U.S. Congressman Michael Burgess (R-Lewisville) is calling for an investigation into the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality after the agency released the results of a audit that revealed several problems relating to their air quality testing methods near urban gas drilling sites in North Texas.
“I was recently briefed by TCEQ on air quality issues in the area related to urban gas drilling,” Burgess said. “I relied on the information I was given, as did many others in North Texas. I find it personally offensive to find out that what I have been told may not be the full story on the air quality issues in the area that affect millions of North Texans. There are a lot of questions that TCEQ needs to answer, and the public is right to demand accountability.”
Among the audit’s findings were that TCEQ used equipment not sensitive enough to conduct the kind of rigorous testing necessary to ensure the levels of toxins in the air residents are breathing are within safe standards. More troubling, the audit suggests that employees at TCEQ knowingly kept this information from the public.
“The public must have faith in the agency designed to protect residents from environmental hazards. TCEQ’s response to discovering that its equipment was not able to properly detect certain levels of toxins calls into question the agency’s credibility. TCEQ must focus its efforts on correcting these grievous mistakes and earning the public’s trust. Those responsible should be held fully accountable, and I believe that a robust investigation by the Texas Attorney General’s office would be appropriate,” Burgess continued.
Congressman Burgess is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations, and a member of the Health and Energy & Environment subcommittees.