Announced by the lamentably un-singed press staff of Governor Rick Perry this morning, Texas received the gilded implement from Area Development magazine.
Can you feel that business-friendly climate breathing down your neck?
Can you see it? It looks an awful lot like bad building practices silting up our cherished rivers and streams.
Perry credit's the award to "our state's reasonable regulatory environment."
But we would be remiss not also to credit our long history of not bothering the builders.
Days before the Shovel announcement, the U.S. EPA announced it had settled a number of lawsuits against four of the country's most prominent builders, including Dallas-based Centex Homes, for alleged Clean Water Act violations.
Texas stayed out of it, despite being the third most impacted state in the country.
Of the 2,200 sites included in the lawsuit, 247 were in Texas. That includes 26 housing developments in San Antonio and 19 in Bexar County.
So, while Colorado, Maryland, Virginia, Missouri, Nevada, Tennessee, and Utah are divvying up their share of the $4.3 million settlement (granted, it's not much), Texans get to play with our shiny tool in silted-over riverbeds.
Post-settlement reforms are across the board, however, with the EPA anticipating they will keep 1.2 billion pounds of sediment out of national waterways each year from here out.
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