Texas Legislators Vote to Limit Citizens’ Ability to Protect Their Property, Health

EDF statement from Jim Marston, Director, EDF’s Texas Office

May 1, 2015
Katherine Owens, (512) 691-3447, kowens@edf.org

(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.”

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