Stormwater Pollution Updates

Report | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Swim At Your Own Risk

Texans love the water – especially in the summertime. From South Padre Island to Galveston Bay, and from the San Marcos River to Lake Lewisville, our rivers, lakes and beaches draw thousands of Texans every time the sun is out and the temperature is up.

But many of the waterways where Texans love to play are sometimes too polluted for people to go swimming, tubing, or wading safely. An analysis of water testing data from the Texas Commission
on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) reveals that Texas beaches, rivers and lakes frequently exceed bacteria levels deemed safe under state law, indicating unsafe levels of fecal contamination.

News Release | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Report: 60 percent of testing sites at Austin waterways had unsafe bacteria at least once in 2017

AUSTIN — Austins' creeks and streams flow through city parks and along walking trails, create green space, and provide fishing spots for residents. However, a new report by Environment Texas Research and Policy Center reveals that many of these waterways tested for high levels of bacteria in 2017, and would benefit from strong measures to reduce pollution.

News Release | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Report: 63% of Texas beaches had unsafe bacteria levels at least once last year

The “Swim At Your Own Risk” report revealed that Texas beaches, freshwater streams and lakes frequently contain more fecal bacteria from animal and human waste than what’s deemed safe under state law. Statewide, 63 percent of beach sites and 49 percent of freshwater sites were unsafe for swimming on at least one testing day last year. Environment Texas called for policies to prevent pollution at the source, such as green infrastructure and sewage system upgrades.

News Release | Environment Texas

TX Supreme Court overturns local plastic bag ordinances

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. 

CodeNext: Less Flooding, Cleaner Creeks

By | Brian Zabcik
Clean Water Advocate

Proposed changes to Austin's Land Development Code will benefit the environment by strengthening drainage requirements and encouraging green infrastructure.