News Release | Environment Texas

Petrobras settles air pollution suit against Pasadena refinery

HOUSTON – Environment Texas and Sierra Club announced today that they have filed a proposed consent decree in federal court to settle their citizen enforcement lawsuit against Pasadena Refining System, Inc. PRSI is owned by Petrobras (Petróleo Brasileiro S.A.), the state-controlled oil company of Brazil.

News Release | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Trouble in the Air: Texas’ health at risk with dirty air days in 2016

AUSTIN – As the Trump administration considers weakening federal air quality and global warming emissions standards, air pollution remains a threat to public health. According to a new report by Environment Texas Research & Policy Center, over 23 million people who make up the 20 main metropolitan and micropolitan urban areas in Texas experienced at least 5 days of degraded air quality in 2016, increasing the risk of premature death, asthma attacks and other adverse health impacts. Included in the 23 million are over 6.7 million people in the Houston metro area who experienced 85 days degraded air quality, over 2.4 million people in San Antonio Metro area who experienced 36 days of degraded air quality, and over 2 million people in the Austin metro area who experienced 46 days of degraded air quality in 2016.

News Release | Environment Texas

Environment Texas applauds EPA action against Exxon

AUSTIN - Environment Texas hailed today's announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of a settlement to cut illegal air pollution from eight Exxon Mobil chemical plants in Texas and Louisiana. Two of the facilities were subject to a lawsuit by Environment Texas and the Sierra Club, which resulted in a federal judge in April ordering Exxon to pay a $20 million penalty.

News Release | Environment Texas

Petrochemical facilities release more than two million pounds of pollution during Hurricane Harvey

As Houston’s sweeping petrochemical industry shuts down because of tropical storm Harvey, it is releasing more than 2 million pounds of harmful pollution into the air, according to its initial reports to Texas regulators. The shutdowns include the Houston-area refineries of Exxon Mobil, Petrobras and Shell, as well as Chevron Phillips’ Cedar Bayou petrochemical complex.

News Release | Environment Texas

Federal judge rejects Exxon's request to reduce record-setting $20 million Clean Air Act penalty

HOUSTON – In another stinging setback for ExxonMobil in a long-running environmental enforcement case, a federal district judge in Houston denied ExxonMobil’s motion to reduce the size of the $19.95 million penalty the judge had ordered in April to punish 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

US House votes to weaken Clean Air Act

HOUSTON - Today the U.S. House of Representatives voted 235-188 to adopt H.R. 806, sponsored by Rep. Pete Olson (R-Sugar Land). Dubbed the “Smoggy Skies Act,” the measure would permanently weaken the Clean Air Act, block updated ozone pollution limits for years, and impose sweeping changes to future standards for smog-forming ozone and five other major air pollutants.

News Release | Environment Texas and Environmental Integrity Project

Texas fails to penalize 97 percent of illegal air pollution releases

Texas imposed penalties on less than 3 percent of illegal air pollution releases during industrial malfunctions and maintenance from 2011 through 2016, even though these incidents emitted more than 500 million pounds of pollutants, according to an analysis of state records by the Environmental Integrity Project and Environment Texas. A new report, “Breakdowns in Enforcement,” ranks the worst illegal air pollution events from oil refineries, chemical plants and other industrial facilities across Texas in 2016. The report concludes that the infrequency and small size of the state’s fines (averaging just three pennies per pound for pollution) are a major problem, because the lack of enforcement means that the owners are less likely to invest money to upgrade and repair known problems.

News Release | Environment Texas

Watson, Howard Lead Legislature in Environmental Voting

AUSTIN – Austin state Sen. Kirk Watson and Rep. Donna Howard were the only two legislators to get perfect marks on Environment Texas’ biennial scorecard of environmental votes in the Texas Legislature, the group reported today. Meanwhile a record 27 legislators failed to cast a single vote for the environment.  

News Release | Environment Texas

Governor Abbott vetoes clean air funding

AUSTIN — Governor Greg Abbott today vetoed funding for two crucial programs for reducing air pollution in the state. “This veto is penny wise and pound foolish,” said Brian Zabcik, the Clean Air & Clean Water Advocate at Environment Texas. “It sacrifices the long-term health of all Texans for an imagined financial gain.”

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