Victoria

Over 140 residents of the Coastal Bend region gathered on Sept. 27th to discuss the upcoming TCEQ Sunset Review. The purpose of the Victoria Sunset Town Hall was to provide a forum for citizens to learn about the Sunset Review process, how to impact the process, and provide an opportunity for residents to engage in face-to-face dialogue with decision makers.

Goliad County realtor and historian Raulie Irwin moderated the event. Panelists included Senator Glenn Hegar, Chair of the Sunset Advisory Commission; Larry Soward, a former, Commissioner of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ); Donna Phillips, TCEQ Area Director for Coastal and East Texas; and Adam Friedman of the Houston law firm Blackburn & Carter. The panel discussion format allowed for presentations by panelists followed by citizen commentary and opinions.

Senator Hegar discussed how the Sunset process works, emphasized the public participation portion of the process and the December 15th public hearing in Austin. Citizen commentary at the event varied, none of which praised the TCEQ. Residents of the Coastal Bend area raised concerns aboout air and water pollution from proposed coal plants (White Stallion, Las Brisas, and the expansion of the Coleto Creek plant), the regulation of water systems in small rural churches, and groundwater quality issues caused by uranium mining.

This engaging and informative town hall provided citizens the opportunity to discuss the environmental and health problems and frustrations in the area. Crossroads area residents are also now aware of another opportunity to ask for specific changes to TCEQ– the Sunset Advisory Commission public hearing on December 15th in Austin. ACT would like to thank the local organizers of this event, the Committee for a Crossroads Town Hall, for their work to make this town hall a success for all who attended.

Agenda:

Crossroads Town Hall Agenda

News Articles:

“Locals Speak Out: Environmental issues were the talk of the Cross Roads Town Hall”