On Monday, November 19th, the federal district court granted Bayou City Waterkeeper the right to intervene in the lawsuit filed by the EPA and the State of Texas! Their lawsuit, filed on the eve of our own citizen suit regarding the City of Houston’s years-long sewage violations, addresses the City’s longstanding failure to resolve the deficiencies in its wastewater treatment systems.
For years the City of Houston has continued to spill raw, untreated sewage into Houston-area bayous, parks, and residential yards – a problem which disproportionately affects Houston’s lower-income communities.
Despite the Clean Water Act allowing citizen groups, like Bayou City Waterkeeper, an unconditional right to intervene in environmental enforcement actions by governmental entities like the EPA or the State – the City of Houston objected to our intervention. Our goal for intervention and our related citizen suit is to provide transparency and accountability into the negotiation process between the EPA, Texas, and the City of Houston.
Through our participation, we aim to guide their negotiations to solutions that protect our communities, families, and the Lower Galveston Bay watershed from future pollution discharges that hamper our ability to swim, fish, and use our waters throughout the region. This is the City’s opportunity not only fix these long-standing infrastructure problems – but also “future-proof” the system to eliminate the need to address the same problem again in the near future.
Click here to read more on our original intervention request.