Texas Seeks To Ease Water Quality Standards

"In a move that it says will save money and is a practical strategy for monitoring the state's waterways, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has proposed loosening its water quality standards.

The proposed revisions have the support of dairy farmers and wastewater utilities but are opposed by an environmental group and the City of Austin, which say they would jeopardize health.

The proposal would draw new categories for Texas' waterways, basing regulations on how much humans have contact with them. And it would raise the amount of allowable bacteria in the waterways before they are considered impaired, requiring local and state authorities to monitor and clean them.

The commission is required by federal law to review the standards, which the state last overhauled in 2000."

Asher Price reports for the Austin American-Statesman March 14, 2010.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010