AP NEWS

Study: Harvey pollution levels likely higher than reported

August 16, 2018

HOUSTON (AP) — An environmental report says industrial facilities in Texas reported releasing 8.3 million pounds of toxic fumes in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey but later reduced the air pollution estimates by 1.7 million pounds.

The report released Thursday by the Environmental Integrity Project, a watchdog group that advocates for enforcement of environmental laws, says the steep drop could have resulted from Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to suspend state environmental reporting rules following Harvey.

The organization’s findings confirm reporting by the Houston Chronicle and The Associated Press published in a series earlier this year on the government’s inaction following more than 100 toxic spills on land, in water and the air.

A spokeswoman for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality tells the Chronicle that “we vigorously defend our practices.”

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Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com