Local News

Aug 8, 2014 4:54 PM by Andrew Ellison - aellison@kristv.com

Local Man Asks E.P.A. for Help

CORPUS CHRISTI - The Environmental Protection Agency held hearings in Houston this week to determine if tougher regulations are needed on refinery emissions.

Today, KRIS 6 News spoke with the only man to represent Corpus Christi at those hearings.

His name is Billy Placker. He and many of his family members have lived next to refinery row all their lives.

"If somebody wants to break into my house, I believe I can stop them from bringing bodily harm to my family, but when it sneaks over in the wind, what do you do?" Placker says.

He's talking about emissions often released through flares that come out of the refineries.

Placker believes those emissions are hazardous, and he believes they're the reason two of his grandchildren have asthma.

"It's so hard to look at your grandchild when he can't hardly breath, and then off to the hospital they go," Placker says.

Placker and his wife testified in Houston this week, asking the E.P.A. to monitor refineries more closely and force them to reduce their flaring.

"We have gone from house to house, me and my wife have, and out of 300 homes, I'd say 50 percent of the people either have cancer or have had cancer," Placker says.

People from all over the country were in Houston to testify at the hearings, and share their stories.

Placker says he just wanted to make sure Corpus Christi was represented.

Officials from refineries all over the country testified as well. Many of them said their emissions are not harmful, and that tougher regulations are not needed.

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