"Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Critiqued on Transparency"

"The Texas agency that regulates industrial pollution should be more responsive and transparent to the public, according to a state analysis released Thursday.

The long-awaited report says the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality performs "reasonably well," considering the complexities of its regulatory role, but falls short in a number of areas, including the way it interacts with the public.

The report, for example, recommends that the agency adopt enforcement policies, such as the way it calculates penalties for polluters, that are easier for the public to understand. In all, the audit makes 25 recommendations to improve the agency.

The recommendations come about a month before TCEQ appears at the Sunset Advisory Commission, the body that periodically reviews the missions and performance of state agencies. After the hearing, the state Legislature will decide whether TCEQ merits another 12 years, as the report recommended."

Matthew Tresaugue reports for the Houston Chronicle November 18, 2010.


"Review Finds TCEQ Lacks Authority, Visibility" (Houston Chronicle)

"Environmental, Oil Agencies Told To Be Tougher on Violators" (Austin American-Statesman)

"Replace the RR Commission, Sunset Report Says" (Texas Tribune)

Source: Houston Chronicle, 11/19/2010