Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Stands Firm on Air Pollution Standards: A Call for Stricter Regulations


Well-known member
Aug 26, 2023
There is an important announcement for industrial operators and environmental advocates in Texas. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is advocating to maintain its current air pollution permits on target cancer-risk level. The current standard for cancer-risk level is maintained at 1 in 100,000, which simply states that out of 100,000 individuals exposed to a specific pollutant from a particular site, only one additional cancer case would likely arise. This standard has remained unchanged since 2006. However, general public, public health officials and scientists are challenging this stance, contending that the existing approach fails to consider the cumulative impact of multiple pollutants originating from various sites, particularly in regions densely populated with industrial operations. These stakeholders are advocating for a more stringent target risk level of 1 in 1 million, emphasizing the need for heightened environmental safeguards.

Surprisingly, the proposal to uphold the existing standard has surfaced without the inclusion of public hearings or additional comprehensive studies, despite a recent state commission report underscoring the public's lack of trust in the transparency of TCEQ's operations. To gain a more comprehensive understanding of this issue, refer to the detailed coverage provided in the Texas Tribune.
United States
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's decision to maintain the current cancer-risk level for air pollution permits at 1 in 100,000 is concerning. With growing industrial activity, a more stringent 1 in 1 million risk level should be considered to better protect public health. The lack of public hearings and comprehensive studies raises transparency issues. It's crucial to address these concerns and prioritize environmental safeguards.
Judge Kathy Seeley states that the "so-called limitation” to MEPA prohibited the state from considering greenhouse gas emissions and its impact on the climate.

He also found that the amendment to the legislature this year, has violated Montanans’ rights to a clean environment. And it is crucial to protect the state’s natural resources.