Here's what you need to know this weekend:
Texas environmental agency grants oil and chemical companies scores of exemptions during coronavirus
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has exempted oil and chemical companies from environmental monitoring and inspection rules more than 100 times since the coronavirus pandemic gripped the state, the Houston Chronicle reports.
Most of the companies that were exempted said they were limiting employees and contractors to coronavirus exposure, the paper reported. And many requests were for deadline extensions on filing environmental reports. — Brandon Formby
Trib stories you may have missed:
- Voting by mail: Texas' top Republican officials call absentee voting a recipe for fraud and are fighting efforts to expand it during the coronavirus pandemic. But the governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general have all used the option.
Texas reports 61,006 cases and 1,626 deaths
Texas officials on Saturday are expected to release the latest number of people who have tested positive for the new coronavirus. The state reported 1,230 more cases of the new coronavirus Friday, bringing the total number of known cases to 61,006. The state also reported 25 additional deaths Friday, bringing the statewide total to 1,626. The Texas Tribune publishes maps of the latest case numbers for each county and case rates per 1,000 residents. — Mandi Cai