Tag Archives: TCEQ

Harris County sues TCEQ over concrete plant permit

A good fight to pick. Harris County sued the Texas Commission on Environment Quality on Wednesday for approving a permit for a concrete crushing plant located near Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital in Houston’s Kashmere Gardens. The lawsuit – filed in … Continue reading

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A closer look at Colony Ridge

There have been problems for awhile. Not the kind of problems that got the wingnuts all frothed up, but problems nonetheless. When the fast-growing Colony Ridge development outside Houston became a fixation of right-wing media last year, Texas’ Republican leaders … Continue reading

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Private dam proposal withdrawn

Good news. After months of opposition by communities along the Llano River, the former CEO of Houston-based energy company Phillips 66 has withdrawn his permit application to build a private dam on his ranch in Edwards County, according to state … Continue reading

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New frontiers in bad ideas

Private dams. No, seriosuly. A private dam proposed on the South Llano River, a major tributary to the Highland Lakes, is the center of a debate in the Hill Country this week as a public hearing set for Thursday evening … Continue reading

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House passes bill to stop Fairfield State Park closure

A rare bill that might do some good. The Texas House of Representatives has passed a bill in an attempt to save a popular state park from permanent closure and development into a private community. The measure now moves to … Continue reading

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Hazmat routes

This story made me think about a thing I basically never think about, and now I wish I didn’t have to think about it. Toxic inhalants, flammable gases and explosive chemicals are just some of what rolls along Dallas-Fort Worth … Continue reading

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EPA asked to investigate TCEQ’s water permitting process

Need to keep an eye on this. The Environmental Protection Agency says an informal investigation is underway after more than two dozen environmental advocacy groups submitted a petition against the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The petition alleges that state … Continue reading

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Grassroots pollution monitoring

Great story about a problem that deserves mush more attention from the state. One by one, the residents filtered into the small community center and found seats in the rows of plastic chairs. Some were teenagers wearing yellow-and-black Galena Park … Continue reading

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We don’t love trash

Especially not in the bayous. On a recent Saturday morning, around 20 volunteers gathered to clean up trash along the Houston Ship Channel. Armed with pickers and trash bags, they started tackling a small “trash beach” across the channel from … Continue reading

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The boil notice

Yeah, it’s a pain. And now schools are closed again, which my daughter appreciates but probably most grownups do not. Also a thing many grownups did not appreciate was how long it took for the boil notices to go out. … Continue reading

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The Corpus Christi desalination plant fight

This ought to be interesting. Texas regulators issued an environmental permit Thursday for the Port of Corpus Christi to build what could become the state’s first seawater desalination plant — but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may refuse to accept … Continue reading

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EPA to investigate TCEQ over concrete plant permits

Well, this ought to be interesting. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is the subject of an investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency following complaints that the state agency violated civil rights laws in its permitting of concrete batch plants. … Continue reading

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Our still-smoggy skies

We’re being called on the carpet for them. The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday sought to list the Houston and Dallas metro areas as “severe” violators of 2008 federal ozone pollution standards, kicking off a process that will likely impose … Continue reading

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We are so screwed if there’s a real cold front

[bangs head on desk]. During Texas’ first strong cold front of the winter this past weekend, natural gas production in the state’s top energy-producing region dropped by about 25%, according to a report from S&P Global. And while the lights … Continue reading

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How our water systems failed during the freeze

Good analysis of something that has received far less attention than the blackouts that resulted during the freeze. Which is interesting because the blackouts were the main cause of the water outages and resulting boil notices. And the fix here … Continue reading

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A parting gift of pollution

Gee, thanks. Texas may soon get authority over the disposal of ash from coal-fired power plants, a change that could insulate coal companies from tougher rules expected under a Biden administration. A proposal introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency … Continue reading

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Texas Central once more gets to deal with the Lege

They’re both farther along, and not as far along, as they might like heading into this session. Less than two months before the Texas Legislature begins its next session, the yearslong battle over a controversial high-speed rail project is expected … Continue reading

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County files lawsuit over Watson Grinding explosion

As well they should. Harris County and state officials entered the fray Thursday, bringing civil charges against Watson Grinding and Manufacturing in the explosion that left two dead and damaged 450 structures last week in west Houston. The county has … Continue reading

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How many explosions is too many explosions?

Unfortunately, we’re on track to find out. It’s a scene that’s all too familiar to Houston residents. Explosions, flames reaching into the sky, plumes of black smoke, calls to shelter in place, evacuations, injuries and deaths. The explosion early Friday … Continue reading

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Who sues first?

It matters whether Harris County or the state of Texas is first to the courthouse against an industrial polluter. As chemical plant explosions and fires have disrupted lives and raised air-quality concerns in the Houston area this year, the state … Continue reading

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We have a consent decree

It appears to be a done deal. Houston would add $2 billion to its planned sewer system improvements over the next 15 years under a proposed deal with state and federal regulators that is expected to produce higher water bills … Continue reading

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Injunction ordered in Skull Creek lawsuit

Hope this helps. Three months after the waters of Skull Creek first turned black, a Travis County state district judge issued a temporary injunction Tuesday against Inland Environmental and Remediation and David Polston, its president, requiring the company to stop … Continue reading

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What’s going on in Skull Creek?

Here’s a story from a couple of weeks ago that you may have missed. I know I missed it until it was pointed out to me. For more than two months, the waters of Skull Creek have flowed black, its … Continue reading

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Revitalizing recycling

This is encouraging. On Monday, bipartisan legislation designed to help offset the sapped demand for recyclables abroad cleared a final legislative hurdle at the Texas Capitol. Senate Bill 649, which passed the Senate last month on a 21-10 vote, cleared … Continue reading

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Prosecuting polluters

It really shouldn’t have to come to this, but here we are. The Harris County District Attorney’s office is calling for a tripling of the number of prosecutors dedicated to environmental crimes in the wake of a series of chemical … Continue reading

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Using floodplain rules to force environmental safety compliance

A county’s gotta do what a county’s gotta do. Harris County officials are using flood control regulations passed after Hurricane Harvey to delay the reopening of two chemical companies where fires erupted in recent weeks, killing one worker and sending … Continue reading

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Explode, rinse, repeat

Here we go again. A massive explosion at a chemical plant in northeast Harris County on Tuesday killed one person and sent two others to the hospital in critical condition, sparking a blaze that sent yet another plume of dark … Continue reading

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State sues over Deer Park fire

Too big to ignore. Late Friday, the state of Texas sued Intercontinental Terminals — the Houston-based company whose petrochemical storage facility in the suburb of Deer Park caught fire last weekend and burned for days, sending a dramatic plume of … Continue reading

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We’re about to find out how much we’ll pay to fix Houston’s sewer system

Be prepared. Houston would ramp up spending on its sewer system by $2 billion over 15 years under a proposed deal with state and federal regulators that is expected to produce higher water bills as soon as next year. The … Continue reading

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Now how much would you pay to fix Houston’s sewer system?

We may be about to find out. Federal and state authorities sued the city of Houston over its long-running struggle to limit sewage spills on Friday, marking the beginning of the end of a years-long negotiation that could force the … Continue reading

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Distributing the VW settlement money

Good for some, less good for others. Texas cities will soon get millions of dollars to help clean up air quality, but Houston officials say the plan for distributing all that money isn’t fair. The money is coming from a … Continue reading

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Hempstead landfill officially dead

Hooray! Waller County leaders and residents on Monday cheered a Georgia company’s decision to abandon plans for a 250-acre acre landfill near Hempstead, saying they look forward to moving beyond an environmental fight that has dominated public debate for seven … Continue reading

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TCEQ rejection of Hempstead landfill application upheld

Sweet. A yearslong battle over the construction of a landfill in Hempstead has come to an end for now after a judge ruled in Austin on Friday that Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s decision to return the landfill’s application should … Continue reading

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More MUD muddles

Who needs collateral? When Houston businessman David Lucyk decided to develop land in northeast Harris County, he lined up a bank loan to pay for water pipes, sewers, roads and a stormwater detention pond. He offered the bank three items … Continue reading

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