We Were Wondering…

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality strives to protect our state’s public health and natural resources consistent with sustainable economic development. Our goal is clean air, clean water, and the safe management of waste. 

As a large state agency, with nearly 3,000 employees across the state, TCEQ oversees or regulates some things you may be aware of, such as boil water notices and air permits. But there are probably many areas we’re involved in that aren’t apparent to the public, topics like: what is TCEQ’s role during emergencies, and is it OK by air quality standards for a crematorium to burn body bags? Or, what’s the deal with bloodworms? With this blog, we’ll be diving into a wide variety of subjects as they arise, from the bizarre to the mundane. And, we’ll attempt to explain complex technical topics in everyday language.  

This blog is intended to help the public gain a better understanding of the breadth of our agency’s work, how we carry out our mission, and highlight the individuals who pour their hearts into their careers. We’re also launching this platform just to share information that comes across our desks that we find interesting or entertaining. 

We’ll still issue press releases and respond to questions from reporters just as we always have, but we’ll also dig into some of the lesser-known aspects of the agency and share what we learn here.  

We’re eager to introduce you to many of our colleagues. Until then, here’s the staff behind this blog: 

Brian McGovern
Brian McGovern

Brian is a Media Relations Work Lead at TCEQ. He has been with the agency since 2015. His previous career was in the U.S. Army, where he served for more than a decade as a Public Affairs Specialist and Broadcast Journalist, completing numerous overseas assignments. He graduated from Central Texas College in 2014 and is a member of the Public Relations Society of America. Brian is a grammar nerd who spends his spare time with his family, traveling, playing the ukulele, and watching Houston Astros games.

Gary Rasp
Gary Rasp

Gary has been a Media Relations Specialist for TCEQ since August 2020. For 20+  years he has provided communications services to private corporations, state agencies, universities, and not-for-profit organizations, with a particular focus on energy and environmental issues. Gary’s background as a journalist, spokesperson, public affairs consultant, and media liaison provides him a unique perspective on media outreach and crisis communications. In his spare time, he enjoys bicycling, cooking, and baseball.

Brooke West
Brooke West

Brooke manages Media Relations and the Take Care of Texas program at TCEQ. Brooke studied English and journalism at Texas A&M University and went on to earn her master’s degree in strategic communication at Texas Tech University. Her first job out of college was covering the police beat at the Bryan-College Station Eagle. Brooke is passionate about mental health, hiking, and baking. In her free time, you can find Brooke trying to master the  French macaron and stay upright on her dirtbike. 

Tiffany Young
Tiffany Young

Tiffany is a Media Relations Specialist at TCEQ, helping to share the agency’s stories through the news and web content. Tiffany believes communicating what you do is just as important for success as the work you do. Tiffany worked as a reporter and editor at various community newspapers before going into public relations. Tiffany holds a journalism degree from Texas A&M University. She enjoys baking, reading, and swimming.