Texas Campaign for the Environment: Victories 2000
Innovative proposals submitted in 1991 by TCE to 65 communities in North Texas on collecting and disposing of Household Hazardous Waste.
A petition drive supported by TCE collected more than 70,000 signatures from Dallas residents in support of citywide curbside recycling and the proper collection and disposal of household hazardous waste. The Dallas City Council then adopted in 1991 a citywide curbside recycling program.
In 1992 the Houston City Council received TCE petitions with more than 100,000 signatures in favor of a permanent Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program.
On May 15, 1992 TCE received an appreciation award for outstanding service from the city of Houston for helping establish a household hazardous waste collection program for the city.
TCE gathered 20,000 signatures of Arlington residents in 1992 signed in support of curbside recycling and a household hazardous waste collection and disposal. The Arlington City Council, after months of debate, approved a citywide curbside recycling program.
TCE published Recycle-North Texas, a 1992 survey and analysis of solid waste management and recycling activities in Dallas/Fort Worth.
In 1993, TCE joined the Clean Texas Coalition Campaign that succeeded in passing Constitutional Amendment Proposition 2 to increase the use of new equipment to reduce air pollution.
Community activists and TCE defeat efforts in 1993 to open new garbage dump in South Tarrant County near a creek that feeds into Lake Arlington, the source of drinking water for nearby residents.
TCE and allies in 1994 compiled a list of 15 politicians deemed 'polluter pals' bringing wide attention to lawmakers who opposed environmental legislation while accepting contributions from chemical companies.
TCE and other groups defeated efforts to repeal the Farm Workers Right To Know Law in 1995. This law gives information to the workers about the health effects of the chemicals sprayed on fields.
The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission in 1996 (TNRCC) tries to weaken the Clean Air Laws but is defeated by TCE and allies.
A statewide tour in 1997 organized by TCE with a 10-foot high tombstone drawing attention to the 15,000 Americans whose preventable deaths are caused by air pollution every year.
TCE joined other groups across the country working on clean air issues in 1997 to submit comments to the EPA in support of strengthening air pollution standards. These new standards were adopted.
TCE generated more than a thousand letters and presented testimony in 1997 at a state environmental agency hearing to win the adoption of regional air quality plans for Texas.
TCE joined with other groups in Texas to close the Grandfather Loophole in the Texas Clean Air Act which allowed older plants to emit nearly a million tons of air pollution with permits and modern pollution controls. TCE worked on a 1998 statewide report that identified and mapped which grandfathered plants were benefiting from the grandfather loophole. The state environmental agency finally released its own inventory of grandfathered air pollution.
In 1999 TCE successfully advocated for new wind power plants in Texas and additional mandatory goals for renewable power for utility companies.
In coalition with other groups TCE rallied more attention to the health impacts of grandfathered air pollution with a 1999 report 'A is for Air Pollution' which detailed how over 225,366 children attended school within a two mile radius of the grandfathered plant.
TCE and other groups closed the grandfather loophole for investor-owned power plants in 1999 with state legislation. TCE also pushed for legislation to significantly increase fees on other large grandfathered polluters who did not make pollution cuts.
After months of pressure TCE succeeded in bringing cleaner burning gasoline to Central Texas in 2000. TCE called for cleaner-burning gasoline without MTBE, a fuel additive that is a major source of ground pollution in other states.
TCE lobbied with other groups in 2000 for strong clean air standards for new cars sold in Texas and won standards for control of vapor emissions.
In 2000, after successful TCE lobbying the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Board purchased 45 more natural gas buses for the Dallas area in order to reduce air pollution. These new natural gas buses were purchased and began running in 2001.