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Rules governing new water infrastructure fund are out | Luke Metzger

The Texas Water Development Board has released the proposed rules governing new state water infrastructure funds (know as SWIFT and SWIRFT) that will fund billions of dollars of water projects across the state. These rules are expected to be published by the Texas Register around July 10th which will start the formal public comment period, expected to end September 1st. For a copy of the draft rules, click here. This summer the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) will hold three public hearings across Texas to receive feedback about these proposed rules. Ashley, our legal intern, addressed the TWDB last week and provided the first of many comments about the draft rules:

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News Release | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

New tests find bee-killing pesticides in 51% of “bee-friendly” plants from garden centers across U.S. and Canada

AUSTIN - Many “bee-friendly” home garden plants sold at Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart have been pre-treated with pesticides shown to harm and kill bees, according to a study released today by Friends of the Earth and allies, including Environment Texas. The study, Gardeners Beware 2014, shows that 36 out of 71 (51 percent) of garden plant samples purchased at top garden retailers in 18 cities in the United States and Canada, including Austin, contain neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides -- a key contributor to recent bee declines. Some of the flowers contained neonic levels high enough to kill bees outright assuming comparable concentrations are present in the flowers' pollen and nectar. Further, 40% of the positive samples contained two or more neonics.

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News Release | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

New Report: Electric Cars Are Putting the Brakes on Pollution

AUSTIN—More than 220,000 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles are on America’s roads today, delivering real benefits for our health and our environment, according to a new report released today by Environment Texas. In just the last two years, annual sales of electric vehicles have increased by 500 percent.

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News Release | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Over 16 Million Pounds of Toxic Chemicals Dumped into Texas’ Waterways

AUSTIN--Industrial facilities dumped more than 16 million pounds of toxic chemicals into Texas’ waterways, making Texas’ waterways the 2nd worst in the nation, according to a new report by Environment Texas Research and Policy Center.  The Wasting Our Waters report comes as the Environmental Protection Agency considers a new rule to restore Clean Water Act protections to thousands of waterways in Texas and across the nation.

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Report | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Wasting Our Waterways

Industrial facilities continue to dump millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into America’s rivers, streams, lakes and ocean waters each year – threatening both the environment and human health. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), toxic discharges from industrial facilities are responsible for polluting more than 17,000 miles of rivers and about 210,000 acres of lakes, ponds and estuaries nationwide.

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