Posted by youngsierrans on December 12, 2010
Join us on at the Sunset Public Hearing on TCEQ this Wednesday, December 15th, at the Capitol, to testify on our state environmental agency’s performance during this once-in-a-decade review process. The more people who can be with us from the different quarters of the state, the louder our messages will be heard. Together, we can make real improvements to our state’s air and water quality!
When you arrive at the Capitol:
Sign in to speak at the Sunset Hearing in Senate Finance Room E1.036 on Capitol Extension Floor 1. To get to the Extension Floor 1, take the elevators just north of the main rotunda in the Capitol to E1. Walk down the hallway, past committee hearing rooms, pass the sky-lit underground rotunda and find E1.036 in the back right of E1.
You can connect with your fellow Alliance for a Clean Texas (ACT) advocates any time in our ACT headquarters — Members’ Lounge, E2.1002
– Pick up 1-page ACT Recommendations to Sunset Commission
– 9:00 AM Breakfast
– 10:00 AM ACT Group Photo in Capitol Rotunda
– 10:30 Noon ACT Press Conference (Time changed to 10:30 AM.)
Questions/Ride-sharing from North Texas: Please contact Lize Burr at ACT
Sunset Advisory Commission’s Review of TCEQ (Released on November 18th, 2010)
Posted in Action, Air/Energy/Water, Events, Infoshare, Texas Conservation | Tagged: sunset advisory commission, TCEQ, texas commission on environmental quality | Leave a Comment »
Posted by youngsierrans on August 31, 2010
This is another great opportunity to remind the EPA why we need their help in Texas!
Coal Combustion Residuals (CCRs), often referred to as coal ash, are residues from the combustion of coal in power plants and captured by pollution control technologies, like scrubbers. When coal ash is impounded or deposited in landfills, impoundment structures can fail and landfills can leach coal ash into groundwater. An EPA report (2007) looked at 181 coal ash disposal sites throughout the US and found that these sites release toxic chemicals and metals such as arsenic, lead, boron, selenium, cadmium, thallium and other pollutants at levels that put human health at risk. Coal ash dumped in unlined or clay-lined ponds and landfills pose the greatest risk. At least 23 states have poisoned surface or groundwater supplies from improper disposal of coal ash. Texas has one of the highest levels of coal ash generation, and is home to 21 known coal ash sites (TX Coal Ash Factsheet).
In Texas, the Brandy Branch Coal ash dump, the Southwestern Electric Power Co. coal ash dump, and the Texas Utilities Electric Martin Lake Reservoir have leaked elevated levels of selenium and toxic metals. There are no leachate collection systems in Texas, and there is no groundwater monitoring.
Coal ash is currently considered exempt waste under an amendment to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). EPA is proposing to regulate, for the first time, coal ash to address the risks from the disposal of the wastes generated by electric utilities and independent power producers. We’re encouraging that EPA support the first proposal (RCRA, subtitle C designation), to allow coal ash to be classified as a HAZARDOUS WASTE. We hope you will join us in Cleaning Up Texas from this unchecked industrial waste which pollutes our air, land and water while risking citizen health!
> What can I do? The Dallas hearing has passed (and was a great success!), but you can still comment online or email EPA (Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-RCRA-2009-0640). The public comment period has been extended until November 19, 2010. Click here and scroll down to “Addresses” for other methods of communication.
> Related Links and Resources:
* EPA Coal Ash Rule Hearing Website (includes 8/2010 Webinar Presentations, rule background, much more)
* EarthJustice “In Harm’s Way” Coal Ash Report (released 8/26/2010)
* EarthJustice Coal Ash Myths
* NYT Editorial “Unsolved Coal Ash Problem” (9/5/2010)
* 2008 TVA Coal Ash Disater Video
* 60 Minutes – Coal Ash Segment (8/15/2010)
Posted in Action, Air/Energy/Water, Events, Infoshare, Local-North TX/DFW, Texas Conservation | Tagged: coal ash, coal combustion residual, epa, michael brune, TCEQ | Leave a Comment »
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: alliance clean texas, sunset advisory commission, TCEQ, texas commission environmental quality | Leave a Comment »