Texas regulatory commission battles EPA

Texas regulatory commission battles EPA
Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 4:32am

HOUSTON (AP) - In the decade that Texas' environmental regulatory agency has received two scathing audits, it has changed its name, increased collection of fines and gone head-to-head with oil giant BP.

It has also engaged in a high-profile - and sometimes ugly - battle with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a fight it acknowledges hinders its regulatory abilities.  Critics also accuse the agency of having a too-cozy relationship with the industries it's supposed to keep in line.

On Thursday, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will get a preliminary look at what six investigators from the Sunset Advisory Commission think of the agency's functioning after a seven-month review.  In 2000, the commission harshly criticized TCEQ.  The State Auditor's Office also did in 2003.

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