a flair burning bright over towers at Shell's Deer Park Refinery in Texas
Roy Luck / flicker

Texas Clean Air Project

Goal: Ensure that Texans can breath clean unpolluted air by holding polluters accountable.
Industrial facilities in Texas violated clean air laws every single day in 2019, illegally releasing over 174 million pounds of pollution, including chemicals linked to asthma and cancer. Backed by our members, Environment Texas Research and Policy Center is standing up to the polluters and demanding they follow the law and stop polluting our air.
  • <h4>POLLUTERS MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE</h4><h5>but over the last 8 years, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has financially penalized companies for only 3% of all illegal air pollution events.</h5><em>Heather Carroll Photography</em>
  • <h4>UNAUTHORIZED AIR POLLUTION</h4><h5>in Texas has increased 155% since 2015 spewing chemicals linked to asthma, cancer, and reproductive issues.</h5><em>Heather Carroll</em>
  • <h4>EVERY SINGLE DAY</h4><h5>in 2019, industrial facilities, often in the heart of Texas communities, illegally polluted the air in our state.</h5><em>Heather Carroll Photography</em>
It’s time for Texas polluters to clean up their act

Pollution from refineries and chemical plants is making people sick, but regulators largely look the other way when big polluters break the law. Despite everyday illegal pollution events in 2019, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has only financially penalized companies just 3% of the time since 2011. In other words, polluters got away with no penalty for 97% of illegal air pollution events. On top of lax enforcement from TCEQ, loopholes like the affirmative defense are widely abused by industry.

According to a recent study published in the journal Environmental Research, air pollution from fossil fuels was responsible for more than 17,000 premature deaths in Texas in 2018. 

Air pollution is toxic for our communities

Texas’ air quality is a major detriment to our quality of life and physical health. Poor air quality puts the most vulnerable among us, like children and seniors, at risk for asthma, strokes, and other illnesses. We have a moral responsibility to care for future generations and clean up Texas’ air to provide a better quality of life for those most at risk.

It’s clear we need to take firm action to force Texas’ biggest polluters to clean up their act. These companies should install stronger pollution controls to reduce pollution that can cause cancer and pay stiff penalties when they break the law.

Clean Air Associate Catherine speaking at a press conference with the Mom's Clean Air Force
credit: Alese Pickering
Hard-hitting research

We’ve made progress in reducing air pollution in Texas in the last two decades, but more needs to be done. We need to get local, state and federal regulators to take enforcement action against big polluters and ensure clean air and compliance with the law. If citizens, communities, non-profit groups and our allies in government band together, we can force the big polluters to stop violating the law. Combining research, organizing of citizens and local elected officials, and litigation has cleaned up the air before and will again.

Become an activist for clean air

We’ve launched our Neighborhood Witness program to alert people living near polluting facilities when violations happen. You can report companies that violate the law near you and encourage the state to hold them accountable for our health and our air.