Citizens across Texas suffered a significant loss of their rights protect private property and water resources when the State House of Representatives voted last night to adopt the Chisum amendment to the TCEQ Sunset Legislation. Even sadder, the 96 to 44 vote wasn’t even close. See how your representative voted here.
Of our Hill Country Delegation who represent you:
John Garza, Larry Gonzalez, Harvey Hildebran, Jason Isaac, Tracy King, Edmund Kuempel, Lyle Larson, Doug Miller and Charles Schwertner voted for the Chisum amendment to gut your ability to contest TCEQ permits.
Deserving of our thanks for opposing the bill are Roland Gutierrez, Donna Howard, Trey Martinez Fischer, Ruth Jones McClendon, Jose Menendez, Elliot Naishtat, Eddie Rodriguez, Ralph Scheffield, Mark Strama and Mike Villarreal.
Those of you who live in rural areas, where you rely most heavily on contesting TCEQ permits for bad projects because your county governments are prohibited from nixing bad projects, will notice that your representatives voted to take away your most useful venue of protest.
Although there were some good things that passed with the TCEQ Sunset Bill, the debate brought out some very troubling aspects about how our current crop of representatives regard pollution in our State. According to the Austin American Statesman (4/20/11-House passes TCEQ sunset bill but softens agency’s bite), “Republicans swatted away an amendment that would have declared the TCEQ’s mission to be ‘the protection of human health and the environment.'”
So many of us have achieved so much during the past years by contesting TCEQ permits. Now, those rights are severely compromised. Please contact your legislators to express your thanks or your displeasure as warranted by their vote on this important issue.
Many thanks to all of you who have been contacting your legislators. The session isn’t over yet. We need to let those who represent us in the Hill Country region how we feel about pollution in our State.