AUSTIN - Texas industrial facilities reported releasing 135 million pounds of illegal air pollution in 2018 -- more than double the amount released the previous year -- according to a new report by Environment Texas Research and Policy Center. The report also found that the TPC facility in Port Neches, site of a recent explosion which hospitalized three and forced the evacuation of neighboring residents, ranked second worst in the state in 2018 for illegal releases of cancer-causing butadiene.
AUSTIN - This morning the TPC chemical plant in Port Neches, Texas exploded, sending three workers to the hospital and causing damage throughout the city.
“Yet another disaster at a chemical plant in Texas, putting local communities, workers, and first responders at risk,” said Catherine Fraser, Clean Air Associate with Environment Texas. “This facility has a track record of violating the Clean Air Act, with five other illegal emissions events just in 2019, emitting carcinogenic 1,3 butadiene and other chemicals, and a history of community complaints. According to theEPA, the TPC Plant has been in non-compliance 12 separate quarters over the last 3 years, and has received 7 formal enforcement actions over the last 5 years. According to the TCEQ, the chemical of most concern is #butadiene. The TPC plant emitted 61,379 pounds of butadiene in 2018. Butadiene is a known human carcinogen.”
Environment America Research & Policy Center is submitting comments on behalf of 102 organizations today, urging the Environmental Protection Agency to dramatically reduce the massive levels of pollution dumped by agribusiness facilities into America’s waterways. The comments are in response to the agency’s decision not to update permit standards for meat and poultry plants -- despite the Clean Water Act’s requirement to do so.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released two proposals today to roll back clean water protections against waste from coal-fired power plants. The first proposal would overhaul wastewater rules, drastically weakening safeguards that prevent utilities from discharging toxic pollutants like arsenic, lead and mercury into America’s waterways. The second proposal would significantly extend closure dates for coal ash disposal sites, allowing utilities to continue storing toxic coal debris in ponds that can leak or overflow, for decades.
In response to a growing set of pollution threats and to mark today’s 47th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, Environment America Research and Policy Center and the Clean Water for All coalition have launched a new website -- “Voices for Clean Water” -- that features photos and testimonials from a wide array of individuals from across America. They included business owners, faith leaders, public health experts and people who love to swim, hike, kayak or just drink clean water.
Environment Texas Research and Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.