The 80th session drew to a close with a number of important victories on parks, renewable energy and energy efficiency, water and electronic waste. "All in all, it was a pretty good session for the environment," said Environment Texas Director Luke Metzger. "Parks funding was tripled, energy efficiency was doubled, new protections for rivers and streams were established, and computer manufacturers are now required to recycle electronic waste. These victories are the result of many years of work by Texas' environmental community and we can all be proud of the progress made this session."
The Legislature did take some steps backwards, by creating new incentives for coal and nuclear plants and by supporting the creation of reservoirs that could wipe out critical natural areas. They also had a number of missed opportunities, failing to take action to stop or limit the "coal rush", to curb global warming pollution, or to create incentives for solar or biomass power.
Today, on the final day of the Legislature, the Texas House of Representatives approved HB 12, which ensures that a substantial funding increase for parks provided for in the state budget can move forward.
AUSTIN - With the Texas House expected to approve a parks funding bill today, Environment Texas released a new report warning that many biologically important natural areas in Texas are threatened with development. The group used the report’s findings to call on the Legislature to appropriate at least $15 million per year to acquire threatened natural areas and protect them as state parks. Environment Texas also called on the Legislature not to eliminate park discounts for school, church and scout groups, as may be required in the current budget.
AUSTIN- Today, Environment Texas launched a 1250 mile road trip of their “State Parks Express” RV to draw attention to the Legislature’s continuing failure to give adequate funding to Texas’ state and local parks. The RV, which will travel to Midland, Lubbock, Amarillo, Waco and College Station, will stop outside the office of the local legislator and invite local citizens to come out for a “weenie roast for the parks.”
Exposure to dangerous toxic pollution from industrial facilities threatens communities in Texas and across the country, according to a new report released today by Environment Texas. A coalition of groups called on the Texas legislature and congress to take steps to protect the public’s right to know and to reduce emissions.
The report, Toxic Pollution and Health, uses information from the federal Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) to analyze toxic pollution linked to serious health problems such as cancer, birth defects or neurological damage. Due to a recent EPA action restricting the public’s right-to-know, today’s report may provide one of the last complete pictures of toxic pollution in Texas.