Testimony on proposed changes to TCEQ Penalty Policy

By | Catherine Fraser
Clean Air Associate

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality considered changes to its penalty policy at a work session this morning. We submitted comments together with Public Citizen and the Sierra Club and I delivered the following testimony.

It’s time to shut down the WA Parish coal plant

By | Catherine Fraser
Clean Air Associate

A coal-fired power plant south of Houston wants to renew its permit to pollute and local residents are saying enough is enough. 

News Release | Environment Texas

Statement: CPI Products facility fire

"No one expects these disasters to happen in central Texas, but the reality is that plastics are everywhere. They’re in our pantries, our clothes, and even our drinking water -- and when a plant catches fire, they’re in our air, too. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We need to start asking bigger questions about why we allow the petrochemical industry to pollute our air in order to make plastic products that we often don’t need in the first place."

News Release | Environment Texas

Statement: BioLab chemical fire during Hurricane Laura

Ahead of Hurricane Laura, a number of facilities in Texas shut down, a process that requires releasing hazardous pollutants. The companies that run those plants, including Motiva Chemicals, told the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) that they planned to emit over 4 million pounds of pollution collectively. Early this morning, Motiva, restarting its facility in Port Arthur, Texas, said that it would release nearly 49,000 pounds of pollution.

Refineries and chemical plants along the Gulf Coast are shutting down ahead of Hurricane Laura’s landfall. These shutdown events, however, often are significant pollution events. 

News Release | Environment Texas

Statement: Corpus Christi pipeline explosion and fire

AUSTIN -- A massive fire and explosion broke out this morning along refinery row in Corpus Christi, Texas. This fire follows fires at a Poly-America plastic manufacturing plant in Dallas and Pasadena Refining Systems near Houston earlier this week. Officials say a barge hit the pipeline, causing the explosion and fire. 

News Release | Environment Texas

Statement: Poly-America Manufacturing Plant Fire

AUSTIN -- The Poly-America plastics manufacturing plant in Grand Prairie, Texas caught fire early this morning, and officials say the fire could burn until late in the day tomorrow. The facility manufactures plastic products, like garbage bags and plastic sheeting, that are made from polyethylene and other raw plastic materials.

News Release | Environment Texas

Appeals Court again deals major blow to Exxon's attempt to avoid responsibility for record-setting Clean Air Act violations

NEW ORLEANS – In another stinging setback for ExxonMobil Corporation in a long-running environmental enforcement case, the federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals rejected nearly every argument Exxon raised in its appeal of the $19.95 million penalty previously imposed by a federal trial court judge. That trial court punished the company for committing 16,386 days of violation of the federal Clean Air Act at its Baytown, Texas, refinery and chemical plant.  

News Release | Environment Texas

Environmental Groups Take Legal Action Over Air Pollution from Industrial Flares

“In our Clean Air Act lawsuit against ExxonMobil, an expert on industrial flares testified at trial that illegal flaring emissions from the company’s Baytown petrochemical complex were probably three to four times higher than the amounts ExxonMobil reported — and that testimony went completely unrebutted,” said Luke Metzger, Executive Director of Environment Texas.  “These hidden impacts on surrounding communities are significant, as the reported violations alone already totaled 10 million pounds of harmful chemicals.”

News Release | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Suspension of EPA enforcement during the Coronavirus puts our health at risk from polluters

Late Thursday afternoon, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a new policy that would suspend enforcement of key provisions of our nation’s environmental laws during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The decision came on the heels of requests from the oil and gas industry and others seeking exemptions. Catherine Fraser, Clean Air Associate for Environment Texas Research and Policy Center, issued the following statement in response

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