TCEQ Falling Down in Protecting Texans from Oil and Gas Pollution

EDF statement from Colin Leyden, Director of Regulatory and Legislative Affairs

March 16, 2021
Matt McGee, (512) 691-3478,

 (AUSTIN, TX) Today Environmental Defense Fund filed comments urging the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to adopt stronger pollution safeguards for existing oil and gas facilities in the Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW) and Houston-Brazoria-Galveston (HBG) metro regions, which currently fail to meet federal ozone standards.

The reduction of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from oil and gas facilities is necessary for DFW and HBG to meet federal ozone standards and protect public health. These wells also emit large quantities of methane pollution, and TCEQ’s current proposal would leave well over half of wellsites unregulated and emitting upwards of 17,000 tons of methane pollution.

EDF recommends TCEQ strengthen its proposal by requiring oil and gas operators to inspect their facilities for leaks on a quarterly basis, paring back gaping exemptions for low-producing wells, and jettisoning less stringent requirement for inspection of wellsite connectors – a provision that fails to meet even baseline federal guidance.

“Methane and ozone pollution from oil and gas operations across the state are harming the health of Texans and damaging the climate. Instead of stepping up and implementing reasonable, cost-effective controls at the thousands of well sites outside of Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston, TCEQ is choosing to leave nearly 18,000 tons of methane pollution unchecked. Texans deserve more from the agency charged with protecting their communities and the air they breathe from the impacts of oil and gas operations.”

  • Colin Leyden, Director, Regulatory and Legislative Affairs

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