Texas regulatory commission battles EPA
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.