Statement Of Tommy C. Calvert
Environmental Protection Agency
Aging Initiative Public Listening Session
San Antonio, Texas
April 8, 2003
Neighborhood First Alliance
First of all I want to thank the panel members who have stayed to listen to us. I am going to submit "Coal Power Consequences" to the record. I have been up to your (the EPA) building in Washington, DC with a thousand people and have taken over your building so they know me up there. In October 2001, according to research conducted by ABT Associates - a firm used frequently by your organization - indicated that fine, particulate soot from dirty power plants shortened the lives of over 30,000 Americans each year. The report found Texas to be among the states with the greatest number of deaths, 1,300 annually attributed to power plant pollution. The San Antonio Metropolitan area ranked 48th nationally in health effects from power plant pollution. Annually, these effects include 93 deaths, 67 hospital visits, 29 asthmatic emergency room visits, 69 chronic bronchitis cases, 2,400 asthmatic attacks, 20,500 lost work days and 106 days of restricted activity. I just want to put that into the record. I challenge this group to come to our community. I repeat: I challenge you, Mayor, to come to our community and really hear what is going on. I live in a cancer cluster. I live in an area where people are dying from bronchitis and asthma and breathing problems. When that southwest wind blows that pollution over into the Leon Valley/ Madison area, where it cooks to an ozone day, we have something in common, Mayor. We've got to work together to clean up this problem. We found out about this meeting by accident. We didn't even know it was happening. We got some calls from our friends who told us that we brothers from the east side better need to go over to University of Texas and be represented. I want you to know that we would invite you back to come to our community because we have been on the front line for 30 years fighting pollution. They know who we are there at EPA. I am quite certain that the CIA and the FBI have heard of us, too. We would like you to come back. That is my challenge to you today. We want you to come back do a real listening - don't take up 30 minutes while we listen to you guys - we've got some real serious problems. We've got some real serious problems with people dying in our community because of pollution. We appreciate your coming here today but we also want you to come to the other side of the tracks. Thank you.