New research is showing an association between air pollution exposure and the severity of COVID-19 infection. This is particularly concerning for Houston where thousands of people, mostly low-income communities of color, have long lived in close proximity to industrial facilities.
As we continue to adapt to the challenging and unprecedented times of COVID-19, it is critical that facilities comply with regulations that are meant to protect people’s health, especially during a public health crisis such as the current outbreak.
On April 29th, we were pleased to host a virtual discussion about local environmental enforcement during the coronavirus pandemic with guest speakers from Harris County Pollution Control, Harris County Attorney’s Office, and Harris County District Attorney’s Office. The presenters discussed the roles of their respective agencies in enforcing environmental laws as well as the implications of the EPA’s and TCEQ’s recently announced “COVID-19 enforcement discretion policies” on the county’s pollution control activities. They also explained how the public can help support the agencies’ work in holding polluters accountable.
- Dr. Latrice Babin, Director, Harris County Pollution Control Services Department
- Rock Owens, Special Assistant County Attorney, Harris County Attorney’s Office
- Alexander Forrest, Assistant District Attorney, Harris County District Attorney’s Office
Moderated by: Dr. Bakeyah Nelson, Executive Director, Air Alliance Houston
Due to the high number of questions coming in during the webinar, we weren’t able to answer live all the queries we received. We’ve addressed those unanswered questions in this Q&A document.