Common Sense Protections for Texas
The Texas Legislature meets for six months every other year, and the 2019 session is now underway. Texas Campaign for the Environment and our allies expect to mobilize on a variety of issues, but we have a simple, common sense agenda which benefits all Texans.
First, TCE is continuing our effort to fight for real pollution cleanup by pressing for legislation that would strengthen the benchmarks for our pollution remediation programs. Right now our expectations are so low that Texas would tolerate pollution at residential sites—homes, schools, churches, etc.—that Louisiana or Mississippi wouldn’t even accept at industrial sites like factories and refineries.
We have a bill drafted that would specifically strengthen our cancer risk standards for these programs to be equal to what they use in Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Arkansas—all of which are ten times better than ours. We are looking for an author still, so tell your lawmakers you want them to lead on this issue!
Second, TCE is continuing our decades-long work to fight against bad trash facilities in Texas by pushing for better permitting and enforcement for landfills, transfer stations, and other solid waste operations. We are joined by a bipartisan group of legislative leaders, and neighbors around the state that have dealt with the status quo and all its frustrations. Right now the state environmental agency is basically a rubber stamp for the trash industry, we aim to change that this year and will have more details about specific bills soon.
Third, we are working to empower local governments to lead on environmental protection. The Texas Supreme Court pre-empted bag ordinances but two justices urged lawmakers to take action on this issue this session. HB 514 would do just that, restoring the rights of local governments to deal with single-use bag pollution in their communities. We also anticipate that special interests may come after Texas tree protections. We’ll be playing defense against this and any other attacks on the environment which may materialize as we move forward!
We can win on all of these issues.We need you to take action right now. Sign our petition to lawmakers urging them to work with TCE on these common sense policies. Stay tuned here and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more info on what we get up to as the session moves forward!
We are pounding the pavement at the State Capitol to improve the agency that regulates oil and gas, pass a battery takeback recycling bill, strengthen standards for pollution permits, and stop problem waste facilities.
Want to join us? Come to our Grassroots Lobby Day in Austin on March 27th!
Send a message to your Texas Senator (at the state capitol – not John Cornyn and Ted Cruz!) and Representative urging them to support common sense environmental protections during the 2017 legislative session.
Let your lawmakers know you support local governments’ authority to reduce single-use bag pollution. 11 cities in Texas have passed local ordinances to put a ban or fee on single-use bags in order to protect wildlife and tourism industries among other reasons.
Write a personal letter to your state lawmakers asking them to support HB 1874 in 2017 to establish a statewide recycling program for household batteries. 250 million household batteries go into Texas landfills each year. That’s just not sustainable!
From our blog: We held our first statewide webinar to share information about our legislative priorities in 2017. Folks from all over the state tuned in online to learn, discuss, and TAKE ACTION!
Following a town hall meeting in Grapevine, it’s clear that many North Texans want significant changes made to the Texas Railroad Commission at the State Capitol next year. Here’s our recap of the meeting and how you can get involved in the process.
Houston Chronicle: Reacting to a groundswell of concern about the effect of plastic bags on the environment, Galveston is on the forefront of a statewide controversy over cities’ ability to ban plastic bags that are killing turtles, birds and fouling beaches.
E-Scrap News: The Texas Legislature’s serious consideration of a law mandating take-back and recycling for all household batteries sends a signal to other states considering the same, an advocate for the bill says.
My Fox Lubbock: According to the Texas Campaign for the Environment, about three billion batteries are buried in landfills every year.