All of you who keep up with my blog know about our battle for clean air and water. These past few weeks the heat and the air have been particularly rank. We are on day 35 of 100+ degree weather – many days of which have been 105-110. On Tuesday of this week Peggy and I went to do our training run and were quickly over come by fumes that were so horrendous we were chocking back vomit and cyclists coming that direction were saying to turn around and run the other way. I can’t even explain how bad it was – worse than sulfur, tires burning and a boat load of vomit all mixed together. It was brain-numbing, to say the least. For days after that run my sweat smelled like ammonia and I was seeing spots. I’m guessing the combination of record breaking temperatures and a gas processing facility in the middle of a residential neighborhood are a bad combination. Go figure?
After filing complaints with TCEQ we were told the gas processing facility was repairing a compressor and during the process they were venting natural gas directly in the air. Mind you, these aren’t your everyday compressors. These are the big boys, the kind that make you pee your pants. Undeniably massive. Cannot. Get. Any. Bigger. Massive. Did you know that venting natural gas directly into the air is perfectly acceptable. Yeah, I know. It sounds like BS but this is Texas and it really is okay to do that here. Four hours after our complaint TCEQ investigators arrived and their toxic vapor analyzer was reading 223 ppb. Freaking shocking.
So what’s a girl to do when you can’t even run in your very own neighborhood for fear of being poisoned? You run someplace else, that’s what you do. So this morning Peggy and I loaded up and headed over to the trails for some fresh air. I guess I should say fresher air, since all the air around these parts are bad. But at least we weren’t running through plumes of freshly venting natural gas.
What can I say? It was magnificent and I fell in love with trail running all over again. I kept opening my arms to hug the air and the surroundings. The surroundings that weren’t filling our bodies with poison. It was wonderful. We ran happy, we ran cute and the trail twins are gonna do it all over again tomorrow. Hurray for dirt tans, fresher air and mostly, for not being poisoned!