Not that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality helps anyone except the big businesses that support their political cronies' campaigns.
On Sunday, I stepped outside my house in the morning to a strong smell of gas. I conferred with my spouse and he called the Gas Department. A neighbor then drove up and said she had smelled the odor blocks away at church. I went to get tacos for breakfast and could smell it miles away at the taqueria. My husband said the Gas Department would send someone out to check but that they said they were getting reports from all over town. I then checked our neighborhood association's FB page and some friends' feeds and saw that, indeed, people were complaining about the odor all over town. The Gas Department folks showed up and poked around and said the problem was not at our house. The news (or, rather, one local news outlet) reported that the smell seemed to be coming from Refinery Row but that the cause was not known. There was no more reporting on the incident, no kind of warning from the refineries, no reverse alert.
On Monday, a man was found unconscious in an operating unit at the CITGO Corpus Christi East Plant, transported by ambulance to a local hospital and pronounced dead.
When is the TCEQ going to protect the citizens and workers of Corpus Christi, and Texas as a whole? The current TCEQ never will, so we need a new, different TCEQ - one that is required to have a commissioner who is a physician with public health experience and one with no ties to industry. We need to rise up, Mamas, and make them a body that is responsive to the people and not the oil and gas money.
Call your state representatives and senators and ask them to change the TCEQ into a true regulatory body that will protect our families. Call today.