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Texas legislature

Be Heard on Environmental Issues Shaping Texas’ Water Future

We’ve written before about the state’s Sunset Review process, a top-to-bottom look at the work of — and the need for — various state agencies. This year, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, or TCEQ, is one of the agencies under review. The next Sunset Review of the TCEQ will probably be sometime around 2034, so this is an especially important opportunity for anyone who cares about Texas’ environment to make their voice heard. The Texas Water Development Board is also going through Sunset Review — read more about that here. As the Sunset Commission staff notes in the executive summary of its report, the TCEQ is specifically tasked with promoting public health and safety, protecting...

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Texas Needs Your Help Shaping Its Water Future

State government decisions can have a big impact on our lives, our communities, and the natural resources we cherish. It can be hard to know how real people can similarly shape those decisions. Luckily, in Texas, we have a process called Sunset. 97 percent of Texas is currently experiencing drought. Every 12 years or so, the Legislature takes a hard look at the need for each and every state agency — why it exists, and what value it delivers to Texans. This is called the Sunset Review process, and it includes a deep dive into each agency’s mission, performance and operations. It generally culminates with a bill in the state legislature that keeps the state agency...

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Testifying at the Texas Legislature: We Need to Save Our Fragile Water Infrastructure

COVID-19's economic fallout is straining communities’ ability to protect their water. It's exacerbating historic, systemic inequities in Texas related to access to clean water, flood protection, and sewage service. Communities of color and under-resourced rural areas are particularly at risk. The American Rescue Plan Act provides funds specifically to help communities recover from problems like this, in fact, it explicitly authorizes water infrastructure projects. Despite this, the allocations proposed so far in the Texas Legislature do not include a single cent towards water. On Thursday, Oct 7, the National Wildlife Federation's Amanda Fuller spoke to senators about the need to rescue our fragile water infrastructure....

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American Rescue Plan Act Presents Historic Opportunity for Texas to Invest in Its Fragile Water Infrastructure

Texas lawmakers have a unique opportunity to address the state’s fragile water infrastructure with the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) explicitly authorizing the use of federal funds to make needed investments in water and sewer infrastructure. A broad coalition of rural, conservation, and equity-focused organizations today released a set of proposed guidelines to help Governor Abbott and the Texas Legislature take full advantage of ARPA funding for water infrastructure purposes. “Texas’ water infrastructure needs significant investment,” said Amanda Fuller, director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Texas Coast and Water Program. “A single winter storm knocked out water service for more than half of all Texans. ARPA funds should be welcome news in this regard....

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