In 2015 Hilton Kelley stood next to the then-EPA administrator Gina McCarthy as she signed a directive ordering Texas and 35 other states to mandate penalties for industrial facilities when they illegally dump dangerous pollutants, contaminating the air and making people sick.
The purpose of this order was to close a loophole commonly used by polluters after illegally toxic chemicals: polluters claim that the emissions were a result of a "start-up, shutdown or malfunction" at their facility, claiming it was an "unforeseen and unavoidable" situation. Despite the EPA's directive ordering the TCEQ close the loophole, Attorney General Ken Paxton filed suit and kept the case tied up in court until, earlier this year, the current EPA chief and former industry lobbyist ordered to have this directive rescinded.
This calculated political decision has very serious consequences for the most vulnerable communities living on the fenceline of these industries.
“Every day we have to deal with the start-up emissions, the shutdown emissions, the incidental emissions. I mean, it’s killing us.” - Hilton Kelley
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