Al Armendariz

SMU professor sworn in as EPA administrator

Al Armendariz sworn in as EPA administratorAl Armendariz, SMU associate professor of environmental and civil engineering, was sworn in Feb. 2, 2010, as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‘s Region 6 Administrator.

The region includes Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, 66 Indian tribes and Texas – the nation’s largest producer of industrial air pollution. Armendariz is taking over Region 6 as the EPA moves to toughen Texas pollution enforcement standards to meet federal Clean Air Act requirements followed by other states.

While on leave, Armendariz will retain his appointment with SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering.

News: Al Armendariz named to Environmental Protection Agency

Faculty in the News: Winter 2009-10

Chee-Yun, Music, Meadows School of the Arts, was profiled in The Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune Jan. 11, 2010, the day before her recent performance with the Sarasota Concert Association.

Edward Countryman, Clements Department of History, Dedman College, discussed the implications of the Texas State Board of Education’s possible revisions to the state’s social studies curriculum with The Austin American-Statesman Jan. 10, 2010.

Paul Phillips, Music, Meadows School of the Arts, displayed “exquisite mastery” in his conducting debut with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, as written in a concert review in The Dallas Morning News Jan. 8, 2010.

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about the political fallout of efforts to protect an endangered bird and their impact on oil, natural gas and wind energy development with CNN Money Jan. 6, 2010. He also discussed the stakes in the recent Republican gubernatorial debate with KERA Radio News Jan. 11, 2010. Read the full story and listen to the broadcast. audio

bernard-weinstein-kxas-200.jpgBernard Weinstein, Maguire Energy Institute, Cox School of Business, wrote about the Barnett Shale and the potential economic and national security benefits of its natural gas deposits for The Houston Chronicle Dec. 16, 2009. In addition, he talked with with KXAS Channel 5 News about growth expectations for the North Texas area in a segment broadcast Jan. 3, 2010. Read the full report and watch the video. video

Al Armendariz, Environmental and Civil Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering, was profiled as the new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief for Region 6 in The Houston Chronicle Jan. 3, 2010.

Robin Lovin, Cary Maguire University Professor of Ethics, discussed President Obama and Christian realism with The Dallas Morning News Dec. 31, 2009. Lovin has written a book on the subject, Christian Realism and the New Realities, published by Cambridge University Press.

Scott MacDonald, Southwestern Graduate School of Banking, Cox School of Business, talked about how small businesses have felt the pinch as banks cut back on lending in the wake of the financial crisis with The Fort Worth Star-Telegram Dec. 27, 2009.

Christine Buchanan on Fox 4 NewsChristine Buchanan (left), Biological Sciences, Dedman College, discussed the dangers of catching salmonella from illegally sold baby turtles with Fox 4 News Nov. 11, 2009. Watch the video. video

Faculty in the News: Nov. 17, 2009

Al Armendariz, Environmental and Civil Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering, was profiled as the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 6 in The Austin American-Statesman Nov. 16, 2009. In addition, musician Don Henley talked about Armendariz’s EPA appointment for an article that appeared in The Boston Herald Nov. 9, 2009.

Matt Wilson, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about how the abortion issue could split Democrats in the struggle for votes on health care reform in an article for Reuters that appeared in Vision.org Nov. 14, 2009.

R. Gerald Turner, SMU President, and University System of Maryland Chancellor William E. Kirwan wrote as co-chairs of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics about the need for reform in college athletics funding in a letter published by USA Today Nov. 13, 2009.

Bernard Weinstein, Maguire Energy Institute, Cox School of Business, wrote about the potential for natural gas to transform the global energy market in a letter published by The Wall Street Journal Nov. 9, 2009.

Gary Keith Brubaker, The Guildhall at SMU, talked about how video games based in history spur interest in learning more about the past for a Reuters article published Nov. 13, 2009.

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about why the Obama Administration must be careful about calling the Ft. Hood shootings an act of terrorism in an article that appeared in The San Francisco Examiner Nov. 10, 2009.

Al Armendariz named to Environmental Protection Agency

Al ArmendarizAl Armendariz, SMU associate professor of environmental and civil engineering, is President Barack Obama‘s choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency‘s Region 6, which includes Texas – the nation’s largest producer of industrial air pollution – and four other southwestern states.

“I look forward to working closely with Al Armendariz on the range of urgent environmental issues we face, in region 6 and across the nation,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, who announced the appointment. “At this moment of great challenge and even greater opportunity, I’m thrilled that Al will be part of our leadership team at EPA. He will certainly play an instrumental role in our Agency’s mission to protect our health and the environment.”

Regional EPA administrators promote state and local environmental protection efforts and serve as a liaison between Jackson and state and local government officials. Armendariz takes the helm at Region 6 at a time when the EPA has made it clear that Texas pollution enforcement standards are not high enough and must meet federal Clean Air Act requirements followed by other states.

“I think it’s fair to say that the new administration, the President and Lisa Jackson have put EPA on a new course to better protect the environment and I’m happy to be part of the team,” Armendariz said. “I think it’s pretty obvious to the regulated industries and the environmental groups and the politicians that what EPA is doing now is a big departure from what EPA has been doing for a number of years. It’s an exciting time.”

Region 6 includes the states of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, as well as 66 Indian tribes. While on leave, Armendariz will retain his appointment with SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering.

“We are thrilled that Al Armendariz’ work in improving our living and working environments has been recognized by the President and EPA Administrator,” said Geoffrey Orsak, dean of the Lyle School. “Al is an extraordinarily talented, insightful and balanced engineer who will make a significant contribution to our nation and region.”

“I am very excited and I’m looking forward to joining the administration,” Armendariz said. “I’ve greatly enjoyed being at SMU. It’s been a fantastic place to work and I’ve had the support of Dean Orsak and Dr. (R. Gerald) Turner for all my activities. It’s been a great place to teach and do research, and I look forward to continuing my association with SMU for years to come.”

Armendariz joined SMU in 2002 after receiving his Ph.D in environmental engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health. He worked as a research assistant at the MIT Center for Global Change Science at their Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratory in Massachusetts, and at the Radian Corporation in North Carolina as a chemical engineer, before joining the SMU faculty. He also spent a summer on special assignment to EPA’s Dallas office as an environmental scientist.

Learn more from SMU News

Faculty in the News: Nov. 10, 2009

Brian Bruce, ENCAP Investments & LCM Group Alternative Asset Management Center, Cox School of Business, talked about rebuilding a retirement portfolio in a tumultuous economic climate with The Fort Worth Star-Telegram Nov. 8, 2009.

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Dedman College, discussed the confusing language of Texas’ constitutional amendment propositions and its impact on voters with The Wall Street Journal Nov. 4, 2009.

Al Armendariz, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering, discussed pollution and health concerns raised by natural gas drilling in Texas’ Barnett Shale as part of a segment for National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” Nov. 3, 2009. audio

Faculty in the News: Oct. 20, 2009

David Chard on WFAA Channel 8Bernard “Bud” Weinstein, Maguire Energy Institute, Cox School of Business, talked about the role of the Texas Emerging Technology Fund in seeding new startup companies with The Austin American-Statesman Oct. 18, 2009. He also discussed the high cost of state and local government tax giveaways designed to attract businesses with The Houston Chronicle Oct. 17, 2009.

David Chard (left), Dean, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, talked about the increasingly common practice of holding children back a year to help them be more mature when they enter school with ABC Channel 8 News Oct. 7, 2009.

Al Armendariz, Environmental and Civil Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering, discussed the effectiveness of curbing climate change by detecting and sealing natural gas leaks with The New York Times Oct. 14, 2009.

Faculty in the News: Summer 2009

Brian StumpScientists in SMU’s Seismology Research Program deployed monitoring stations in North Texas during summer 2009 to gather data on a series of earthquakes that began hitting the area in May. Brian Stump (right) and Chris Hayward, Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Dedman College, are providing expertise to local and national media outlets for ongoing coverage, including the following stories:

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Dedman College, talked with the media regarding several state and national political stories during the summer, including:

William LawrenceWilliam Lawrence (right), Dean, Perkins School of Theology, provided commentary on the health care reform debate and other issues, including:

Bruce Bullock, Maguire Energy Institute, Cox School of Business, spoke with several media outlets about fuel prices, the Congressional climate change bill and other energy issues for these stories:

Scott MacDonald, Southwest Graduate School of Banking, Cox School of Business, talked about distressed banks taking the cost-cutting measure of closing branch locations with CNNMoney.com Aug. 12, 2009.

Ruben Habito, World Religions, Perkins School of Theology, talks about the increasing acceptance of Buddhism among Christians and Jews who infuse Eastern spiritual insights and practices into their own religions with The Denver Post Aug. 9, 2009.

Kathy Hargrove, Gifted Students Institute, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, spoke about the need for specialized training for teachers of the gifted and talented with The Dallas Morning News Aug. 9, 2009.

Al Armendariz, Environmental and Civil Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering, discussed air quality problems in Denton County with The Denton Record-Chronicle Aug. 2, 2009. In addition, he wrote an op-ed on the failure of the North Texas clean-air plan and its consequences for The Dallas Morning News, published July 13, 2009.

Jeff TalleyJeff Talley (at right in photo, with Gen. David Petraeus), Environmental and Civil Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering, was the subject of a feature detailing his ideas for using engineering to fight global poverty. It appeared in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram July 29, 2009.

Tom Mayo, Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility, provided expertise for a story on health care rationing and the author’s 91-year-old father that appeared in Politics Daily July 29, 2009.

William Maxwell, Finance, Cox School of Business, talked about the state of the American auto industry with The Dallas Morning News July 13, 2009.

John Attanasio, Dean, Dedman School of Law, discussed why Dallas’ law practices have managed to avoid the downsizing occurring at many large national practices with The Dallas Morning News July 6, 2009.

Nathan Cortez, Dedman School of Law, discussed the legal and regulatory uncertainties of “medical tourism” – seeking affordable health care abroad – with Diversity: Issues in Higher Education June 25, 2009.

Darab Ganji and Robert Jordan, Tower Center for Political Studies, Dedman College, wrote an op-ed on the post-election uprising in Iran that was published in The Dallas Morning News June 22, 2009.

Fred Schmidt, Christian Spirituality, Perkins School of Theology, discussed the June 2009 meeting of representatives from Episcopal congregations and dioceses to create a new denomination for a story published by The Fort Worth Star-Telegram June 22, 2009.

Glenn Griffin, Advertising, Meadows School of the Arts, discussed the advantages and drawbacks of the state opening its new “Don’t Mess With Texas” video contest to the public with The Dallas Morning News June 17, 2009

Faculty in the News: March 17, 2009

Al Armendariz, Environmental and Civil Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering, talked about doubts raised over the results of short-term air monitoring for toxic chemicals in the air near schools with USA Today March 5, 2009. He also spoke with Channel 8 News in Dallas about his study that shows Barnett Shale production in North Texas emits as much air pollution as the traffic. The segment aired March 11, 2009.

Mel Fugate, Management and Organizations, Cox School of Business, discussed the effectiveness of the measures some small businesses are taking to avoid layoffs in The Wall Street Journal March 5, 2009.

Karen Sargent, Career Services, Dedman School of Law, provided expertise for a story on how new law graduates can compete in a troubled job market. The article appeared in the March 9, 2009 edition of Texas Lawyer.

Fred Moss, Dedman School of Law, discussed proposed legislation that addresses statute of limitations issues in rape cases where DNA identifies a suspect in The Dallas Morning News March 13, 2009.

Jake Batsell, Journalism, Meadows School of the Arts, talked to Jeff Brady of Channel 8 News about the changing nature of news reporting in a segment that appeared March 6, 2009.

David Lei, Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Cox School of Business, discussed how individuals can take a business-like approach to planning a household budget with The Dallas Morning News March 9, 2009.

Ralph Janvey, a Dallas-based lawyer and adjunct SMU law professor, has taken the helm of Stanford Financial Group after a U.S. judge tapped him to serve as its receiver, with final say over Stanford’s vast estate of offices, island properties, yachts and castles. Reuters covered the story March 10, 2009, and Law Professor Alan Bromberg provided commentary.

Faculty in the News: March 2, 2009

Fred Moss, Dedman School of Law, provided expertise on constitutional law for a story on a crime victim’s pursuit of justice that aired on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Feb. 12, 2009.

Miguel Quiñones, Management and Organizations, Cox School of Business, talked about the logic behind the more than $25 million in bonus pay awarded in 2008 to Texas state workers in an article that appeared in The Houston Chronicle Feb. 23, 2009.

Al Armendariz, Environmental and Civil Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering, discussed energy-industry skepticism of his report that equates Barnett Shale-related pollution to the Metroplex’s entire traffic circulation with The Fort Worth Business Press Feb. 23, 2009.

Research Spotlight: Clearing the air

Oil derrickThe first comprehensive analysis of air emissions associated with natural gas and oil production in the Barnett Shale area finds that emissions can be a significant contributor to Dallas-Fort Worth smog formation, comparable to the combined emissions from all Metroplex cars and trucks.

“Emissions from Natural Gas Production in the Barnett Shale Area and Opportunities for Cost-Effective Improvements,” was written by Al Armendariz, research associate professor in the Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering in SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering. The report is available online at the Environmental Defense Fund’s website (PDF format).

In addition to emissions of smog-forming compounds, such as nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds (VOC), the report also considers air toxic chemicals and greenhouse gases. Emissions of carbon dioxide and two other major greenhouse gases underlying climate change were estimated to be roughly equivalent to the impact from two 750 MW coal-fired power plants.

“It’s true that Barnett Shale oil and gas activities are producing significant air emissions, but there’s good news as well,” Armendariz said. “There are off-the-shelf technologies that can greatly reduce these emissions and improve DFW Metroplex air quality.” Cost-effective control strategies are readily available and can substantially reduce emissions, according to experts.

Read more from SMU News

By | 2009-02-16T15:21:01+00:00 February 16, 2009|Categories: Research|Tags: , , |
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