Dear Administrator McCarthy and Assistant Secretary Darcy,
We support the US Environmental Protection Agency and US Army Corps of Engineers proposed Definition of “Waters of the United States Under the Clean Water Act” to clarify which streams, wetlands and other waters are covered by Clean Water Act protections, Wetlands and small streams, including those that flow only seasonally, have a direct impact on the health and quality of larger streams and rivers downstream. These resources are critical drinking water sources, and they protect communities from flooding and filter pollutants.
Providing further evidence that Austin is becoming a “National Leader in Solar Energy,” local universities, communities, and businesses have been inspired to invest in solar energy. The economic, health, and environmental benefits of solar energy are becoming more and more apparent throughout the city, gaining support from both politicians and constituents. Over 20 city council candidates openly support solar energy, in addition to many more who have expressed their support for renewable energy. Some notable advocates who have not only vocally supported solar energy, but have taken action include Huston-Tillotson University and Austin Energy.
The Environment Protection Agency has just released a plan to protect fenceline communities from toxic oil refinery pollution, which includes long overdue health standards and expanded air monitoring. If adopted, EPA estimates the new standards would cut 5,600 tons of harmful chemicals from the air each year.
On Tuesday, EPA held a hearing in Galena Park, TX (outside Houston) to solicit public comment on the proposed rule. Environment Texas Director Luke Metzger attended the hearing and delivered the following testimony:
In a blow to proponents of the controversial Marvin Nichols reservoir, this morning the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) voted 2-1 to direct the DFW regional water group to do a quantitative analysis of the impacts to agriculture and natural resources if the reservoir was built. TWDB Chairman Carlos Rubinstein said that the Region C water group had failed to include such an analysis in their regional plan and that it now must do so by Nov. 3. TWDB has been ordered by a state court to resolve a conflict in the State Water Plan that includes the reservoir in the Region C plan, but explicit opposition to Marvin Nichols in the Region D (where it would be built) plan. TWDB Director Jackson joined with Rubinstein in the voted, with Director Bruun voting no. Bruun said he supported keeping the reservoir in the plan.