by Annalisa Peace
Executive Director, Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance
When people kill random innocents, it is called ‘terrorism.’ When corporations do it, it is called ‘an industrial accident.’
Sadly, a dysfunctional permitting process managed by the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality (TCEQ) provides little protection for the citizens of Texas, as demonstrated by the explosion of the West Fertilizer Company that wiped out five city blocks in West, Texas…I hope our legislators aren’t so tone-deaf as to pass a resolution expressing sympathy for the victims of the West Fertilizer Company explosion – for they are responsible for the conditions that permitted this to happen.
Things haven’t changed all that much in Texas in the nine years since this was written. Still, I have seen many positive developments during the 17 years I have spent with Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance. We are working with a great group of Texans to take advantage of the legislature’s Sunset process to effect meaningful change at TCEQ.
We have lots more friends in 2022 than we did in 2004, and people are more conversant with issues related to managing our water resources. Widespread consensus is forming on addressing the mounting challenges presented by unprecedented growth in our communities and the immediacy of climate change.
All in all, though conditions are getting more serious, I am feeling more chipper today than I was five years ago when America was discussing whether windmills cause cancer. Yes, we have come a long way in a short time. I truly believe that if we all pitch in to advocate for change and change our lifestyles, we can save this beautiful earth that we celebrate today.
Happy Earth Day! Have a wonderful weekend!
The Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance (GEAA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes effective broad-based advocacy for the protection and preservation of the Edwards Aquifer, its springs, watersheds, and the Texas Hill Country that sustains it.
The Edwards Aquifer is the source of the largest springs in Texas and the sole source of drinking water for more than 1.5 million Central Texas residents.