Take Care of Texas News You Can Use - January 2013

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In This Issue

  • TCEQ Year in Review
  • Removing Mercury Convenience Switches
  • Biennial Report to the 83rd Texas Legislature
  • Don't Forget...
  • Stay Involved, Take the Survey 


Take Care of Texas Tips

At Home:

Weatherize Your House

Using proper insulation in your home and sealing off air leaks will help maintain a comfortable indoor temperature, while reducing energy consumption and saving money. Weatherizing by using caulk and weather-stripping for seams, cracks, and openings to the outside of your home, can save you 10% on your energy bill. Properly insulating your home, in addition to weatherizing, can reduce heating and cooling costs up to 20%.



At Work:

Start the Day with Energy-Efficient Appliances

Set your coffeepots and other small appliances to use their built-in timers. Timers can start and stop coffee brewing at specific times. This helps save energy and keeps your coffee fresh. When replacing break-room appliances, consider energy-efficient models. To ensure you get the best product and environmental savings to suit your needs, look for the Energy Star symbol to compare water and energy usage.

TCEQ Year in Review


From changes in leadership to drought planning, the TCEQ had quite a year.  Some facts and stats from fiscal 2012 include:

  • amount of penalties paid: $11.4 million
  • amount paid to Supplemental Environmental Projects: $2.5 million
  • amount of Nonpoint Source Funding awarded for watershed protection: $4.1 million
  • number of compliance reviews of public water systems conducted: 1,734
  • increase in the number of drycleaner registrations: 435

Read the whole article.

Removing Mercury Convenience Switches

Until they were phased out in model 2003 vehicles, many American automobiles used switches that included mercury. These switches most often were used for the convenience lights found in the vehicle's trunk and under the hood.

If these mercury-containing switches are not removed from scrap vehicles, the mercury they contain can be emitted into the atmosphere when the vehicle is recycled.

The TCEQ’s voluntary program—using End of Life Vehicle Solutions—helps auto salvage facilities remove convenience switches from vehicles before they are shredded for recycling. For the most recent reporting period, a total of 68 facilities submitted annual reports. The 68 facilities that submitted the voluntary Annual Reporting Forms reported processing a total of 61,954 vehicles and removing a total of 33,973 switches.

Download and read the 2012 Mercury Convenience-Switch Collection Program Implementation Report.

Biennial Report to the 83rd Texas Legislature


This report to the 83rd Texas Legislature describes the TCEQ's Fiscal 2011 and 2012 programs, services, and results. It is published every December prior to a regular legislative session.

Download and read the report.

Don’t forget…

dont forget

Central Texas Environmental Summit

Jan. 14, 2013

Schertz Civic Center

Rio Grande Valley Water Awareness Summit

Feb. 1, 2013

8 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Brownsville Events Center

Learn about:

  • the value of water in our everyday lives
  • the facts on where the water comes from
  • the importance of water conservation efforts
  • how these efforts can make a difference

Get Involved, Take the Survey

The TCEQ values your opinion on how we are doing and how we can improve—fill out a survey today. Go online, or request a paper copy by calling 800-687-4040.