07/28/16 5:45pm

FRIENDLY LOCAL BOT NOW CONTINUOUSLY TWEETING ABOUT HOUSTON’S ELEVATED AIR TOXIN LEVELS Kuukibot screen grab, July 28 Benzene levels have been relatively high near the TCEQ’s Channelview and Galena Park sensors today, according to the Twitter account of Kuukibot, the air-quality-obsessed automated program which Neethi Nayak, James Van Dyne, and some of the other civic-minded tech types at Sketch City launched last week with the Houston Air Alliance. (They were high yesterday, too — and the day before that, and the day before that.) Upon launch, Kuukibot’s feed immediately started filling up with short, sunny notes about levels of the carcinogen in those 2 neighborhoods; the lung-irritating 1,3 butadiene makes an occasional appearance in the feed as well, though few other places have shown up so far. The tweets, generated on the hour, don’t necessarily mean there’s a specific health hazard or legal violation occurring — just that the sum of the last 24 hours of TCEQ data for a particular sensor has crossed a certain threshold the team picked for each chemical as a reference point. The team is still working up public notes on the methodology, but according to Sketch City founder Jeff Reichman, the program wouldn’t be too hard to expand to most of the other chemicals (and other locations across the state) that the TCEQ monitors. [Previously on Swamplot] Capture of Kuukibot tweets: @kuukihouston