Robert Troy lives off of Savannah Avenue in Port Arthur. His home is surrounded by refineries, so what they're releasing is a priority for him. But as a city councilman, he's also concerned about the safety of his constituents.
Councilman Troy is worried about the government shutdown that's forced the furlough of 94% of the Environmental Protection Agency's workforce.
The EPA implements and enforces the rules regulating pollution to protect the public's health and the environment.
Troy said, "That is all we have to hold onto, that's the only thing that we have. The people have to really get these refineries to stay within the limits, without the EPA they can do what they want to do."
But industry officials tell us the EPA has done a good job of delegating to the states, and in Texas, they say the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is also in charge of making sure refineries remain in compliance.
Troy, in the meantime, has set up a Facebook page, Environmental Justice, so the public can serve as the watchdog.
And for companies looking to build or expand a facility, the shutdown may result in delays since the EPA will be unable to issue environmental permits. However, local industry officials tell us the TCEQ can issue many of the required permits.
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