Group Says Texas Fails To Hold Polluters Accountable For Unexpected Emissions

"A new report found that companies in Texas have had 21,000 unexpected pollution releases that emitted 400,000 tons of air pollution over six years, but only 1% of them prompted action by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality."

"More than 21,000 unexpected pollution releases by Texas companies have released over 400,000 tons of air pollution in Texas from 2016 to 2022, and companies in less than 1% of these cases have been forced by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to find the root cause and take preventive action, according to a new report.

The report by the Environmental Integrity Project, dubbed the “The Polluter’s Playbook — How Loopholes and Lax Enforcement Harm Air Quality in Texas,” claims that the TCEQ has not been doing enough to hold companies accountable for unexpected pollution releases.

The study focused on pollution that is unexpectedly released during an accident, a facility shutdown or startup or during maintenance. Such emissions are separate from what companies are allowed to release under their TCEQ permits."

Julia Forrest reports for the Texas Tribune March 23, 2023.

Source: Texas Tribune, 03/27/2023