AUSTIN – As the Trump administration considers weakening federal air quality and global warming emissions standards, air pollution remains a threat to public health. According to a new report by Environment Texas Research & Policy Center, over 23 million people who make up the 20 main metropolitan and micropolitan urban areas in Texas experienced at least 5 days of degraded air quality in 2016, increasing the risk of premature death, asthma attacks and other adverse health impacts. Included in the 23 million are over 6.7 million people in the Houston metro area who experienced 85 days degraded air quality, over 2.4 million people in San Antonio Metro area who experienced 36 days of degraded air quality, and over 2 million people in the Austin metro area who experienced 46 days of degraded air quality in 2016.
AUSTIN - Today, the Texas Supreme Court overturned plastic bag ordinances in Laredo, Austin and other Texas cities. In January, Environment Texas joined with retailers Natural Grocers and Bicycle Sports Shop in submitting an amicus brief in City of Laredo v. Laredo Merchants Association supporting the rights of cities to ban plastic bags.
AUSTIN - Plastic pollution is killing our wildlife. That’s why Environment Texas is announcing a new campaign to ban harmful, single-use plastic food containers. Polystyrene, commonly known as styrofoam, is one of the worst and most common types of plastic. According to the EPA, Americans throw out 70 million polystyrene foam cups every day, and that doesn’t include bowls and takeout containers. Tons of our discarded plastic ends up in the environment -- on our lands and in our waterways. More than 8 million tons end up in our oceans every year, the equivalent of five plastic bags for every foot of coastline.
New data obtained by Environment Texas from the Austin Independent School District (AISD) shows lead has been found in the drinking water of five more Austin schools. The new data follows the revelation last September of nine schools and facilities which tested positive for the toxic heavy metal. Environment Texas applauded the district's commitment to install filters or replace water fountains, but called for additional testing, greater transparency and full remediation.