It’s time for Texas polluters to clean up their act

Pollution from refineries and chemical plants is making people sick, but regulators largely look the other way when big polluters break the law.

ExxonMobil broke clean air laws at its Baytown oil refinery and chemical plant near Houston more than 4,000 times over five years—compounding Texas’ pollution problems and endangering the health of nearby residents. It’s clear we need to take firm action to force Texas’ biggest polluters to clean up their act.

A winning legal strategy

Backed by our members, Environment Texas is standing up to ExxonMobil and other polluters, pressing regulators to act, and taking legal action. Using the same strategy that allowed us to force Shell Oil to clean up its Deer Park refinery in 2009, we’re exercising our right under the Clean Air Act to demand compliance with the law.

Cleaning up our air, one polluter at a time

With our legal action against Shell Oil in 2009 and now against ExxonMobil, we're taking a powerful stand against Texas' biggest air polluters.

We're also creating a precedent that will reverberate throughout the oil industry and put renewed pressure on regulators to stand up for our health.

The latest in our court case

Our lawsuit went to trial in a federal courthouse in Houston in February. Our attorneys are now writing final briefs which must be submitted by mid-June. Judge David Hittner will rule on the lawsuit sometime thereafter.

Click here to join our campaign, and urge the EPA to crack down on Texas' worst polluters.

Clean air updates

Headline

Yes, Texas has some green Republicans

Last weekend, tens of thousands of Texans gathered in Fair Park to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. We’ve made a lot of progress since 1970 in reducing air and water pollution and building a cleaner, healthier future.

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Blog Post

EPA to hold hearing in Arlington on smog pollution | Luke Metzger

Cleaning up the air in Texas is a priority for Environment Texas, whose thousands of members and activists are threatened by ozone pollution. It’s also important to me personally as a dad. My son, Gus, will turn 9 this year, and as a dad, I want to do everything I can to make sure he’s able to play outside without harming his health. Unfortunately, two of our biggest cities - Houston and Dallas - rank in the top 10 worst cities in the country for ozone. 21 of our 30 biggest counties got Fs in the American Lung Association’s State of The Air report. And my hometown of Austin routinely experiences levels of smog pollution that the current scientific consensus concludes is dangerous to the health of my son Gus and millions of other Texans.

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News Release | Environment Texas

Federal Court Gives Exxon Free Pass Despite Thousands of Air Pollution Violations

HOUSTON – A federal district court has refused to order any penalty or issue any other sanctions against ExxonMobil Corporation, despite the company’s admissions during a three-week trial in February that it committed many thousands of violations of the federal Clean Air Act at its Baytown, Texas, refinery and chemical plant complex.

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News Release | Environment Texas

EPA proposes plan to reduce air pollution in Big Bend National Park

AUSTIN - Today, Environment Texas applauded a proposal by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce air pollution in Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains National Parks. EPA's action, required by the Clean Air Act, will reduce the haze that has impaired visibility in some of Texas' most loved parks. The proposal comes after EPA determined a haze plan submitted by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) - in which views at Big Bend would be obscured until the year 2155 - "did not adequately address" certain legal requirements. Eight Texas power plants will be required to install pollution controls to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by a total of 230,000 tons per year.   

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Headline

Tougher standards on air emissions draw debate in Houston

The EPA is considering forcing plants and refineries to cut the amount of hazardous chemicals and other pollutants released into the air by thousands of tons a year.

"It's critical federal regulations be far stricter across the board," said Luke Metzger, Director of Environment Texas.

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