In 2018, Texas petrochemical companies spewed more than 135 million pounds of toxic pollutants into our air — including nearly 25,000 pounds of the cancer-causing benzene in Harris County alone — during more than 4,590 unpermitted emissions events across the state, a new report by Environment Texas has found.
That's double the amount from 2017. But the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the agency meant to protect Texans' health, penalized just 1 percent of those events.
"Whatever TCEQ is doing," Luke Metzger, the executive director of Environment Texas, tells the Houston Chronicle, "is not working."
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