placement area on North Main Street in Galena Park. The park where they unload from the van, is along the ship channel with views of an adjacent refinery.
A tugboat sailed by the group.
“Probably contains some kind of petrochemical product, maybe it’s crude oil,” said Shelley. The lessons were about the dangers of ozone and the ways Air Alliance worked with the city of Houston to try and improve the air quality.
“It was so cool to like walk by and like see the ocean, ”said Denver Fowler, a student.
The refinery stood tall, a visual reminder of how important it is to the Houston economy but was also a visual lesson that we are responsible for what is released into the environment.
“Well it’s kind of like saddening that they have all these dangerous chemicals coming out of these plants,” said Tomas Spencer, a student.
Adrian Shelley briefly mentioned recent incidents at the refinery.
“Actually being here and looking at this stuff is a lot different because you get to see it in person,” said student Umberto Lamatta.