Devine still feeling effects of 2016 asbestos spike

A notice sent out in recent utility bills and posted on the City’s website indicates an asbestos violation in the first quarter of 2017, but that is somewhat misleading.


The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) arrives at contaminant levels by averaging the numbers of the most recent four quarters of testing. The asbestos spike first caused Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) violations in the first quarter of 2016.

As the quarters with high MCLs drop off with each successive quarter, the average drops as well.

The MCL for asbestos is 7 million fibers per liter (MFL). Using the average of 2Q 2016, 3Q 2016, 4Q 2016, and 1Q 2017, the results for 1Q 2017 were 9 MFL for ASB-02 and 8 MFL for ASB-03.

Barring another spike, the City will likely not be in violation of the asbestos MCL in the second quarter of 2017 (average of 3Q 2016, 4Q 2016, 1Q 2017, and 2Q 2017), and will not be required by TCEQ to send out another notice.