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Stricter emissions monitoring could effect Crossroads industry

By JJ VELASQUEZ
April 22, 2010 at 8:02 p.m.
Updated April 21, 2010 at 11:22 p.m.


Editor's note: This is a sidebar story to an Associated Press feature about the nation's oil and chemical plants, which, according to reports, spew a lot more pollution than they report to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Stricter emissions monitoring could have positive and negative effects on the Crossroads, area officials said.

Operation costs always play a role when companies look to invest in new areas or continue investing at existing sites, said Dale Fowler, president of the Victoria Economic Development Corporation.

If stricter monitoring means higher costs, it could make a difference, he said.

"When we do things that drive up costs, that goes on a matrix and helps them decide whether this is the best place for their investment," he said. "Of course, there are other factors, such as transportation costs and labor costs."

Fowler couldn't speak to how changes would specifically affect area plants because he wasn't sure how much additional monitoring systems would cost.

Marie Lester, environmental programs coordinator for the city, said stricter pollution controls would benefit residents.

Tighter regulations mean fewer emissions, so residents could see an improvement in air quality.

"I think that our chemical plants are pretty good in compliance," Lester said. "I would say that what they report is accurate. Our plants do a good job of taking care of the environmental regulations."

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