The environment encompasses all the aspects—natural and man-made—of the physical space around us. A clean environment in the Dallas region supports the health of the citizenry, maintains a productive ecosystem, and promotes economic well-being. The natural components of our environment—air, land, water, and climate—are a complete system that is complex and interconnected, and is directly and indirectly affected by human activity.
Based on the individual and collective awareness and understanding of the environment, a sustainable future can be met through more efficient use of resource practices, which can minimize resource depletion and reduce pollution. In order to support an adequate standard of living, the earth must be able to regenerate resources at a greater pace than living beings consume them. To better ensure that the future of our environment and the resources within it are obtainable, society must fundamentally view the importance of conservation practices.
In the past, industry and environmental activism have been on opposing teams. There has been the notion that protection of the environment comes at the cost of economic growth. However, new environmental technologies can stimulate economic growth. Similarly, environmentalists have themselves at times created ecologically unsound events and upheld beliefs that industry is the enemy of environmental advancement. Ultimately, discord among these groups only impedes the welfare of society as a whole. Therefore, creating partnerships that work toward maintaining a commitment to a healthy environment ensures a more vigorous public health status, as well as making the region a more beneficial place to live.
- Since 1988, the total environmental releases (which include all reported onsite disposal) to air, water, and land experienced an 80% decrease in Dallas County, according to 2002 data from Scorecard, a pollution information Web site.
- The total renewable energy generation in the United States increased almost 1% from 2000 to 2004. In Texas, the overall total net generation of renewable energy increased from 1999 to 2003, resulting in an increase of 84%.
- Between 2004 and 2005, there was a 34% increase in the generation of renewable resources for energy, excluding hydroelectricity.
- Dallas County’s Department of Planning and Development, which handles collection of household materials, averages 500,000 pounds of household hazardous waste per year, with as much as 50% being recycled, according to the North Central Texas Council of Governments’ regional solid waste management plan, titled SEE Less Trash.
- In 2006, Dallas Water Utilities, a non-for-profit department of the City of Dallas, operated three primary water supply treatment plants, which have had no alleged current significant violations in the last three years.
- According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), funding for trails and bike programs in the Dallas Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA) totaled over $83 million for the years 1993 through 2001. The estimated cost to extend and link the area trail systems by the year 2025 is approximately $257 million.
Environment: Ensuring Clean Environmental Resources encompasses 6 aspirations and 12 indicators.