news & announcements

EPA chief vows to speed the nation’s Superfund cleanups; communities wonder how

Washington Post: When Congress established the Superfund program in 1980, they created a tax on the petroleum and chemical industries to offset expensive, complicated cleanups when a polluting company had gone bankrupt or could not be identified. The tax generated billions of dollars for cleanups. But Congress allowed it to expire in 1995, and by 2003 the industry-funded trust fund was essentially broke.

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Developing leaders to change the world

From our blog: We are proud to see our activists whose skills we have developed make great strides in their careers to transform policy for a healthier, more just world.

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Legislative efforts to curtail local environmental rules faltered

Austin American-Statesman: Five months ago, conservative lawmakers had high hopes of loosening environmental regulations, especially those enacted by progressive-minded cities like Austin. But as the Legislature wrapped up its biennial confab on Monday, the committee room floors were littered with conservative-minded bills that never made it anywhere.

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What happened to the battery recycling bill??

From our blog: The battery bill made a big splash at the State Capitol, and we secured 10 co-authors from both parties, including both very conservative Republicans and some very progressive Democrats.

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Austin’s plastic bag ban can stay: Measure dies in Texas Legislature, along with other local pre-emption bills

Austin Business Journal: Environmentalists are declaring victory at the Texas Capitol in the fight to give cities the right to ban single-use plastic bags at stores, one of the few victories this legislative session for local governments in their fight against state pre-emption.

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Victory: Bad bag bill defeated

From our blog: For the first time ever, a statewide coalition of advocates proactively introduced a bill to protect local rights to ban bags: HB 3482. The bill passed out of its committee with a “yes” vote from one of the House’s most conservative Republicans, and then passed out of the Calendars Committee and was scheduled for a floor vote!

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Working on the Railroad Commission

Fort Worth Weekly: What would happen to the regulatory agency over the world’s sixth-largest oil-and-gas economy when it went in for an overhaul? Or would it just get a new license to operate?

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Report: Texas Tops Nation for Safe Drinking Water Violations

Public News Service: Researchers for the Natural Resources Defense Council looked at Environmental Protection Agency data from 2015 and found almost 14,000 violations in more than 5,000 water systems that together, serve 7 million Texans. The report also found that no penalties were assessed for 8-in-10 of those violations.

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Legislative measure would require manufacturers to take back batteries, helping to keep them out of landfills

Denton Record-Chronicle: There comes a point in every person’s life when the TV remote control batteries need to be changed.

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How grassroots groups are mobilizing Texans on top issues

Texas Tribune: Five community organizers tell us how they rally people around issues.

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