Illegal Air Pollution in Texas in 2020

Texas industries reported releasing 46 million pounds of illegal air pollution in 2020, a decrease of 54 percent from 2019 caused by the COVID-19 economic downturn, according to state data analyzed by the Environmental Integrity Project and the Environment Texas Research and Policy Center.

The emissions last year during industrial accidents, shutdowns, and other “upset” events were about a third lower than the 72 million pound average over the previous five years. However, the decline will be short-lived as the economy improves, unless the state increases penalties for illegal emissions and closes regulatory loopholes, according to the report, “Illegal Air Pollution in Texas, 2020.”