Can't Be Right.">
| Schutze |

The Trinty River "Poses a High Risk to Recreational Users"? That Can't Be Right.

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Environment Texas, an Austin-based research group, made available today a report on Texas rivers that lists the state's most dangerously polluted waterways, particularly those fouled by chemicals that cause cancer and birth defects. And to mark the report's release, at 1 p.m. the group will gather media types and local pols, among them state Rep. Allen Vaught, to wag their their fingers at the Trinity River from the overlook at Commerce Street and Beckley Avenue.

The group's cover letter blames much of the Trinity's problems on "riverfront development and storm water runoff containing chemicals, trash and solid waste." The bottom line, based on scientific data, is that the Trinity is unsafe for recreational uses in Dallas. As in: "The report also finds that the Trinity River running through the Dallas/Fort Worth Area poses a high risk to recreational users." (Odd thing: There's no mention of the Trinity by name in the actual report, only on this copy of a clean-water report fowarded by Environment Texas.)

Hmm. Unsafe for recreational uses. Riverfront development a major cause for pollution. I'm trying to remember. Did Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert mention any of this when he persuaded Dallas citizens to vote in favor of building a major new highway right next to the river? Oh, sure, he must have. What responsible mayor would forget to mention that the river is already full of poison and that building a highway practically on top of it can only make things worse?

Environment Texas is funded with about two hundred grand a year in grants, some of it from our own Meadows Foundation in Dallas. Well, at least they used to get money from Meadows, until I posted this item.

Their press release praises Dallas Congresswomen Eddie Bernice Johnson for fighting the good fight in Congress for clean water. Johnson also has been the single most important funder of the Trinity River Project through earmarks, but her role has been aimed more at flood safety, not the proposed toll road next t the river. And, anyway, life's complicated.

The Environment Texas report is good reading for wonks. For the rest of us, the basic take is this: Head on down to that Trinity River park they keep promising us. Take the kids wading and fishing. Fine. Just make sure there are no grandchildren.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.