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The Boston Globe

Nation

Texas judge rules atmosphere, air is public trust

HOUSTON — A Texas judge has ruled that the atmosphere and air must be protected for public use, just like water, which could help attorneys tasked with arguing climate change lawsuits designed to force states to cut emissions.

The written ruling, issued in a letter Monday by Texas District Court Judge Gisela Triana, shot down arguments by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that only water is a ‘‘public trust,’’ a doctrine that dates to the Roman Empire stating a government must protect certain resources — usually water, sometimes wildlife — for the common good.

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