Wow. Wow. Wow. At the Sunset Hearing.

Alliance for a Clean Texas

Texans from Dallas to Corpus Christi, from El Paso to Beaumont converged at the Texas Capitol today for the Sunset Advisory Commission Public Hearing.  Dedicated people from all walks of life came and some are staying past dinner time.  Their main focus — Sunset Review of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality began about an hour ago  and these environmental champions are digging in.

Dr. Wesley Stafford, Texas Medical Association, Jennifer Real, CROW-Conroe Residents Opposed to Wells, Lize Burr, Alliance for a Clean Texas, David Cortez, El Paso ASARCO opponent, Charlie Faupel, Goliad-Victoria Clean Environment Coalition

Lize Burr–  In this busy season, people have put their personal lives on hold and traveled to Austin.  They’re fighting for clean air and clean water, unfortunately, that often means they’re also fighting TCEQ. There’s only one Texas.  It’s time for our lawmakers to help us protect and preserve it – for generations to come.

Dr. Wesley Stafford, Clean Economy Coalition, RN's Marion Morris and Trish O'Day, Austin Physicians for Social Responsibility

Dr. Wesley Stafford serves on the Science and Public Health Council of the Texas Medical Association. He explained — Our Council unanimously agreed to recommend that the Sunset Commission establish a permanent position for a physician as a Commissioner on the TCEQ. Texas physicians feel that TCEQ is the agency that makes more important public health decisions than any other agency in the State.  There has been significant concern that public health hasn’t been a big enough consideration to the TCEQ in recent years and we feel it’s important to have a physician’s input.

Corpus Christi Clean Economy Coalition

Dr. Stafford and has been active in opposing the proposed Las Brisas coke-fired power plant in downtown Corpus Christi a community that experiences higher than average rates for asthma and birth defects.

CROW-Conroe Residents Opposed to Wells

It isn’t just the traditional environmental groups who are here today.  We’re enjoying the growth of our movements and new groups from all over the state have stepped up concerned about the following issues –

  • Texas Campaign for the Environment

  • Existing and proposed coal plants in Sweetwater near Abilene, Corpus Christi, Bay City, Goliad, the Waco area, LaGrange, and Franklin;
  • Injection wells near Conroe and the Woodlands;
  • Cement kilns near Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio;
  • Metal smelters in El Paso, Rockdale, and Austin;

    Fairfield Clean Environment Coalition

  • Refineries and chemical plants in the Houston area, Port Arthur, and Corpus Christi;
  • Uranium mining in the groundwater of South Texas and the Coastal Bend;
  • Water quality standards in streams and rivers across the State;
  • Landfills and the WCS Radioactive Waste dump in Andrews.

David Cortez a victorious ASARCO opponent from El Paso –Despite the TCEQ’s repeated refusal to stand up to big polluters, I am hopeful that the Sunset Commission will hear what people coming from all over Texas are saying today. The ASARCO case in El Paso where I’m from makes my point.  We kept that dangerous smelter closed because so many people got involved and because we had the law on our side.   Now, we’re demanding that the elected representatives on the Sunset Commission hold the TCEQ accountable for their actions and lack thereof.

Texas Impact

Charlotte Wells, Galveston Baykeeper, Mary Beth Maher, Sierra Club, Whitney Root, Multi-County Coalition & Texans Against Tenaska

Evelyn Merz, Sierra Club and Zac Trahan, Texas Campaign for the Environment

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