Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: June 29, 2015


  1. Supreme Court denies bid to reopen case of dead whooping cranes (David Sikes – Corpus Christi Caller Times, 6/22/2015)
    “The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday it has denied a petition to reopen a case involving the deaths of 23 endangered whooping cranes, according to Houston environmental attorney Jim Blackburn, who filed the petition as lead counsel in a lawsuit against the state over the deaths. No explanation was given, Blackburn said. This stems from a 2010 lawsuit filed by The Aransas Project, a Rockport-based nonprofit group of environmentalists, business owners, anglers and conservationists who advocate responsible water management. The group in its lawsuit accuses the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality along with the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority of withholding freshwater meant to nourish the San Antonio Bay estuary that, in turn, nourishes the only wild flock of whooping cranes during their winter stay in Texas.”
  2. METRO Wins Award for Best Transit Agency in North America (Jo-Carolyn Goode – Houston Style Magazine, 6/25/2015)
    The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) is the recipient of the 2015 “Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award” by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). The national organization bestows the award annually to transit agencies in three categories. METRO competed and won in the category for largest transit agencies, those which provide 20 million or more passenger trips annually. The award acknowledges transit accomplishments over the past three years… METRO was judged on safety, operations and maintenance, customer service, financial management, sustainability, workforce development, attendance and employee costs, minority and women advancement, marketing, policy administration, and community relations. METRO was also judged on quantitative measures including riders per hour and total passenger miles.
  3. How are Texas cities doing in their energy-efficiency efforts? (Texas Climate News, 6/23/2015)
    “To comply with the Obama administration’s proposed cuts in power plants’ climate-changing pollution, states will have various tools at their disposal in tailoring plans for their particular circumstances. One is increased efforts to advance energy efficiency. Against that regulatory backdrop, a leading advocacy organization pushing greater energy efficiency issued its annual scorecard for municipal governments recently. Texas cities did pretty well as a group. Among the 51 large cities that were ranked by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Austin was in the top 10 (with the ninth-best rating), Houston and San Antonio not far behind (at No. 13 and No. 17), Dallas was just below the top-20 tier (at No. 22) and El Paso and Fort Worth were in the bottom of the middle range at No. 35 and No. 37.”


  • 29 June
  • 26 June
    • Texas Leading Challenge to New Smog Standards (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
    • Houston energy leaders optimistic despite oil slump (Suzanne Edwards – Houston Business Journal)
  • 25 June
    • All systems go for METRO’s new bus network following board approval (Memorial Examiner)
    • Why are bees hurting? A lineup of suspects (Nathanael Johnson – Grist)
    • Texas Just Banned Sales of Shark Fin, Will Other States Follow? (Amanda Keledjian, Oceana – Live Science)
    • Should Millions in ‘Fake Profits’ Be Returned to Texas Electricity Market? (Dave Fehling – Houston Public Media)
    • METRO Wins Award for Best Transit Agency in North America (Jo-Carolyn Goode – Houston Style Magazine)
    • Green Infrastructure, Stormwater and Water Quality (Christine A. Fazio and Ethan I. Strell – New York Law Journal)
  • 24 June
  • 23 June
    • The Reason Beachgoers Are Being Warned to Avoid Gulf Waters in Texas (Gillian Mohney – ABC News)
    • Privatization of Beaches: What’s At Stake in Galveston (Michael Hagerty – Houston Matters)
    • How are Texas cities doing in their energy-efficiency efforts? (Texas Climate News)
    • Landowners’ lawsuit could harpoon environmental activists’ Pa. campaign (Bakken News)
    • How are Texas cities doing in their energy-efficiency efforts? (Texas Climate News)
    • Obama administration sees cost savings, health benefits from climate action (Valerie Volcovici – Planet Ark News)
  • 22 June
    • Supreme Court denies bid to reopen case of dead whooping cranes (David Sikes – Corpus Christi Caller Times)
    • New study finds high cancer rates in East Harris County (Marcelino Benito – KHOU News)
    • Pope Francis’ encyclical makes grade in climate science, experts say (Texas Climate News)
    • Take Care of Texas releases video—how to compost (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality)
    • Are solar compactors actually good for the earth? (Grist)
    • Are ‘Fake Profits’ Driving Up The Cost Of Electricity In Texas? (Dave Fehling – Houston Public Media)
    • Dallas Teacher Named Wildlife Forever Educator of the Year (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
    • Texas Balking as Federal Climate Rules Loom (Jim Malewitz – The Texas Tribune)
    • Watering the land (Valerie Cranston – Current-Argus News)
    • Satellites, Sensors, and Soil (Sara Carney – Texas Water Resources Institute)
    • 5 things to know in Texas energy this week (Suzanne Edwards – Houston Business Journal)
    • Money approved for Texas earthquake study (Max B. Baker – Star-Telegram)
    • Texas Student To Represent U.S. In International Stockholm Junior Water Prize Competition (Water Online)
  • 21 June
    • Texas Sets $8 Billion Bond Deluge for Water Works After Drought (Darrell Preston – Bloomberg Business)
  • 20 June
    • American recycling is stalling, and the big blue bin is one reason why (Aaron C. Davis – The Washington Post)
  • 19 June
    • TX Climatologist: Rains don’t wash away need for conservation (Mark Wiggins – KVUE ABC)
    • Clean Water Act jurisdiction under the newly issued clean water rule (Lexology)
    • Raising a Buzz for Bees and Butterflies (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
    • Storm chasers capture East Austin flooding on camera (Shannon Murray – KVUE)
  • 18 June
    • Tropical Storm Bill, May floods top off Texas reservoirs already on the mend from historic drought (John Boyd – Houston Chronicle)
    • Mayors National Climate Action Agenda Now Includes 26 Cities (City of Houston)
    • Resource managers help turn trash into cash (Sarah Scully – Houston Chronicle)
    • Houston Zoo is Ditching Plastic Bags (Shayla Andreas – The Official Houston Zoo Blog)
  • 17 June
    • Study finds elevated levels of metals, chemicals in Barnett Shale water samples (Max B. Baker – Star-Telegram)
    • Study: To Keep The Drilling Revolution Growing, Address Environmental Factors (Dave Fehling – Houston Public Media)
    • Rice survey: 58% in Houston agree with pope that warming’s mainly man-made (Bill Dawson – Texas Climate News)
  • 15 June
  • 14 June
  • 8 June
    • Solar-powered charging station benefits students, environment (The Cougar)
    • UH Researchers Search for New, More Efficient Materials (Jeannie Kever – University of Houston)
  • 4 June

Port of Houston Authority Seeks Environmental Compliance Coordinators

Get in on the action at Port of Houston Authority (PHA) where You can be part of a great team; where You can help create an environment of excellence; where You can be part of a tradition, over 100 years in the making. Missing out on this could mean missing the chance at an extraordinary career. Are you READY? PHA is currently seeking two Environmental Compliance Coordinators. Under the direction of the Environmental Affairs Director you will act as part of a team to assist in the on-going development, implementation, maintenance, and refinement of the Port of Houston Authority’s environmental compliance and leadership related to the following environmental areas: air, water, waste, construction support, ISO 14001 and environmental management systems, auditing, spill prevention and storage tanks, sustainability, and community outreach. Applicants may see additional information about the position on the PHA website and apply online at http://www.portofhouston.com/inside-the-port-authority/employment/career-choices/. Please contact Leah Oberlin at 713-670-2438 with any questions.