Updates

We stopped 20 state parks from closing

After devastating budget cuts in 2011, this spring, the Legislature restored funding for state and local parks. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department had warned that 20 state parks would have to close without additional funds. But after a public outcry—including thousands of petition signatures from Environment Texas members—the Legislature boosted funding by $62 million. That's enough to keep all our state parks open, make critical repairs, replant trees destroyed by wildfire at Bastrop State Park, and to give grants to cities to build new parks, ball fields and playgrounds.

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State parks facing another fiscal challenge

A coalition of park supporters has begun a campaign to pressure lawmakers for additional funding, said Luke Metzer, founder and director of the Environment Texas advocacy organization. "We're going to be knocking on doors, educating the public about the plight of our parks," he said. "Our hope is that the Legislature finally responds and gives the parks more money to prevent any closures."

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News Release | Environment Texas

ExxonMobil Ends 2012, and Starts 2013, With More Unauthorized Air Pollution

ExxonMobil’s Baytown, Texas, refinery and olefins plant began 2013 the same way they ended 2012: with large, unauthorized emissions of harmful air pollutants into the surrounding neighborhoods east of Houston. A citizen enforcement suit to end such instances of illegal emissions has been pending in federal court in Houston since December 2010. In the final weeks of 2012, ExxonMobil reported three large “emission events” – releases of air pollution not authorized by its federal Clean Air Act permits – to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). In one event alone, 57 tons of sulfur dioxide, a respiratory irritant, were released in just 18 hours beginning just before midnight on December 20, when a compressor “tripped” at the refinery’s Booster Station 4 unit.

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News Release | Environment Texas

Chairman Ritter should set aside more for water conservation

AUSTIN – In response to Chairman Allan Ritter’s announcement to transfer $2 billion from the rainy day fund to support water projects in the State Water Plan, Environment Texas’ Luke Metzger issued the following statement:

“We’re calling on Chairman Ritter and other state leaders to set aside at least half of rainy day funds for water conservation, re-use, repairs of leaking pipes and protection of flows in our rivers and water quality. Damming rivers and draining aquifers is very harmful to the environment and we need to exhaust all conservation and efficiency before we spend money on those projects. We need to see a much bigger commitment to conservation and repairs before we can support this bill.”

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News Release | Environment Texas

Fracking on Film: As Promised Land opens, group warns of dirty drilling damage to health and the environment

AUSTIN - As the new Matt Damon movie, Promised Land, opened in theaters today, Environment Texas sounded the alarm about the very real damage fracking is doing in here in Texas.

“Spoiler alert: The truth about fracking is even worse than what you see in the movie,” said Luke Metzger, Director of Environment Texas. “Right here in Texas, dirty drilling operations pollute our air and use huge amounts of water.”

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Water Conservation Ideas Offered for Texas Legislature

The nonprofit Environment Texas offers a range of conservation-related proposals for the next session. Among them: ensuring that homeowners’ associations allow drought-resistant landscaping; prodding cities to adopt plans to limit per-capita water usage; and requiring farmers to put meters on their wells.

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