Agenda for Fort Worth

Recommendations for clean air, water and energy

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Luke Metzger
Executive Director

Author: Luke Metzger

Executive Director

(512) 479-0388

Started on staff: 1998
B.A., University of Southern California

As the executive director of Environment Texas, Luke is a leading voice in the state for clean air, clean water, clean energy and open space. Luke has led successful campaigns to win permanent protection for the Christmas Mountains of Big Bend; to compel Exxon, Shell and Chevron Phillips to cut air pollution at four Texas refineries and chemical plants; and to boost funding for water conservation and state parks. The San Antonio Current has called Luke "long one of the most energetic and dedicated defenders of environmental issues in the state." He has been named one of the "Top Lobbyists for Causes" by Capitol Inside, received the President's Award from the Texas Recreation and Parks Society for his work to protect Texas parks, and was chosen for the inaugural class of "Next Generation Fellows" by the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at UT Austin. Luke, his wife, son and daughters are working to visit every state park in Texas.

Every day, we see more heartbreaking evidence of the damage being done to our planet: climate change, plastic pollution, wildlife disappearing forever. But we also see the solutions all around us, practically begging us to adopt them: solar and wind power, electric cars and buses, a more walkable and “bikeable” city, reusing and repairing stuff instead of throwing it away, and on and on. We've prepared the following recommendations for the City of Fort Worth to protect our environment in 2021.

Clean Air

In 2018, the greater Fort Worth area experienced 106 days of degraded air quality and Tarrant County remains in nonattainment with the Clean Air Act. Breathing polluted air increases the risk of premature death and can also trigger asthma attacks and other adverse health impacts. Climate change will worsen air pollution as rising temperatures speed up the formation of ozone. We urge the City to:

  • Provide funding to Trinity Metro to expand TEXRail and bus rapid transit.

  • Expand the use of electric vehicles, including in the city fleet, buses for Trinity Metro and local school districts, and for the general public.  

  • Add at least 5 docking stations and 50 new bikes to Fort Worth Bike Sharing each year.

Clean Energy

Texas is home to an abundance of clean energy options — the sun’s power, the mighty winds of west and coastal Texas, the earth’s heat, and even the energy leaking from drafty windows in our homes and businesses. By using energy more efficiently and tapping our vast renewable resources, we can move to energy that doesn’t pollute, doesn’t contribute to climate change, and never runs out. Environment Texas urges the City to:

  • Implement solar and EV ready requirements for residential and commercial properties as part of a broader shift toward net-zero energy buildings

  • Adopt the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's SolarAPP to streamline the permitting process for residential solar

  • Create a pilot program to bulk purchase renewable energy for Fort Worth residents

  • Contract to purchase 100% of the City's electricity from renewable energy source

Clean Water

It's unsafe to swim in the Trinity River and other area waterways, from Benbrook Lake to Lake Arlington, due to high levels of pollution. Our 2020 Texas Stormwater Scorecard report gave the city a grade of just 56% for its efforts to fight stormwater pollution. In addition, lead has been found in the water at 97% of FWISD schools and carcinogenic PFAS "forever chemicals" in local water poses a risk to public health. Environment Texas recommends the City:

  • Expand water quality standards beyond the Trinity River to the whole city.

  • Ban the use of toxic AFFF firefighting foam.

  • Work to get lead out of school and daycare drinking water.

  • Ban the toxic pesticides chlorpyrifos, neonicotinoids, and glyphosate.

Wildlife Over Waste 

Every day, people throw away tons of single-use cups, containers and other plastic “stuff.” Among the worst forms of plastic pollution is polystyrene foam (the stuff most of us call Styrofoam), which never fully degrades. Nothing we use for a few minutes should be allowed to pollute our oceans and rivers and threaten wildlife for centuries. While the Legislature preempts cities from implementing bans on private property, cities can still stop the use of single use plastics on their own property. Environment Texas recommends the City:

  • Ban single use plastics on city property, including at the Convention Center and Will Rogers Memorial Center.

  • Adopt an ordinance requiring businesses only offer single use plastic straws upon request.

Luke Metzger
Executive Director

Author: Luke Metzger

Executive Director

(512) 479-0388

Started on staff: 1998
B.A., University of Southern California

As the executive director of Environment Texas, Luke is a leading voice in the state for clean air, clean water, clean energy and open space. Luke has led successful campaigns to win permanent protection for the Christmas Mountains of Big Bend; to compel Exxon, Shell and Chevron Phillips to cut air pollution at four Texas refineries and chemical plants; and to boost funding for water conservation and state parks. The San Antonio Current has called Luke "long one of the most energetic and dedicated defenders of environmental issues in the state." He has been named one of the "Top Lobbyists for Causes" by Capitol Inside, received the President's Award from the Texas Recreation and Parks Society for his work to protect Texas parks, and was chosen for the inaugural class of "Next Generation Fellows" by the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at UT Austin. Luke, his wife, son and daughters are working to visit every state park in Texas.