Power Tools for Technical Communication:
First-Pass Review

In this lab, you perform a "first-pass" review on an excerpt from instructions. (To do this lab, you need to have studied Chapters 18, 19, and related chapters from Part 1. Also useful are the online chapters on content, organization, and transitions.)
  1. Print these pages out so that you can make your comments in the margins with a pen or pencil.
  2. Study Chapter 18 of Power Tools for Technical Communication, paying particular attention to first-pass reviewing.
  3. Study the text carefully for problems involving the following:
    • Lack of content for the intended audience
    • Useless or incomprehensible content (from the intended audience's point of view)
    • Chunks of information not sequenced properly (organization problems)
    • Inadequate transitions
    • Weak or nonexistent introduction
  4. Make your comments in the margins of the printout.
  5. Write a review-summary memo (similar to the one in Chapter 22 of Power Tools for Technical Communication in which you summarize your observations about this document and make recommendations (be nice!).
  6. Put your name, First-Pass Review, and the date on both documents, and hand them in to your instructor.

Ovation Complaint Evaluation and Recommendation

During the past year and a half, the Fort Worth Air Section has spent substantial resources on complaints at Ovation Egg Production. Ovation currently consists of two sites south of Garland in Tarrant County. These sites are approximately 65 miles from the TNRCC Fort Worth regional office and travel time alone usually is close to three hours. Since the 1980s, the air section has responded to citizens' complaints. The compliance history goes back for many years; however, the files have been purged and only the last 5-year history is available.


A review of the last five years of complaint history indicates that the older site has had approximately 27 complaints and 7 investigations. The newer site has had approximately 120 complaints and more than 35 investigations. In the calendar year 2000 alone, 94 complaints were received and 29 investigations were conducted at the newer site. The air section is continuously receiving complaints almost weekly at the newer site. The source of the odors has been identified as:

The newer site is in enforcement for air permit and nuisance violations documented in May 2000. The case was referred to Litigation since the facility refused to settle.

A review of the last Wastewater CCI performed in January 2001 did not indicate what rules were reviewed or if their wastewater permit conditions were reviewed. It did make the statement that, "Odor complaints are primarily associated with the clean-out of the concrete settlings pit." The report did not indicate if the facility was in compliance or not, but stated that there were no violations noted. The report is attached.

In a discussion with the Chairperson of the CAFO committee, she indicated that she had seen some documents related to the facility and she indicated that Ovation has an odor control plan, but she believes they are not using it.

Ovation is planning on expanding their operations with a third site, which is identified in an attached map as 3A and 3B. Some of the complainants have filed a lawsuit against Ovation and Ovation has countersued.


Recommendations for addressing the continuous complaint problems would be for the agency to conduct a multimedia investigation at the site. The invstigation would be led by someone familiar with the CAFO rules, such as the CAFO committee chairperson, who would review the CAFO rules in 30 TAC 321, Subchapter B. Fort Worth air staff would perform an NSR1 (air permit review) investigation and Fort Worth wastewater investigators would thoroughly review their state rules and permit conditions. It would also be commended that the TNRCC agriculture section that prepares the wastewater permits also be in attendance. Based on a review of the investigation, recommendations would be developed for the company to address the continuous odor problems. Additionally, future plans for complaint response would be addressed.

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