How Texas allows industry to spew unauthorized air pollution
Kiah Collier writes about "a scenario that plays out again and again in Texas when industrial polluters spew noxious chemicals into the air during malfunctions and other unplanned incidents, exceeding the emission limits in their state-issued air permits." She continues: "A provision in Texas law ... allows polluters to claim that such emission events are unavoidable to escape penalties," and Adrian Shelley, the executive director of Public Citizen Texas, tells her, "I suspect we would be surprised to know the frequency.”
Here's the kicker. Collier writes, "Even when the TCEQ does fine companies, environmental and watchdog groups and clean air advocates say the penalties are far below what the law allows and aren’t close to being in proportion to the companies’ profits and the potential public health impacts of the unauthorized emissions."
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