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Texans' right to protest the permits issued by TCEQ is under attack

Contribution by the Alliance for Clean Texas.

When the 82nd Legislature convened in January, we knew we were in for a fight. We knew that industry would try to weaken the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and make it easier to get permits and skirt enforcement. We knew that the odds were stacked in favor of businesses that threatened the loss of jobs over regular folks who could count days lost to illness, add up the doctors bills, calculate the lawyers fees.

But when they decided to attack our ability to protect our families and our land, they went a step too far.

Today, Texans’ right to protest the permits issued by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is under attack. Our state senators can put a stop to this. Please contact your state senator and tell him or her to maintain your right to protect your family and community!

The Texas Senate will soon debate HB 2694–the TCEQ Sunset bill. This bill, as introduced, made much-needed changes to TCEQ that would strengthen its ability to enforce environmental laws. It was the result of the 18-month TCEQ Sunset review that involved thousands of Texans from across the state. But the Texas House amended HB 2694 on the House floor to limit our rights as citizens to contest permits for most categories of pollution including air emissions, wastewater discharges and hazardous waste. The Texas House took a balanced bill and turned it into a vehicle for pro-pollution interests. Now, it’s up to the Texas Senate to put things right and restore our right to protect our families and our land.

Tell your senator to strip off the House amendments and vote for for a “clean” TCEQ Sunset bill. If you’re not sure who represents you, you can look it up here.  A directory of all the state representatives is available online and includes all Capitol office phone numbers.

Texans from around the state need to call their senators. Please forward this email to your friends around the state. Even if your senator “knows better’ than to support amendments that would take away our right to defend our communities from pollution, give him or her a call. It’s essential that each senator hear from their constituents.

Thanks for taking the time to call.

Alliance for a Clean Texas