Opponents of Texas tree bills ‘speak for the trees’ at Capitol
KVUE Austin: The groups Texas Campaign for the Environment and Defend Texas Trees held an event outside the Capitol Wednesday to oppose bills filed in the Special Session related to trees.
In Houston’s Fifth Ward, Concern Over Superfund Site Grows With EPA Budget Cuts
Houston Press: Houston-area activists gathered in the Fifth Ward on Tuesday to announce that they are joining organizers from across the country in influencing how the EPA deals with the Superfund program.
Pruitt to Tap Private Sector to Hasten Superfund Cleanups
Bloomberg News: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is embracing public-private partnerships and setting aggressive agency deadlines to move languishing Superfund site cleanups forward. But environmentalists and other groups say he’s leaving out people most affected by cleanup decisions—local residents.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
How grassroots groups are mobilizing Texans on top issues
Texas Tribune: Five community organizers tell us how they rally people around issues.
Plastic bag ban protection wins hearing at Texas Capitol