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Posts Tagged ‘TCEQ’

The much anticipated hearing between the Environmental Protection Agency and Texas regarding the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions will occur this morning in Dallas, Texas.  The hearing is set to begin at 10:00 AM and is expected to continue through 7:00 PM this evening.  The hearing will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in the Market Center and will assemble both the public and concerned citizens of Texas for dissent and opinion on the issue.  Many members of the community will be in attendance, as well as other battlemen fighting for justice, including the Sierra Club and of course, Public Citizen, represented by our very own pirate coal activist Ryan Rittenhouse! We will be making our voice heard this morning in Dallas in hopes of changing the current regulations concerning emission standards.  Businessweek has quoted Neil Carman of Sierra Club on the issue, who has assessed that the new rules of the EPA will not in fact be costly to implement whatsoever.

The latest controversy involves the decision made late last year that the EPA would in fact be taking over the permitting process regarding emission regulation in Texas.   In response, Texas is now currently suing the EPA to try and halt their implementation plan which would essentially call for more rigid regulation standards in either new or existing power plant and/or oil facilities.

Old Cowboy western shootout picture

EPA vs. Texas: Emissions Shootout

Texas claims that the EPA is overstepping the state’s authority with respect to emission setting standards.  The EPA’s justification for taking over the permitting process is related to Texas rejecting to comply with the EPA’s new greenhouse gas rules issued earlier this year.  The EPA claims that Texas has left them no other choice but to take over, not only because of the hot-headed letter we sent to EPA refusing to comply with the Clean Air Act, but also since Texas is also the leading nation in greenhouse gas emissions as well as industrial pollution.   By holding this hearing, the EPA is allowing both environmental advocacy groups as well as the public to voice their opinion before the final decision is rendered concerning emission standards.

Will the outcome of this battle prove to be victorious? Tune in next time to find out!

Related Articles:

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-01-06/epa-texas-feud-escalates-over-new-carbon-regulations.html

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/7381200.html#drop

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/print-edition/2011/01/14/epas-takeover-of-permitting-to-have.html

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The Texas Sunset Advisory Commission will make its recommendations on how and whether to allow such state agencies as the Railroad Commission, the Public Utility Commission and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to stay in business, tomorrow, January 12th.

The meeting convenes at 8 a.m. in the Senate Finance Committee room Room E1.036, Capitol Extension, 1400 Congress Avenue, Austin, Tx.  However, we don’t expect the Commission to get around to the Railroad Commission or TCEQ until after noon and the final Vote on Commission Recommendations to the 82nd Legislature is the last thing on their agenda.

Meeting materials are available on the Sunset Commission’s website at http://www.sunset.state.tx.us/whatsnew.htm.

Staff reports on the above agencies are available at http://www.sunset.state.tx.us/82.htm.

If you want to watch the meeting via the internet rather than attending, access is available through a live  broadcast at www.senate.state.tx.us/bin/live.php.

Current status of the proceedings will be posted at www.sunset.state.tx.us.

Join this meeting however you can.  It should prove to be interesting.

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Far from the madding crowd

It’s well after 10pm and the crowd at the Sunset Advisory Commission hearing has dwindled, including the commisioners.  Of the 12 commissioners, I’m only seeing five still on the dias and as the camera periodically pans the audience, one can see that it has thinned considerably since this morning. 

Here at Armadillo Christmas Bazaar Jimmy LaFavre is winding down his final set, and so am I.  Look for updates from folks who were at the hearing (and could actually hear the testimony) tomorrow. 

The Commission will announce their decisions on January 11, 2011, the first day of the Texas 82nd legislature.  We will see then what they do with all the input they have received from agency staff, industry, ordinary citizens and the environmental community.

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Here I am at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar people watching Christmas shoppers (for those readers not  from Austin, the Armadillo Bazaar is an annual artist Christmas venue which has been happening in our fair city for 30+ years and runs every day the two weeks before Christmas – yes they are here until 11pm on Christmas eve for those last minute shoppers).  I’m talking to people  about workplace giving and Texas environmental organizations while Jimmy LaFavre is performing about 300 feet away from me. 

At the same time. I’m streaming the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission hearing, which is finally getting around to TCEQ.   I can’t hear anything that is being said (what with that Jimmy Lafavre concert going on in the background), but I keep seeing folks, who showed up at 8:30 this morning ready to testify, finally getting to say their piece.  Many of them have a 3 to 8 hour drive home ahead of them.  All I can say is “Bless their hearts”, they are, in fact, the stuff of which Texas is made and I admire them greatly.

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If you want to watch the hearing on streaming video, click here.  The hearing is being held at the Texas Capitol, hearing room E1.036 (scroll down to Video Broadcast #8).

The Alliance for a Clean Texas (ACT) is working with numerous concerned citizens who have come in from all over the state – Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Victoria, Abilene, El Paso and other smaller communities – to testify on improvements they think need to be made at the Railroad Commission and the TCEQ. 

Thank you to these everyday citizens who have taken time out of their lives to ask the state to do a better job of protecting all Texans from pollution.

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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.

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The Sunset Advisory Commission has put TCEQ on the agenda for December 15th, following the Department of Transportation and the Railroad Commission. What this means is that public testimony on TCEQ should begin sometime after lunch.

We hope some of you can make it to the December 15th hearing.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us directly with your questions! Feel free to email us at texasfeedback (at) citizen.org.

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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.

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Texans living around the Victoria region attended a town hall in September to express their concerns about the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) on a number of different issues, including the proposed White Stallion coal plant in Bay City. On the panel were Sunset Commission Chairman Sen. Glenn Hegar, former TCEQ commissioner Larry Soward, the regional administrator of TCEQ for that area, and a lawyer with Blackburn & Carter who often take on environmental cases.

[vimeo=17100424]

This town hall was one of a series of events held to provide the people of Texas a way in which to voice their concerns to TCEQ. The official Sunset Commission hearing on TCEQ is scheduled for December 15th in Austin. For more video footage of these town halls check our archives and stay tuned to TexasVOX. For more information on the ongoing Sunset review of TCEQ check out Alliance for a Clean Texas.

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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 arePublic Citizen Texas.

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The list of TCEQ Sunset town halls continues to grow with the addition of a town halls in Nacogdoches the week after Thanksgiving.  The Nacogdoches town hall will take place Tuesday, November 30th from from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Parks and Recreation Center.

All are invited to attend these town halls to learn about the current TCEQ Sunset review, and to voice their recommendations for changes that will improve TCEQ. State representatives and senators from the Nacogdoches region have been invited to attend; these town halls provide an excellent opportunity for lawmakers to learn more about TCEQ’s impact in their community.

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In a three part story, KHOU-TV reports on a four-month investigation into radioactive contaminants in the Houston area drinking water. Revelations that came to light shows hundreds of water providers around the Gulf Coast region are providing their customers with drinking water that contains radioactive contaminants that raise health risks, according to state lab results and public health scientists. The data, from thousands of state laboratory tests from water providers across Texas, provided by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), ranged from 2004 to the present.

Watch part one of this investigative report.
Radiation in Houston’s Tap Water

The radiation was first discovered as a part of required testing, under federal regulations, of all drinking water provided by community water systems in America. (more…)

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Austin town hall meeting on the TCEQ Sunset review – Wednesday, November 17th from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Bass Lecture Hall at the LBJ School of Public Affairs on University of Texas campus. (This auditorium is located in the basement level of Sid Richardson Hall.)

All are invited to attend these town halls to learn about the current TCEQ Sunset review, and to voice their recommendations for changes that will improve TCEQ. State representatives and senators from the Austin region have been invited to attend; these town halls provide an excellent opportunity for lawmakers to learn more about TCEQ’s impact in their community.

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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.

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The list of TCEQ Sunset town halls continues to grow with the addition of town halls in Abilene, Austin and Lubbock the week before Thanksgiving.  The Abilene town hall will take place Thursday, November 18th from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Unity Church of Christianity.

All are invited to attend these town halls to learn about the current TCEQ Sunset review, and to voice their recommendations for changes that will improve TCEQ. State representatives and senators from the Abilene region have been invited to attend; these town halls provide an excellent opportunity for lawmakers to learn more about TCEQ’s impact in their community.

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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.

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The list of TCEQ Sunset town halls continues to grow with the addition of town halls in Austin and Lubbock the week before Thanksgiving.  The Lubbock town hall will take place Friday, November 19th from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Texas Tech School of Law.

All are invited to attend these town halls to learn about the current TCEQ Sunset review, and to voice their recommendations for changes that will improve TCEQ. State representatives and senators from the Lubbock region have been invited to attend; these town halls provide an excellent opportunity for lawmakers to learn more about TCEQ’s impact in their community.

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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.

Read Full Post »

The list of TCEQ Sunset town halls continues to grow with the addition of town halls in Austin and Lubbock the week before Thanksgiving.  The Austin town hall will take place Wednesday, November 17th from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Bass Lecture Hall at the LBJ School of Public Affairs on University of Texas campus. (This auditorium is located in the basement level of Sid Richardson Hall.)

All are invited to attend these town halls to learn about the current TCEQ Sunset review, and to voice their recommendations for changes that will improve TCEQ. State representatives and senators from the Austin region have been invited to attend; these town halls provide an excellent opportunity for lawmakers to learn more about TCEQ’s impact in their community.

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The No Coal Coalition brings their mascot, Pancho the Donkey, to the TCEQ hearing, but he is turned away. Photo by Susan Dancer

On Thursday, the TCEQ (Texas Commission of Environmental Quality) held a public meeting for the White Stallion Energy Center at the Bay City Civic Center to hear feedback on the plant’s application for a wastewater permit. (more…)

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With states scrambling to align their own rules with U.S. EPA‘s new regulations, which are set to take effect on Jan. 2, 2011 and require regulators to start issuing Clean Air Act permits next year for large stationary sources of greenhouse gas emissionsTexas is now the lone holdout, according to an analysis  by the  National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA). Click here to see a copy of the analysis. (more…)

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