Neena Satija Reporter

Neena Satija covers the environment for the Tribune. A native of the Washington, D.C. area, she graduated from Yale University in 2011, and then worked for a number of area news outlets, including the New Haven Independent, the Connecticut Mirror, and WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio. She has also been a regular contributor to National Public Radio. She previously worked for the Toledo Blade, the Dallas Morning News, and the Boston Globe. In her spare time, she enjoys singing (especially in group settings), running, and playing the addictive board game Settlers of Catan. As an East Coast transplant she is particularly thrilled with Austin tacos and warm weather.

Recent Contributions

Signs of Neglect, Wear and Tear in State Government

This 25-year-old doublewide was supposed to be a temporary building for the Texas School for the Deaf's human resources department. It was found to have a severe rodent infestation.
This 25-year-old doublewide was supposed to be a temporary building for the Texas School for the Deaf's human resources department. It was found to have a severe rodent infestation.

After years of budget cuts, raids on dedicated funding and deferred maintenance, rats, bats, leaking roofs and audible bathroom sounds are the new normal in state government.

Ag Commissioner Says Consumers Being "Screwed"

Sid Miller at The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 20, 2014.
Sid Miller at The Texas Tribune Festival on Sept. 20, 2014.

The Texas Department of Agriculture is supposed to ensure consumers aren't getting ripped off by fuel pumps, retail scanners or other measuring devices. But the agency is so cash-strapped that consumers are getting "screwed" due to a lack of oversight, the agency's new commissioner says.

Texas Parks Hoping for a Funding Boost

Texas is home to 95 state parks, including Boca Chica State Park.
Texas is home to 95 state parks, including Boca Chica State Park.

State parks are crumbling under the weight of decades of deferred maintenance. Lawmakers and state officials say they desperately need a funding boost from the 84th Legislature — and not just for the next two years. 

Friday Night Football Returns to Water Politics

Texas Governor Rick Perry ceremonially signed House Bill 4, which lays the foundation for Texas' future water needs. He is joined by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Speaker Joe Straus, Rep. Allan Ritter, R-Nederland and Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay on May 28, 2013
Texas Governor Rick Perry ceremonially signed House Bill 4, which lays the foundation for Texas' future water needs. He is joined by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Speaker Joe Straus, Rep. Allan Ritter, R-Nederland and Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay on May 28, 2013

Two years ago, the drought prompted a rare outbreak of teamwork as lawmakers from both parties and most corners of Texas together crafted a $2 billion fund to provide more water. This session, though, it looks like we're going back to good old-fashioned water rivalries.

Groundwater Wars Brewing in Austin's Suburbs

Electro Purification's wells (the yellow dots on the map) are outside any regulator's purview. They're also near many other wells that depend on the Trinity Aquifer (the blue and green dots).
Electro Purification's wells (the yellow dots on the map) are outside any regulator's purview. They're also near many other wells that depend on the Trinity Aquifer (the blue and green dots).

A crack in Texas' mishmash groundwater regulatory framework is allowing a water company to pump a huge amount of water from underneath Hays County with virtually no oversight. 

No Word Yet From Abbott on Special Election Runoffs

State Reps. José Menéndez (left) and Trey Martinez Fischer, both Democrats from San Antonio, are seeking the Texas Senate seat vacated by Leticia Van de Putte, who is running for mayor of San Antonio.
State Reps. José Menéndez (left) and Trey Martinez Fischer, both Democrats from San Antonio, are seeking the Texas Senate seat vacated by Leticia Van de Putte, who is running for mayor of San Antonio.
Texas Weekly

The work of setting up committees has begun in both chambers, and an interesting poll surfaces on support for ending diversions from the sporting goods tax.