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Tribute to My Friend, CTS Pollution Pioneer, Tom Bashara

Tom Bashara at Pavement Test Plots in Austin, TX Earlier today I was shocked to learn of the loss of my friend and colleague, Tom Bashar...

Tom Bashara at Pavement Test Plots in Austin, TX
Earlier today I was shocked to learn of the loss of my friend and colleague, Tom Bashara.  He was a young man with a young family which deepens our sense of loss.

Often the USGS has anonymously referred to Tom as "an astute City of Austin employee" who noticed that just above a contaminated stream tributary was a freshly sealed coal tar lot.  He was the first to figure out that coal tar sealants are a potent source of pollution; the co-author of numerous papers on the subject; the first and main "boots on the ground" enforcement officer of Austin's coal tar sealant ban; and the co-inventor of the field test for determining the presence of coal tar sealant.  He never wanted the limelight, only to make a difference, which he did immensely.

Update 5-24-11: Here's an edited video of the Austin City Council meeting in 2005 where Tom is acknowledged as the discoverer of this PAH source:

Much more than this, he was an example of true Christian character; a hard worker at home and at the office; forgiving and willing to help out others as much as he could; a devoted family man; a brilliant, creative man who was a tremendous resource for problem solving; and always good for a laugh or joke.  It is with the spirit of laughter that I have included a copy of a video I made of him testing a parking lot.  He said he laughed so hard at it, that he spilled coffee all over himself.  We'll miss you my friend!




Related Posts:
City of Austin Names Creek in Honor of Coal Tar Sealant Pollution Pioneer Tom Bashara

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Coal Tar Free America: Tribute to My Friend, CTS Pollution Pioneer, Tom Bashara
Tribute to My Friend, CTS Pollution Pioneer, Tom Bashara
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Coal Tar Free America
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