Throughout the month of April and into the first week of May, look for the EarthShare of Texas display and tear-off coupons at the check-out stands in any Texas H-E-B and Central Market stores. As a member of EarthShare of Texas , CEC (and several of CEC member organizations, including Galveston Bay Foundation, HARC, Air Alliance Houston, Bayou Preservation Association, Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Environmental Defense Fund, Katy Prairie Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy in Texas, Texas Sierra Club, SPARK School Park Program, and Texas Campaign for the Environment) will definitely benefit from these funds!
Happy Star Wars Day! Ok, not terribly environmental, but here’s some info about our star. On Monday, May 9, 2016, the planet Mercury is going to transit our view of the sun. You can visit www.timeanddate.com for more information, including how to view that little black dot safely. Speaking of our sun, you might be interested in the efforts of Solarize Houston to make a group purchase of solar equipment at a discounted rate. Scroll down for more information, and on your way, check out all of the other great things going on in our region.
Read on for this week’s news.
- 5 Things to Know About Communities of Color and Environmental Justice (Jasmine Bell – Center for American Progress, 4/25/2016)
“Environmental racism and failing infrastructure have plagued communities of color for decades. The environmental justice movement seeks to rectify the problems created from these issues by ensuring the fair treatment of all people from different races, ethnicities, and incomes with the laws, regulations, and policies that affect their environment. The water contamination in Flint, Michigan, is just one window into the failures of infrastructure and environmental quality that have threatened communities across the country for generations. It has been more than 100 days since President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency due to the contaminated water in Flint. This column provides a snapshot of the environmental justice issues that communities of color across the country face every day.”
- Past week, over $50 million in environmental grant applications in Greater Houston Region were submitted to TCEQ to fund projects that will reduce flooding and improve habitat, quality of life and economic development (The Katy News, 4/20/2016)
“This past week over $50 million in grant proposals benefiting the eight-county Greater Houston Region were submitted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to be considered for funding under the RESTORE Act, part of the gulf oil spill recovery plan. The total amount available for funding under TCEQ’s current request for RESTORE applications is $56 million (www.restorethetexascoast.org). As part of a two-year effort to create the first-ever 8-county Gulf-Houston Regional Conservation Plan (Gulf-Houston RCP), over 50 partners collaborated together to submit the 14 respective projects, ranging in amounts from $750,000 to over $12 million. These projects allow for hundreds of acres in restored prairies, riparian corridors along 14 creeks and bayous, coastal wetlands, reforestation and nature-based pedestrian trails (see attached Joint Letter of Support from the Gulf-Houston RCP Steering Committee and map of the project locations).”
- Texas Court: Houston Overstepped with Air Pollution Rules (Jordan Rudner – The Texas Tribune, 4/29/2016)
“In passing two ordinances designed to regulate air pollution, the city of Houston overstepped its authority and illegally subverted state law, the Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday. The ruling is a victory for a coalition of industrial facilities whose emissions were subject to inspection and possible prosecution by the city. The case pit the BCCA Appeal Group, a coalition of companies including ExxonMobil, the Dow Chemical Company, and ConocoPhillips, against the city of Houston, which sought to penalize companies in criminal court when those companies violated state emission guidelines. Attorneys for the city of Houston argued that the city was simply trying to enforce the standards set out by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, a state agency, by putting in place a parallel enforcement mechanism that would impose fines on the companies even if the Commission chose not to act.”
See other headlines about the Houston region’s environment!