May 27, 2019, marked the end of the 86th Texas Legislative Session, which began in January. A plethora of environmental disasters–including multiple floods; the March fires at the ExxonMobil refinery in Baytown and the ITC petrochemical storage facility in Deer Park; and the April chemical fire and deadly explosion at the KMCO warehouse in Crosby–have plagued Houston in recent years. These horrific events raised expectations that environmental-related issues would be a substantial focus of the 86th session. (The subsequent fire and explosion at a second ExxonMobil Baytown plant in July reinforced the need for such a focus.)
And the legislative session, the first since Hurricane Harvey, did indeed put forth some environmental legislation, including increased funds to support flood mitigation. We asked some of our member organizations to give us their feedback on the legislature’s environmental activities.
The following information summarizes reports shared by six of those groups, listed below. For more information and in-depth analyses, please visit their websites.
- Sierra Club – Lone Star Chapter – Cyrus Reed, sierraclub.org
- Texas Campaign for the Environment – Robin Schneider, https://www.texasenvironment.org/
- Bayou Land Conservancy – Jill Boullion, https://www.bayoulandconservancy.org/
- Texas Climate News- Randy Lee Loftis, http://texasclimatenews.org/
- Air Alliance Houston- Bakeyah Nelson, https://airalliancehouston.org/
- Public Citizen- Adrian Shelley, http://www.texasvox.org/