Study Ranks Diboll Schools Among Worst In Air Quality

(DIBOLL,TX)KTRE- USA TODAY released a study that says schools in Diboll are in some of the most polluted areas in the nation. The special report called The Smokestack Effect, list schools all over the nation and their rank according to the safety or air emissions. KTRE spoke with the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality, and they say study was not thorough.

Joseph Haney, Toxicologist with TCEQ, says, "tis is just a modeling exercise that USA TODAY did and they do not provide any information where regulatory agencies could use to confirm their results."

Haney says they typically rely on ambient air quality date that is collected around Texas. But USA TODAY reports show that Temple Elementary ranks 125 our 127,800 schools in the nation with bad air. Other schools ranked in the first percentile were Diboll High, Junior High and Primary Schools. All schools are surrounded by several industrial companies, including Temple-Inland, Atlas Roofing, and Hexion Speciality Chemicals.

"The TCEQ knows of no schools in Texas where the safe air concentration is being exceeded," says Haney.

The report states that children are susceptible to dangers posed in all types of toxic chemicals because they breathe deeper than adults, which is why they conducted the study but the commission says parents in our area shouldn't worry.

Haney firmly says, " I understand that parents are concerned with a story like this but this is a tool I think should be viewed as a first step in trying to look at what potentially might be in the air."

The study will more intensively be evaluated, but as for now the commission see no threat to Diboll schools based on their air data.

KTRE spoke with Diboll Superintendent, Gary Martel and he says he trust the companies in Diboll and backs the city's industrial companies.