Larry Taylor:

I have a concern and wanted, like many of us that live within your Senate district, your thoughts and opinions as to a cause of actions in response to the discussion on the fact that seafood has not been tested for toxins over the past four years.

A new public service program on Fox Channel 26 airing May 2 had an interesting yet brief discussion as to the fact that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has not, repeat, has not, tested the seafood supply, i.e., fish, etc. for toxins. As a BOI from Galveston, I am a bit concerned as to the fact that nothing has been done for four years as to the testing of seafood in our bay.

Larry, please do not respond by issuing a political statement; in other words, we do not need a response saying it’s conservative versus liberal or Republican versus Democrat. What we need is a straight answer as to why the state has not tested seafood in Galveston Bay over the past four years.

In doing some research, I Googled studies on cancer rates in our area from seafood, and I am glad to see that research has been done by many different organizations. Yet, my question still stands, Larry, why hasn’t the state been testing seafood samples from Galveston Bay in the past four years? In the discussion last night, there was a brief but informative reference to a dollar figure to renew the testing of seafood from Galveston Bay totaling $300,000 and “the Rainy Day Fund.”

And yes, it was asked and quickly brushed aside as to why can’t we tap into the Rainy Day Fund and pay for testing of the seafood from Galveston Bay? While the rainy fund is to be used for emergency status only, doesn’t the fact that testing has not happened for four years, possibly compromising the economy of your district?

Larry, this should be an issue of real concern for this district. Yes, one study can be spun off as just one opinion, but more than one study is a good indicator of a probable problem, Larry.

Larry, this is not an issue to be scoffed at, or defined along political lines and labels. This is an issue that affects the economy and culture of your district.

I was born and raised in Galveston. Proud to call myself a BOI, Born On the Island, or as I like to say, “Born of the Island.” I may have left for a short period of time, but when push turned into shove, I knew where to go, home; Texas and the Gulf Coast.

So, Larry, I ask a simple question or two, and I hope for a straight, honest and not a political response from you:

1. Why hasn’t the state tested seafood samples for toxins from Galveston Bay in the past four years?

2. Will testing start anew?

Robb O. Rourke Jr. lives in Houston.

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(1) comment

Carlos Ponce

"the fact that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has not, repeat, has not, tested the seafood supply, i.e., fish, etc. for toxins"
That's a function of the Texas Department of Health Services."The mission of the Seafood and Aquatic Life Group is to protect consumers from contaminants, disease or other health hazards transmissible or found in fish and shellfish."
http://www.dshs.texas.gov/seafood/
The last advisory about seafood came out December 2015 where there was a problem in the Houston Ship Channel.
http://galvbay.org/root/htdocs/galvbay/httpdocs/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/ADV-55_signed.pdf
Read about the "Water Monitoring Team" for Galveston Bay
http://galvbay.org/how-we-protect-the-bay/in-our-communities/water-monitoring-team/
Here is the "2016 Water Quality Year-In-Review"
http://galvbay.org/root/htdocs/galvbay/httpdocs/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/2016-Data-Summary.pdf

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