In Robstown, employees of local refineries and industrial plants are going back to class. The workers were at the Richard M. Borchard Fairgrounds Monday attending "smoke school." The EPA and TCEQ require personnel to go through this training every six months. Their goal is for every plant employee to know how to read the omissions they are releasing; since if a plant exceeds the legal limit, it could face serious fines.
"They are reading the opacity or how many microns or particles are in the smoke plume," said Pete Jarrell with Whitlow Enterprises. "They're permitted to have a certain limit, and they take a test reading at different levels so they can read their stacks are accurate."
Participants also enjoyed a cookout with gumbo, jambalaya and crawfish pie.