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A, A A Toxic Tour of Texas PHOTOGRAPHS BY SHARON STEWART The Toxic Tour of Texas journeys through a state that prides itself in being the biggest, the best. And it is. Texas has the largest concentration of oil refineries and chemical plants in the nation. Texas ranks first in the United States in the amount of known or suspected carcinogens released into the environment. Texas also leads the nation in the number of hazardous waste disposal sites, 70 percent of which leak and threaten groundwater. And Texas industry discharges the highest level of toxic air emissions in the country. These photographs document the consequences of Texas’ pollution policies. The guides on this Toxic Tour of Texas are grassroots activists farmers, nurses, priests, mothers, ranchers, engineers who have successfully challenged the way government and industry conduct their hazardous waste business in Texas. Integral to their effectiveness is the presence of public interest groups like Clean Water Action, Public Citizen, Texans United, and the Sierra Club, who have educated, strategized, and mobilized for change. What we are now seeing in the statehouse this session are the consequences of their efforts, which question the business-as-usual status quo. Response to the environmental crisis by the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Land Commissioner is heartening, and it is incumbent upon the people to continue to catalyze change. Identify legislation you support, make your concerns a priority in the eyes of your elected officials, and hold them accountable for their actions. Sharon Stewart Entrance to Texas Low Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Authority Monitoring Station, Hudspeth County SHARON STEWART Between their two gates is the worst part of this whole road where the water collects. The water along here was two feet deep. You couldn’t even see the bottom of the mesquites. I tried to pull out and got stuck here for two hours. This is by far the wettest, most runoff area; that’s why I couldn’t believe anyone would put the site here. Mary Alcorn, resident, MacGuire Ranch 16 MAY 17, 1991