Countdown: 3 Days

Today, my mentor told me that my parents raised me right.

Great job, R & G. Applause. Give yourselves a pat on the shoulder.

He mostly said it because I brought him a cupcake. BUT, he followed the thought up with positive statements about the actual work I’ve been doing. Which is nice. It’s good to know that someone’s paying attention.

My supervisor finally reviewed all of the cases I’d been stacking up in her office, which means I can mail my letters out to the regulated community and close out the cases before I leave on Friday! This is no small thing. I was very concerned they would hibernate in TCEQ purgatory for all eternity if I left before finishing them.


Homeless week is going well. My air mattress holds air, and my two temporary housemates seem to be pleasantly tolerating the extra body in their tiny flat. I try to get out and about after work, so I’ve been hanging out at the local coffee place to avoid taking up too much space in their house.



We had out last meeting with all of the Austin-based interns today. TCEQ’s Executive Director spoke, along with the agency’s legislative liaison and one of the commissioners. All were great speakers, and they all answered my questions well.

Turns out, Commissioner Niermann worked under Greg Abbott (TX’s current governor) while he was still the Attorney General. Niermann had to sue EPA multiple times while Abbott was his boss, and became incredibly familiar with the Clean Air Act, among others. Texas has sued the federal government 43 times since 2009, which seems pretty excessive to me.

There’s a really good article about it here. Check it out. We’ve spent 6 million dollars on these cases, so it’s interesting to know what they’re all about.

Off to swim in iced coffee and work on my Fulbright application.






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