Texas House moves to crack down on polluters with stricter penalties and heavier oversight
The bill would require the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to focus enforcement and increase penalties on repeat violators and increase public outreach. Still, environmental advocates say the effort was too “modest” in its reach.
In major climate step, EPA proposes 1st limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants
The Biden administration is proposing new limits on greenhouse gas emissions from coal and gas-fired power plants, its most ambitious effort yet to reduce planet-warming pollution from the nation’s second-largest contributor to climate change.
Senators back solar tariffs, oppose prairie bird safeguards
The Senate has approved a measure that would reinstate tariffs on solar panel imports from several Southeast Asian countries after President Joe Biden paused them in a bid to boost solar installations in the U.S. Lawmakers also approved a separate plan late Wednesday to undo federal protections for the lesser prairie chicken, a rare grouse that’s found in parts of the Midwest and Southwest, including one of the country’s most prolific oil and gas fields.
For years, the EPA and Texas ignored warning signs at a chemical storage site. Then an inferno erupted.
Regulators repeatedly documented — but did little to address — problems at a Houston-area tank farm. Then on March 17, 2019, a fire blew through a corner of the facility, releasing toxic chemicals into nearby communities for weeks.
Deer Park company at center of Ohio toxic wastewater disposal controversy provides statement after EPA puts pause on transport operation
The Deer Park company that reportedly agreed to receive millions of gallons of toxic wastewater used to fight fires during the Ohio train derailment has made a statement in regard to the pause placed by federal officials on their operation.
Concerns grow about superfund site in NW Harris County; Commissioner now demanding action
More than 20 years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency listed a Northwest Harris County shopping center at the 11600 block of Jones Road as a superfund site after county officials say a former dry cleaning business spent more than a decade improperly dumping toxic waste.
Environmental advocates push feds to investigate Texas’ enforcement of water quality
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to investigate allegations that the state is failing to enforce the Clean Water Act. Environmentalists say the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s system of issuing permits has made it too easy for industries to contaminate rivers, lakes and estuaries.
EPA finalizes water rule that repeals Trump-era changes
President Joe Biden’s administration has finalized regulations that protect hundreds of thousands of small streams, wetlands and other waterways, repealing a Trump-era rule that federal courts had thrown out and that environmentalists said left waterways vulnerable to pollution.
Denver gets go-ahead from EPA after progress on lead pipes
The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday approved a nearly $700 million plan to remove all lead water pipes in the Denver region, saying the local water utility’s approach for reducing lead levels is succeedings and making swift progress.
President Biden tightens methane emissions rule amid push for more oil
The Biden administration has ramped up efforts to reduce methane emissions, targeting the oil and gas industry for its role in global warming even as President Joe Biden has pressed energy producers for more oil drilling to lower prices at the gasoline pump.
EPA: Racial disparity in Louisiana's 'Cancer Alley'
The Environmental Protection Agency said it has evidence that Black residents in an industrial section of Louisiana face an increased risk of cancer from a nearby chemical plant — and that state officials have let air pollution remain high and downplayed its threat.
NAACP says Jackson's water problems are civil rights issue
The NAACP on Tuesday accused Mississippi of discriminating against Black residents by denying badly needed federal funds for drinking water infrastructure in Jackson and instead diverting money to largely-white communities that needed it less.
After cancer-causing chemicals were found in Fifth Ward soil, Houston mayor says cleanup plans are inadequate
The city’s health department found dioxins in soil samples along the fence line of a Union Pacific rail yard. Mayor Sylvester Turner said during the 2022 Texas Tribune Festival that plans to clean up the contamination should now include relocating residents.
Biden administration launches environmental justice office
Forty years after a predominantly Black community in Warren County, North Carolina, rallied against hosting a hazardous waste landfill, President Joe Biden’s top environment official has returned to what is widely considered the birthplace of the environmental justice movement to unveil a national office that will distribute $3 billion in block grants to underserved communities burdened by pollution.
Houston Health Department says it has detected cancer-causing chemical around Fifth Ward near Kashmere Gardens
The Houston Health Department said Friday that surface soil samples collected in July around the contaminated Union Pacific rail yard and tested by the department contain dioxin, a highly toxic chemical compound associated with cancer and other severe health risks.
EPA reverses course, rejects permit for massive oil exporting project offshore from Corpus Christi
During the Trump administration, the Environmental Protection Agency exempted a proposed oil export terminal off the Texas coast from air pollution requirements. This week it rejected the permit because of pollution concerns.
EPA to launch investigation into permitting process for concrete batch plans in Harris County
Harris County Attorney Christian D. Menefee, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and other local leaders will address the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s recent announcement that it will investigate the Texas Commission on Environment Quality (TCEQ)’s concrete batch permitting criteria and processes under federal civil rights laws.
Smog levels in Texas surge during heat wave, bringing worst summer air quality in a decade
Emissions are reacting with the summer heat to create high levels of smog, hazardous air pollution that damages the lungs. But state officials are pushing back on ozone pollution controls proposed by the EPA, arguing such rules would compromise the electric grid.
Environmental justice advocates slam Supreme Court ruling
The Supreme Court decision Thursday to limit how the Environmental Protection Agency may regulate carbon dioxide emissions could make an already grave situation worse for those most affected by air pollution and climate change, community residents and advocates fear.
U.S. Supreme Court ruling limits EPA’s authority in regulating greenhouse gases
The high court said a cap on power plants’ carbon dioxide emissions that forces a transition to other fuels may be a “sensible” solution to the climate crisis, but that Congress did not give the Environmental Protection Agency the broad authority to make such requirements. Texas was one of 17 states that joined in the suit.
Commissioner Rodney Ellis, clean air advocates call on President Biden, EPA to enact strict safeguards on power plants in Texas
Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis and clean air advocates called on President Joe Biden and the Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday morning to enact safeguards to reduce pollution from the W.A. Parish Generating Station and other power plants in Texas.
Biden restores California's power to set car emissions rules
The Biden administration is restoring California’s authority to set its own tailpipe pollution standards for cars, reversing a Trump administration policy and likely ushering in stricter emissions standards for new passenger vehicles nationwide.
EPA announced sweeping measures to improve the environmental health of communities in the south
The Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday announced sweeping measures meant to improve the environmental health of communities throughout the south, including parts of Fifth Ward and Kashmere Gardens, overwhelmed by a long-known cancer cluster.
Ex-EPA workers ask Virginia senators not to confirm Wheeler
More than 150 former Environmental Protection Agency employees are writing to the Virginia Senate, asking the Democrat-controlled chamber to oppose the nomination of former EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler to GOP Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin’s Cabinet.
EPA moves to crack down on dangerous coal ash storage ponds
The Environmental Protection Agency is taking its first major action to address toxic wastewater from coal-burning power plants, ordering utilities to stop dumping waste into unlined storage ponds and speed up plans to close leaking or otherwise dangerous coal ash sites.