Senator’s bill would fine Texans for multiple environmental complaints that don’t lead to enforcement

The bill would impose fines when residents make more than three complaints to the state environmental agency in a year if they don’t result in enforcement action. Critics warn the bill would discourage people from reporting pollution.

By Alejandra Martinez, The Texas Tribune and Martha Pskowski, Inside Climate NewsApril 18, 2023 11:22 am, , ,

From the Texas Tribune:

Shelby Tauber for The Texas Tribune

Hunter walks along the fence separating her property and land owned by the concrete batch plants next door in Gunter on March 21. Hunter says wastewater and air pollution from the plants have affected her ability to raise cattle.

Shelby Tauber for The Texas Tribune

Hunter spreads out photos taken of her land over the years, along with responses from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to complaints made by Hunter and advocacy group Gunter Clean Air. Since the concrete batch plants were built next to her ranch, Hunter says her quality of life has been impacted by the persistent air, noise and light pollution.

Slow response to complaints could lead to missed violations, critics say

Bill clashes with Sunset review recommendations

Shelby Tauber for The Texas Tribune

A concrete truck is washed at a concrete batch plant.

Gunter residents prepare for fight

Shelby Tauber for The Texas Tribune

After moving with her six children to Gunter for a better quality of life, Diamond learned of residents’ environmental concerns about concrete batch plants and became a lead advocate for Gunter Clean Air, a local group working to limit pollution in the town.