(AUSTIN – May 1, 2015) Texas lawmakers voted today to approve a bill that would put Texas citizens and the environment in jeopardy, Senate Bill 709 by Senator Troy Fraser (R-Marble Falls), companion to House Bill 1865 sponsored by Representative Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria). If signed into law by Governor Abbott, this bill will impose a historic shift in the way Texas regulates industry development, significantly limiting the public’s ability to voice their concern for property value and public health in the environmental permitting process.
“The contested case hearing bills by Senator Fraser and Representative Morrison violate the promises Texas made when we received authority from EPA to manage our own environmental permitting processes. There is no evidence of any systematic issue with the way things were being run. These bills are only meant to further stack the deck in favor of industry, which already wins almost all hearings. Senator Fraser’s and Representative Morrison’s bills make an unfair process even more difficult for Texans, ensuring citizens always lose.”
- Jim Marston, Director, EDF’s Texas Office
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Environmental Defense Fund (edf.org), a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and our Texas Clean Air Matters blog.