It’s time for Texas polluters to clean up their act

Pollution from refineries and chemical plants is making people sick, but regulators largely look the other way when big polluters break the law.

According to the UT School of Public Health, children living within two miles of the heavily industrialized Houston Ship Channel face a 56% greater risk of contracting leukemia, which researchers link to oil refineries and chemical plants. And our research has found that Houston-area petrochemical facilities violated clean air laws at least 405 times in 2015, illegally releasing 5 million pounds of pollution, including chemicals linked to asthma and cancer.

For example, ExxonMobil broke clean air laws at its Baytown oil refinery and chemical plant near Houston more than 4,000 times over five years—compounding Texas’ pollution problems and endangering the health of nearby residents.

Texas’ air quality is a major detriment to our quality of life and physical health. Poor air quality puts the most vulnerable among us, like children and seniors, at risk for asthma, strokes, and other illnesses. We have a moral responsibility to care for future generations and clean up Texas’ air to provide a better quality of life for those most at risk.

It’s clear we need to take firm action to force Texas’ biggest polluters to clean up their act. These companies should install stronger pollution controls to reduce pollution that can cause cancer and pay stiff penalties when they break the law.

A winning legal strategy

We’ve made progress in reducing air pollution in Texas in the last two decades, but more needs to be done. We need to get local, state and federal regulators to take enforcement action against big polluters and ensure clean air and compliance with the law. If citizens, communities, non-profit groups and our allies in government band together, we can force the big polluters to stop violating the law. Combining research, organizing of citizens and local elected officials, and litigation has cleaned up the air before and will again. 

Backed by our members, Environment Texas is standing up to ExxonMobil and other polluters, pressing regulators to act, and taking legal action. Using the same strategy that allowed us to force Shell Oil to clean up its Deer Park refinery in 2009, we’re exercising our right under the Clean Air Act to demand compliance with the law.

Cleaning up our air, one polluter at a time

Called by the Houston Chronicle one of the "toughest enforcers of clean-air laws in Texas," Environment Texas is taking a powerful stand against Texas' biggest air polluters.winning real results for clean air. Our lawsuits against Shell's Deer Park refinery and chemical plant and Chevron Phillips' Baytown chemical plant resulted in a reduction of one million pounds a year of air pollution in Houston. Our ongoing lawsuit against ExxonMobil's Baytown refinery offers the hope of further pollution reductions. We’ve also launched the Neighborhood Witness program to alert people living near polluting facilities when violations happen.

Click here to join our campaign, and urge the EPA to crack down on Texas' worst polluters.

Clean air updates

News Release | Environment America

Statement: House passes landmark water and transportation bill to restore and enhance U.S. infrastructure

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a legislative package on Thursday that would improve water infrastructure, protect drinking water, and repair and expand our transportation system.  The package combined several bills, including the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2021 and the AQUA Act, under the umbrella of the INVEST in America Act.  

> Keep Reading
Blog Post

Progress Report: President Biden’s First 100 Days | Lisa Frank

Our new progress report finds that despite the need to rebuild many federal agencies and tackle the COVID-19 crisis, the Biden administration has already taken numerous steps to restore environmental protections.

> Keep Reading
Blog Post

Air quality in schools | Luke Metzger

Air filters protect kids' health and academic performance

> Keep Reading
Blog Post

Top environmental (and anti-environmental) bills in the Texas Legislature | Luke Metzger

More than 7,000 bills have been filed in the Legislature this session. 

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment Texas

Environmental advocates praise Zwiener bill to crackdown on illegal air pollution

Industrial facilities released over 3.5 million pounds of illegal air pollution during the Texas Freeze. Similar pollution emissions are far too common during cold snaps, storms and other severe weather events. On top of major weather events, industrial facilities release millions of pounds of illegal air pollution every day. In fact, at least one facility violated its permits and illegally polluted our air every single day in 2019, collectively releasing over 174 million pounds of unauthorized pollution. That same year, five high profile chemical disasters rocked the Greater Houston region, taking people’s lives, releasing millions of pounds of pollution and damaging nearby property.

> Keep Reading

Pages

View AllRSS Feed