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Archive for the ‘Texas Conservation’ Category

Texas Conservation Related (Air, Energy, Land, Water)

TCEQ DFW Clean Air Public Meeting

Posted by youngsierrans on June 17, 2010

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will be hosting a public meeting to discuss the New DFW Clean Air Plan next Thursday, June 24th, at Arlington City Hall (same location as the March ozone hearing) from 7-9pm.  This meeting is being organized because DFW violated the federal smog/ozone standard last summer, and the TCEQ is responsible to create a plan to bring our area back into attainment.  This meeting will allow North Texans to ask questions and offer suggestions on HOW and WHAT to include in this New DFW Clean Air Plan.  Our message is simple: Citizens Demand the Same Pollution Controls for Industry as for Our Autos!

What Should the New Plan Accomplish?

  • Adopt all the recommendations from the 2006 local clean air committee that were dumped by the state four years ago.  (YES, most of this same clean air planning work has been done before and was rejected by Austin/TCEQ!)
  • Crackdown on industry as much as my car. Demand 90% controls on coal, kilns and gas. (The industrial technology exists and is in USE across the country/world, just not in TX.)
  • Do more than the minimum. No more paper exercises. Go further than required. (We’re looking for more than a “goal seek” solution.)
  • Aim the plan where smog pollution is worst: Tarrant, Denton, Wise, and Parker Counties. (Asthma rates for children under 14 are THREE TIMES HIGHER (22%) in western DFW area than across the state of TX!)

Here’s the flyer for this public meeting which can be printed and widely distributed.

There’s a pre-meeting meetup at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop (510 E. Abram St, 3 blks from City Hall) at 6pm for anyone interested. Get your tacos and beer buzz on to get you in the mood!

For more information or to carpool, please contact the North Central Texas Clean Air Task Force: dfwsip[at] or 972.230.3185.


Posted in Action, Air/Energy/Water, Educational, Events, Infoshare, Local Conservation, Local-North TX/DFW, Texas Conservation | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

Posted by youngsierrans on April 18, 2010

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is under review by the Sunset Advisory Commission, who will recommend improvements to the agency and, ultimately, pass “sunset” legislation that will shape the way TCEQ operates for the next ten-plus years. This is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to improve the way our state environmental agency carries out its mission to protect our health and natural resources.

We can change TCEQ for the better, and HELP MAKE POLLUTION IN TEXAS HISTORY. Texans expect our environmental agency to protect our health. Right now, TCEQ often falls short of these expectations due to lax enforcement of existing clean air and water laws. The sunset review process offers all concerned Texans a chance to advocate for much needed reforms at TCEQ.

As the coalition of Texas environmental and public interest groups dedicated to improving TCEQ, the Alliance for a Clean Texas has big plans for the sunset review…and we need your help. Your voice and your story are crucial. Together, we’ll show that Texans across our state are ready to make pollution a thing of the past.

  • AIR – The U.S. EPA has declared TCEQ’s air pollution permit system violates the federal Clean Air Act and fails to allow significant public participation.
  • WATER – TCEQ recently proposed rules that would increase the amount of E. coli bacteria allowed in Texas waterways before they are considered polluted.
  • WASTE – Rather than require new landfills to meet decades-old federal standards, TCEQ currently allows trash facilities to expand atop old landfills—frequently over sites without protective liners—often creating literal mountains of garbage.
  • JUSTICE – TCEQ’s enforcement of pollution violations is so weak that, in many cases, paying the penalty costs less than actually cleaning up the problem. In other words, in Texas it often pays to pollute.

TCEQ is the most important environmental actor in the state of Texas. And 2010 is the year that we’ll ask it to stand up for Texas.

Posted in Action, Air/Energy/Water, Infoshare, Local-North TX/DFW, Texas Conservation | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Go Solar Texas! PUC Renewable Energy Proposal

Posted by youngsierrans on February 10, 2010

In December 2009, the Public Utility Commission of Texas released a strawman proposal to finally implement a 2005 law requiring 500 megawatts of “non-wind” renewable energy by 2015. Environment Texas and the Go Solar Coalition (includes TX businesses and non-profits) are encouraging Governor Perry and the PUC to adopt the proposal and to include a set-aside of at least 100 megawatts of distributed generation such as rooftop solar.

Online comments on the proposal are due on February 12, 2010.


More info:
PUC of Texas – Goal for Renewable Energy Strawman Proposal
Wildcatting the Sun: A Texas Solar Roadmap
Berkeley Labs Report on the Installed Cost of PV in the US

Posted in Action, Air/Energy/Water, Infoshare, Texas Conservation | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

EPA Public Hearing on Clean Air (2/2/10)!

Posted by youngsierrans on February 1, 2010

Update: For info on the March 16th 2010 hearing in Arlington, TX, please click here.

The EPA is having a public hearing on clean air tomorrow in Houston (one of three being held around the country).  Ground-level ozone is the main component of smog and is one of the most dangerous forms of air pollution.  Smog doesn’t just ruin your view; it poses serious health risks, especially to children and senior citizens.

The Clean Air Act requires EPA to set primary and secondary standards for common air pollutants, including ground-level ozone, and now the EPA is proposing a new rule to do just that.  Join the broad coalition of concerned citizens, public health advocates, and conservation groups in the Clean Air Texas coalition at a public hearing as they stand up to industry pressure and show that Americans want a strong rule that will protect our health and environment.  It should be noted that, there are TWELVE NEW coal plants proposed in Texas, and we already have 17 coal plants up and running (some of which are the dirtiest in the country *).  TCEQ and Governor Perry have threatened to sue the EPA over this proposed ruling on new ozone standards.  Giddy Up!

What can I do? Written comments may be heard until March 22nd, 2010.  Voice your opinion by sending comments directly to the EPA, referring to “Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OAR–2005–0172”.  Submit by mail, fax (202–566–9744) or email (  Helpful talking points about the issue can be found here.

Still want to get involved, but don’t know how?  Contact Eva Hernandez.

* Texas’ Dirty Business Extra Credit (2008 DOE EIA & 2005 EPA TRI data):

  • Five (!!) TX coal plants rank in US Top 13 in Mercury emissions; Nine in US Top 35!
  • TX Ranked #1 in CO2 production (252,055,209 metric tons, 10.2% of US Total)
  • TX Ranked #5 in SO2 production (456,631 metric tons, 5.8% of US Total)
  • TX Ranked #2 in NOx production (214,990 metric tons, 6.5% of US Total)
  • Evidence of additional toxicity related to coal plant waste and emissions can be found in TX water, land, animals and people.

Posted in Action, Air/Energy/Water, Infoshare, Texas Conservation | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Initiative

Posted by youngsierrans on February 1, 2010

Have you been trying to keep up with PACE in the North Texas area?  In case you’re not familiar, the Property-Assessed Clean Energy initiative (HB 1937) was approved by the legislature last session.  The program allows municipalities to create “energy districts” that provide low interest loans to homeowners and businesses for renewable power and energy efficiency.  What’s unique about these loans is that they are attached to the property, not the owner.  Examples of the program currently exist in Berkeley (CA), Boulder (CO), and Babylon (NY).

An informational meeting about PACE was held on January 21st at the Trinity River Audubon Center.  Those in attendance (over 65!) included, 21 North Texas cities, several state representatives’ offices, and other organizations, like NTCOG, TX Association of Builders, ONCOR, and the EPA.  Speakers included, Asst. City Manager Jill Jordan, Rep. Raphael Anchia, city officials from San Antonio, and PACE program representatives from Colorado and California.

To help bring a version of this energy efficiency and renewable energy financing program to your community, contact your city council members and mayor to let them know you’re interested in PACE for your city.

More information:

Posted in Air/Energy/Water, Infoshare, Local-North TX/DFW, Texas Conservation | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Environmental Working Group Water Quality Report

Posted by youngsierrans on December 13, 2009

Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently released the results of a three-year study on tap water quality across the U.S., the Drinking Water Quality Analysis & Tap Water Database, and determined that there’s “good reason to worry about the safety of the drinking water.”

EWG assembled an unprecedented database of 20 million drinking water quality tests performed by water utilities since 2004. It reveals a total of 316 contaminants in water supplied to 256 million Americans in 48,000 communities in 45 states. Among the contaminants were 202 chemicals that are not subject to any government regulation or safety standards for drinking water. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set enforceable drinking water safety standards for only 114 of the 316 substances detected (EPA 2009b).

Study data sources & methodology and water pollution contaminant & source information are available and can assist in understanding the specific water quality reports of your water utility (findable by zip code or utility).

The Top 100 Big City (greater than 250,000 people) Best Water rankings include Texas cities: Arlington (#1), Fort Worth (#3), Austin (#7), Dallas (#12), San Antonio (#29), Corpus Christi (#44), Plano (#50), and Houston (#95).  The City of Plano Utility Operations Dept. is mentioned as a large utility with findings of the highest average levels of cancer-causing water disinfection byproducts.

EWG policy recommendations include, expanding requirements for testing unregulated contaminants, increased health protective standards for unregulated chemicals found in our water, and expanding programs to protect source water protection.  The mistaken belief to buy bottled water, of which many popular brands are often bottled tap water, tainted with the same pollutants, is not a suggested solution.

12/16/09 – New York Times series, Toxic Waters, story, That Tap Water Is Legal But It May Be Unhealthy.

Posted in Infoshare, Local-North TX/DFW, Texas Conservation | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »