Over the last year we have informed you, our community members, about the Sunset Review — the state’s mechanism for evaluating its agencies every 12 years — of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
In June of last year, we and our partners took you to Austin to give testimony in front of the Sunset Advisory Commission right after their release of recommendations for the TCEQ going forward.
In the next step of this process, legislators have taken those recommendations and your previous testimonies into account and created a bill, HB 1505. While the bill has positive aspects that AAH supports, we are calling for a more transformative change, including:
- Directing the TCEQ to consider the cumulative effects on health of approving multiple air permits in the same neighborhoods
- Clarifying that permit application virtual public meetings will not replace existing in-person meetings
- Removing “economic development” from the agency’s mission statement, which has led the agency to protect industry interests over public health
- Requiring the agency to consider environmental justice in its functions
The Sunset Review is our best chance for the next 12 years to plead with the Texas Legislature to create an environmental agency that works for all Texas residents, protects our air quality from harmful pollutants, and holds industry that releases those pollutants accountable.
Air Alliance Houston along with Baker Ripley, Coalition for Environment, Equity and Resilience, Healthy Port Communities Coalition, One Breath Partnership and Public Citizen Texas will be chartering a bus to Austin to leave at 7 am sharp on Thursday, March 23, so community members can be there in-person. In order to give testimony, all must sign in to speak before 10:30 AM.
Can't join us in person?
We know that joining on a Thursday on short notice is not feasible for all of our community. For those who cannot attend, please click on the registration form below, input your name and address, and check that you will not be able to attend. One of our coalition members will read out the names of all those who were not able to attend in person but who want a TCEQ that works for our communities as their testimony. You can also submit comments online until the end of the hearing.
Before the Action
One Breath Partnership will hold a Twitter Space conversation on Tuesday, March 21, at 2 PM to look back at the TCEQ Sunset Review process, discuss the Sunset Review Bill and the upcoming hearing, and present new data on how TCEQ’s reluctance to regulate has resulted in massive amounts of air pollution in our communities. You can listen on any device with web access.