The Environmental Protection Agency is rolling out nationwide rules aimed at improving air quality above national parks like Big Bend by focusing on industrial plants. In a twist, the plan's final form may hinge partly on the fate of a different rule — the hot-button cross-state air pollution rule — which is being argued Friday in a federal court.Full Story
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is the state’s environmental agency. It enforces clean air, water, and waste management laws and issues air and water operating permits.
The TCEQ, which began operation as the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission in 1993, was established by the Legislature in 1991. The TNRCC consolidated the responsibilities of the Texas Water Commission and ...
Mark Vickery, the executive director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, will retire in May — and his successor has yet to be chosen.Full Story
A brawl is brewing in South Texas, but this one has nothing to do with cartels or drug smuggling — it's an environmental battle over a proposed surface-mining site that some Eagle Pass residents worry will ruin their way of life.Full Story
Even as the Obama administration delighted conservatives last week by pulling back on a broad regulation to combat ozone pollution, the controversial "cross-state" rule that would also reduce smog-forming pollutants in Texas remains on track.Full Story
Texas is summoning all of its political firepower to do battle against the Environmental Protection Agency. A newly announced task force of state and federal lawmakers will try to prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases and abolishing the state's flexible permitting system for refineries and other big plants.Full Story
The Environmental Protection Agency announced a new national standard this week that will require coal-fired plants in Texas to reduce mercury emissions. As Erika Aguilar of KUT News reports, the tighter regulations could prove costly for Texas' electric companies.Full Story
With drilling on the rise, the Texas Railroad Commission and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality answer questions about whether Texans need to worry about radioactivity in their water.Full Story
Texas leaders aren't talking about secession, after an outbreak of conversation a couple of years ago. But the germ of the idea remains in the anti-federalist talking points that fueled Gov. Rick Perry’s re-election campaign last year and provided the outline for his book, Fed Up!Full Story
The politics and rhetoric of the Environmental Protection Agency's multi-front battle with Texas make for a grand spectacle. Behind the scenes, however, there are signs that big industrial plants are trying to move past the stalemate on their own, talking with federal regulators and, in some cases, preparing to meet the demands of the agency.Full Story
In Texas, the largest oil producer in the United States, the demand for carbon dioxide is soaring, because it can help squeeze oil out of formations deep in the earth. That's why the idea of of capturing it and pumping it underground is gaining traction in the power sector. It sounds like an exercise in environmental idealism: Take the heat-trapping gas — belched prolifically from coal plants, which generate 45 percent of the nation’s electricity — and bury it, benefiting the atmosphere and combating global climate change. Of course, it is something of an environmental conundrum that stowing the greenhouse gas underground can also help to produce more fossil fuels.Full Story
Texas's bid to suspend a federal efforts to regulate greenhouse gases hit another roadblock today, when the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals turned down the state's request for a stay of a move to force states to implement federal plans.Full Story
With a panel of state legislators set to decide the future of a number of Texas agencies, the state's environmental agency seems likely to get the green light to operate for another 12 years, but with some changes. As Erika Aguilar of KUT News reports, environmentalists are calling the situation a mild victory.Full Story
Hu on the Perry-Bush rift, Ramshaw on the adult diaper wars, Ramsey's interview with conservative budget-slasher Arlene Wohlgemuth, Galbraith on the legislature's water agenda (maybe), M. Smith on Don McLeroy's last stand (maybe), Philpott on the end of earmarks (maybe), Hamilton on the merger of the Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Texas Education Agency (maybe), Aguilar on Mexicans seeking refuge from drug violence, Grissom on inadequate health care in county jails and my conversation with Houston Mayor Annise Parker: The best of our best from November 15 to 19, 2010.Full Story
Texas has fired off another volley of legal challenges against federal environmental regulators.Full Story
BP's problem-plagued Texas City refinery — where a 2005 explosion killed 15 and injured 170 — now faces two civil lawsuits stemming from its release this spring of more than 500,000 pounds of cancer-causing pollutants over 40 days. One suit seeks $10 billion on behalf of 2,000 exposed workers; the other, filed by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, seeks more than $1 million in fines. Both aim to punish the company for one of the largest chemical emissions events the state has ever seen.Full Story
The Texas attorney general accuses BP of "once again prioritizing profits over environmental compliance" at its Texas City refinery.
Ramshaw's question about an insurance company denying coverage for an infant vaccine prompts a reversal; Stiles' new app lets you poke through mid-year campaign reports on donations and spending; Ramsey finds foreshadowing of the state's big fall races in the campaign finance reports; Aguilar interviews Henry Cisneros about current politics; Dawson finds Texas environmentalists getting advice from an unexpected place; Galbraith on "demand response" that might cut the need for power plants and on the next wave of electric cars; Aguilar on increasing trade through Texas ports of entry; M. Smith on affirmative action battles in higher education; Titus on Mexican college students' drift from border universities to UT-Austin and Texas A&M; and Hamilton on controversy over private, for-profit colleges: The best of our best for the week of July 19 to 23, 2010.Full Story