Get Involved in the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission’s Review of the TCEQ

The TCEQ granted a permit to re-open the ASARCO foundry over protests of staff, residents of El Paso, and local leaders. Luckily, the EPA intervened and stopped it.

You’ve probably heard by now.  The TCEQ has failed to adhere to the federal Clean Air Act, jeopardizing our health, our safety, and the quality of our air. This is why, on Tuesday, May 25, the EPA took over the TCEQ’s authority to grant clean air permits for 40 facilities across the state of Texas, most notably the Flint Hills Resources’ crude oil refinery near Corpus Christi.

The TCEQ has failed to fulfill its promises to the federal government and the citizens of Texas, whom it is supposed to protect.

The Sunset Advisory Commission is a 12-member body appointed by the Lieutenant Governor and the speaker of the house to identify and eliminate waste, duplication, and inefficiency in government agencies. Every 12 years, over 150 government agencies are reviewed for potential changes and improvements in their responsibilities and operations. And since the review of Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the TCEQ, is quickly approaching, we’re getting organized!  Will you join us for a call next Thursday, June 10th at 6pm CT?

From the Alliance for Clean Texas:

The Alliance for a Clean Texas (ACT) will launch its 2010-2011 TCEQ sunset campaign with a conference call next Thursday, June 10th at 6:30 p.m. All Texans committed to protecting our state’s environment and health are invited to participate in the call.

ACT is a coalition of organizations and individuals around the state working together to make this a milestone year for environmental protection in Texas. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is currently under review by the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission. Now is the time to turn our concerns about how TCEQ does and does not do its job of protecting our environment and our health into real, lasting reform.

In the last week, TCEQ has been at the center of two major stories about the Texas environment. The EPA has finally taken action to bring TCEQ air permitting back into compliance with the federal Clean Air Act–a move opposed by the TCEQ commissioners. And Fort Worth is reeling with the news that TCEQ did not report the results of a second set of air quality tests that showed elevated levels of harmful toxics due to natural gas drilling. Isn’t it time our environmental agency start putting our health and environment first?

The June 10th call kicks off our campaign. We’ll explain the sunset process, hear from policy experts, and talk about what activists around the state are doing to involve and inspire their communities. We’re especially excited to introduce the TCEQ Sunset Town Halls–a series of events that environmental organizations throughout Texas are planning for early fall.  Right now, town halls are in the works all over the state–from Brownsville to Abilene, Nacogdoches to El Paso. Find out if one is planned for your community–and learn how you can help organize one!

Please forward this invitation along to other Texans who share your commitment to a cleaner, healthier Texas.   This year, we’re coming together to make the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality the kind of environmental agency Texas needs–a trusted partner that will stand up for Texans all over the state to keep our water clean, our air healthy, and our lands a treasure for decades to come.
Here are the details for the call:

What: TCEQ Sunset Campaign Information Call

When: Thursday June 10 6:30-7:30

Who: All Texans Standing Up for the Environment, for Public Health and for a Stronger TCEQ

Why: To learn about the TCEQ Sunset review and why reforming the TCEQ is the biggest environmental campaign of the year

How: At 6:30 p.m. on June 10th, call 866-501-6174.  The access code for the call is 31794011892 The call will last one hour.

PS- Public Citizen will be hosting the call in our downtown Austin office.  If you would like to join in person, contact one of us and RSVP.  Bring Your Own Beer Snacks.

For more background on this, here’s how the rest of the process will go:

In December 2010, the Sunset Advisory Commission will hear public testimony about the TCEQ. By writing to the commission, you can give your input and express your concerns about the TCEQ, and we encourage you to do so.  A second hearing will be held in January 2011 to adopt your recommendations concerning the TCEQ.

Stay tuned to TexasVox for updates about the Sunset Advisory Commission’s review of the TCEQ and how you can participate.

Also learn more at the ACT website: http://www.acttexas.org


By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.