After at least the fifth petrochemical disaster along the Gulf Coast in 2019, the Houston Chronicle's editorial board writes, "The proximity of petrochemical plants to homes, schools, hospitals, parks and other populated areas makes it vitally important for Texans to have confidence in the state agency responsible for ensuring their environmental safety."
The board continues: "Unfortunately, it’s becoming harder and harder to do that."
Citing the Environmental Integrity Project's new report, "The Thin Green Line," which found that, in the past decade, Texas has cut the budget for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality by 35% even as state spending increased by 41%, the editorial board writes, "The state’s stewards, from the governor to the head of the TCEQ, have been more concerned with protecting the cash-cow petrochemical industry than safeguarding public health. If that assessment is wrong, it’s easy enough for the governor and the TCEQ to prove it by not only investing more in pollution monitoring but also getting tougher with persistent rule breakers."
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