P. O. Box 1931
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A report released Wednesday by the State Auditors Office
highlights significant deficiencies in the permitting and enforcement practices
of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The audit of the agency in charge of enforcing the state’s clean
air and water laws and protecting the state’s environment details a number of
inadequate and ineffective procedures for recordkeeping, calculating and
collecting penalties, and holding violators accountable, thereby deterring
future violations.Among its other findings,
the report states that:
The report concludes that “if unaddressed, these
inconsistencies could limit the Commission’s ability to collect penalties on a
timely basis, hold environmental violators accountable, and deter future
instances of noncompliance.
The State Auditor’s report reiterates several assertions made by the Sierra Club in a report released this summer titled “Murky Waters: Industrial Dairies and the Failure to Regulate.” The report details the water quality problems in the Bosque and Leon River watersheds due to polluted runoff from dairy concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), and the TCEQ’s lenient permitting process and lack of enforcement. The report is available at the Sierra Club’s website at www.sierraclub.org/factoryfarms/murkywaters.