City Public Service contends it is among the lowest emitters of pollution in the nation, but that does not suggest its coal-fired plants are clean; it just means that many industries and utilities are incredibly dirty.

Due to the enormity of the information in the EPA's database of 1,949 U.S. industries and utilities, we could not determine an accurate an overall ranking for the facilities - only for individual pollutants. However, using the TCEQ's smaller state and county databases, it was possible to determine an overall ranking from that list. The data is for 2000, the latest year figures are available.

In comparing rankings, we provided, when available, the top and bottom polluters, and showed where CPS fell in that range. When CPS ranked first, we listed the second-place polluter.



Of the top 38 industrial air polluters, CPS made the list based on emissions of particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and volatile organic chemicals.

  1. Texas Utilities, Monticello Plant
11. CPS, Sommers/Deely/Spruce plants
38. Texas-New Mexico, TNP One plant

Bexar County

Of the 37 Bexar County industrial polluters listed by the TCEQ, CPS rank first in emissions - more than the Air Force bases and cement companies.

  1. CPS Spruce/Deely/Summers
  2. Portland Cement
37. Fredereich Air Conditioning/Earth Grains Bakery


Known as Nox, this emission and its kissing cousin, nitrogen dioxide, causes ground level ozone and smog. Exposure can hurt the lungs, worsen breathing problems, and at high levels, cause acute respiratory illness in children. It is regulated by the EPA.

Rank / Company / Emissions In Tons

National (1,500 ranked)

  1. Tennessee Valley Authority = 285,034
92. CPS (all plants) = 19,564

Texas (38 ranked)

  1. TXU, Martin Lake = 27,317
10. CPS, Spruce/Deely/Summers = 13,912
38. Big Spring Carbon Black Plant = 679

Bexar County (37 ranked)

  1. CPS Spruce/Deely/Summers = 13,911
  2. Alamo Cement/1604 plant = 2,526
38. Frederich Air Conditioning = .02


Sulfur dioxide, SO2, is a component in acid rain and ozone, and can irritate the lungs and worsen asthma, heart disease or respiratory problems. It is regulated by the EPA.

Rank / Company / Emissions In Tons

National (1,311 ranked)

  1. Tennessee Valley Authority = 718,349
95. CPS (all plants) = 23,300
438 industries, businesses, and utilities reported no So2 emissions

Texas (38 ranked)

  1. TXU, Monticello = 88,347
11. CPS = 23,254
37. Dow Chemical, Plant B = 7

Bexar County (37 ranked)

  1. CPS = 23,254
  2. Portland Cement = 2,293
38. Earth Grains bakery = .001


Particulate matter is fine dirt particles. The number signifies their size in micrometers - about the one-seventh of the width of a human hair. Particles that are 10 micrometers and 2.5 micrometers are considered by the EPA to be harmful to human health because they lodge deep in the lungs and can cause breathing problems, cancer, and premature death. PM also can seep indoors. PM10 is regulated by the EPA, but was not included in its database.

Rank / Company / Emissions In Tons

Texas (38 ranked)

  1. TXU, Monticello = 3,809
  6. CPS = 1,160
37. Phillips 66 Sweeny and Borger refineries = 0

Bexar County (37 ranked)

  1. CPS = 1,159
  2. Portland Cement = 169
38. Earth Grains Bakery = .14


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