Toxic air pollution threatens our health

More than half of all Americans live in places with unsafe levels of air pollution, which causes of heart attacks, asthma attacks, emergency room visits, hospital admissions and even deaths year.

Studies show that one in six women of childbearing age has enough mercury in her bloodstream to put her child at risk of health effects should she become pregnant. This means that more than 689,000 out of the 4.1 million babies born every year could be exposed to dangerous levels of mercury.

The consequences are serious: Children who are exposed to even low-dosage levels of mercury in the womb can have impaired brain functions, including verbal, attention, motor control, and language deficits, and lower IQs. When these children are monitored at ages 7 and 14, these impairments still exist — suggesting that the damage caused by mercury may be irreversible.

300,000 acres of Texas lakes contaminated 

Coal-fired power plants spew hundreds of thousands of pounds of toxic mercury into our air every year, which falls to earth in the form of rain and contaminates rivers, lakes and streams. Ranking first in the nation, power plants in Texas emitted 11,127 pounds of mercury pollution in 2010. 

Wildlife that is exposed to mercury may develop more slowly, have reduced fertility or even die, depending on the level of exposure. And it doesn’t take much: Scientists found that a gram of mercury — about a drop — deposited in a mid-sized lake over the course of a year was enough to account for all of the mercury subsequently found in that lake’s fish population.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, mercury impairs 300,000 acres of Texas lakes and the entire Texas Gulf coast. 

With your help, we can save 46,000 lives

Recently, the EPA moved ahead with efforts to significantly reduce mercury, soot and smog pollution, announcing historic new emissions standards that combined could save 46,000 lives a year. Unfortunately, polluters and their allies in Congress launched a coordinated attack to block these critical safeguards.

We’re working closely with our allies in the public health community, lobbying key senators, and rallying thousands of activists stand up for public health.

It won’t be easy, but if enough of us speak out, we can drown out the coal industry lobbyists and make sure that the EPA is allowed to do its job and protect public health.

Join our campaign by sending a message to President Obama right now.



Clean Air updates

Blog Post

Austin Joins Nationwide Vigils Against Keystone XL | Rachel Stone

Yesterday, Environment Texas held a vigil outside of the Pickle Federal Building attended by over 50 members and volunteer activists standing against the Keystone XL. Globally, we joined over 10,000 people in 283 locations, in 49 states (plus DC and  Canada), calling on President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline.

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Headline

2014 will be big for Texas environment

This is already shaping up to be a big year for Texas’ environment. Decisions are about to be made that will have a major impact on air quality, the Gulf Coast and Texas rivers.

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Environmental Group In Texas Watches SCOTUS Decision On EPA Pollution Rules

“A lot of pollution travels across state lines,” says Luke Metzger, Director of Environment Texas, “and impacts the health of other citizens of the United States. A few years back [the EPA] proposed new standards that would require some of the biggest sources of air-pollution, dirty power plants, to control [their emissions].”

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Legal Hammer Spurs Cleaner Skies

"We routinely heard that many of these upsets were out of their control, and that we would have to live with it," said Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas. "But that's not true. If they can spend the time and money, they can reduce emissions."

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News Release | Environment Texs

Clean Air Act settlements resulted in huge emissions reductions, making Houston's air cleaner

HOUSTON – Sierra Club and Environment Texas announced today that Shell Oil Company and Chevron Phillips Chemical Company have each cut illegal air pollution from major “upset” events at their Gulf Coast plants by about 95%.  Those reductions are even more than was required by their settlements of federal Clean Air Act lawsuits brought by the environmental groups, and have contributed to recent efforts to improve air quality in the Houston metropolitan area.

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