Yana Skorobogatov, an intern at StateImpact Texas, researched and reported this article.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) announced today that its executive director, Mark Vickery, will retire from the agency this May.
Vickery has spent the past twenty five years working in virtually every area of the TCEQ, including industrial and hazardous waste and municipal solid waste enforcement, waste tires, director of field operations, deputy director office of compliance and enforcement, deputy director office of permitting and registration, deputy executive director. He became the agency’s executive director in 2008.
Most recently, he refused to approve ValeroEnergy Corporation’s request for an environmental tax refund. Valero asked for the money under a state law that says companies don’t have to pay taxes on equipment that reduces on-site pollution. Vickery explained the TCEQ’s decision by citing that the company “does not demonstrate that [their] hydrotreating equipment provides a partial environmental benefit at the site.”
Vickery is known at the Commission for his knowledge of environmental issues that have become more and more relevant over the past decade. “Mark’s knowledge and experience on environmental matters is second to none,” said TCEQ Chairman Bryan W. Shaw, Ph.D. “We’ve relied on that experience for decades as Mark guided this agency through some of the most challenging environmental issues this state has ever faced.
“I’m extremely grateful to have worked with so many dedicated employees at the TCEQ and its predecessor agencies on a wide range of environmental issues,” Vickery announced today. “Texas is a better place because of the tremendous work being done each and every day to vigorously protect the environment using sound science and common sense.”