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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:09 AM

Proposed environmental rule to give hundreds more Texas polluters a passing grade

AAS 3/22/12

Proposed environmental rule to give hundreds more Texas polluters a passing grade

About 40 percent fewer gas stations, oil refineries, construction sites and other potential sources of pollution will be considered as having a failing history of compliance under a proposed state rule.

The numbers became clear this week as the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality published a sortable list of expected scores for the more than 250,000 pollution sources it regulates after a public information request from the American-Statesman.

Agency officials say the new rule more accurately measures a regulated entity's performance, but critics say the environmental commission is giving big polluters a free pass.

(snip)

Under the current compliance history rule, about 1,600 sites have failing histories; the proposed rule lowers that total to about 890 sites. A failing, or "non-satisfactory," compliance history could stymie permit applications or changes and even lead to the suspension or revocation of existing permits.

Some of the 1,600 non-satisfactory sites would end up with better ratings, some satisfactory or high-performance sites would have worse ratings, while many would stay the same, a Statesman analysis of the ratings found.


Oh our wonderful environmental state agency TCEQ, (pronounced toxic), a completely captured agency always looking out for their industry polluters!

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Reply Proposed environmental rule to give hundreds more Texas polluters a passing grade (Original post)
sonias Mar 2012 OP
sonias Mar 2012 #1
mbperrin Mar 2012 #4
TexasTowelie Mar 2012 #2
white cloud Mar 2012 #3

Response to sonias (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 02:18 PM

1. Take Action link - Act by March 23

Public Citizen Texas

What good are rules if they are not enforced?

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has a proposal to pardon as many as 3,000 environmental rule breakers.

Tell the TCEQ that pardoning polluters is no way to make the air and water in Texas cleaner.

The TCEQ is changing the rules to allow those with a “poor” record of complying with Texas’ weak environmental laws to be upgraded to “satisfactory” — which means they would get fewer inspections, lower fines and new permits granted more easily.

In addition, the new rules would allow the TCEQ’s executive director to pardon “repeat” violators — without even explaining why.

The TCEQ refuses to tell us which polluters get the break. When we asked, they sent us almost 10,000 pages of unsortable data.

Actions like these tell citizens that the TCEQ would rather dole out favors for polluters than protect the health of Texans.

Tell the TCEQ not to give rule breakers a pass.

The TCEQ is the world’s second largest environmental agency. Taxpayers have a right to expect the agency to enforce a minimum standard of regulatory compliance. Lowering the grading standard does not mean businesses perform better — it just means the TCEQ is slacking on enforcement.

The deadline for voicing your concerns to the TCEQ is this Friday, March 23, so take action right now.

Thank you for all you do.

Sincerely,

Tom “Smitty” Smith
Director, Public Citizen’s Texas Office

P.S. Do one more easy thing before you move to the next message in your inbox. Forward this email to five friends, family members, neighbors or colleagues. They’ll appreciate knowing what matters to you. And your voice will be amplified by every person who joins you in taking action.


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Response to sonias (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:15 PM

4. Done, thanks.

My own sig line has never been more relevant....

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Response to sonias (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 03:17 PM

2. When they can't pass the test,

then they lower the bar. The same thing happened at the TEA when the students in school couldn't make the grade.

Why should anyone expect the polluters to meet a certain standard when they will change the standards for the sake of convenience?

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