Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: August 3, 2015


  1. Power to Choose will help consumers filter out electricity plans charging “minimum use fees” (Jordan Blum – Fuel Fix, 7/30/2015)
    “Many Texas residents are often unaware of so-called “minimum use fees” in their electricity plans until they receive extra charges for not using enough power in a given month. So the Public Utility Commission of Texas will add an online filter to help consumers weed out such plans on the state’s Power to Choose website. Many of the seemingly cheapest plans include minimum use fees that increase rates when customers go above or below certain levels of electricity usage each month… A measure aimed at preventing such minimum use fees died in the state legislature this year amid lobbying by electric providers. Houston Democratic Rep. Sylvester Turner took up that issue after the Houston Chronicle reported that more than 70 percent of electric plans available in the Houston area contained terms that penalize customers for not using enough power each month. The Chronicle’s analysis of 309 electricity plans posted at Power to Choose, the state’s retail electric shopping portal, found that plans with minimum use fees charged customers an average of $10.67 a month if they failed to use at least 1,000 kilowatt-hours of power.”
  2. Sugar Land, Houston announce Cullinan Park partnership (Fort Bend Star, 7/30/2015)
    During Monday’s Cullinan Park press conference, Sugar Land Mayor Jimmy Thompson asked the audience to envision what it was like when Stephen F. Austin viewed the land that is now Cullinan Park at Hwy. 6, near the Airport. Thanks to an agreement between Sugar Land, Houston and the Cullinan Park Conservancy, generations of Fort Bend residents will get the opportunity to see the 754-acre park grow and improve. The park is located in Houston’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, just north of Sugar Land. Under the agreement, the city of Houston retains ownership of the park, but the city of Sugar Land will operate it for at least the next 30 years. It will be operated with respect to the Conservancy and the wishes of the Cullinan Family.
  3. Budding Eagle Scout leads marsh restoration effort (The Bay Area Citizen, 7/30/2015)
    “After months of research and logistical planning, Eagle Scout candidate Ryan Rinhart from Pearland will soon be moving forward with a major marsh restoration project on a privately owned property near Smith Point. On Saturday, August 1, more than 50 volunteers will gather at Tim White’s property to plant thousands of stalks of smooth cordgrass along an eroding shoreline of Galveston Bay. The project is part of the Living Shorelines Program at the Galveston Bay Foundation that helps private land owners host and execute shoreline protection and restoration on their properties.”


  • 31 July
    • Galveston Bay Foundation scores national award (Marissa Barnett – The Galveston County Daily News)
    • What to expect from the EPA’s final Clean Power Plan (Gavin Bade – Utility Dive)
    • Houston Leads State In Workers Suffering From Heat Related Illnesses (Dave Fehling – Houston Public Media)
  • 30 July
    • Power to Choose will help consumers filter out electricity plans charging “minimum use fees” (Jordan Blum – Fuel Fix)
    • Sugar Land, Houston announce Cullinan Park partnership (Fort Bend Star)
    • Power To Choose -Or To Pay More? State Of Texas Website Faulted By Consumers (Dave Fehling – Houston Public Media)
    • Oil Layoffs Lead To Economic Domino Effect (Ed Mayberry – Houston Public Media)
    • Budding Eagle Scout leads marsh restoration effort (The Bay Area Citizen)
    • Is this the plan that will save the Dome? (Charles Kuffner – Off the Kuff)
    • Texans Asked to Temporarily Curb Electricity Use (Jim Malewitz – The Texas Tribune)
    • Climate Change Could Devastate the Texas Economy (Huffington Post)
    • HARC and GBF to release Galveston Bay Report Card August 12 (HARC)
    • HARC’s Jennifer Ronk discusses extreme heat and the importance of understanding its health and economic impacts (HARC)
    • Texas residents make skin crawling discovery after turning on the faucet (KFOR News)
    • New AgriLife Research study gives insights on fire management for mesquite control (Texas Water Resources Institute)
    • Stormwater BMPs at Texas A&M AgriLife Dallas center show statewide promise (Texas Water Resources Institute)
  • 29 July
  • 28 July
    • A new plan emerges to save the Astrodome (Gabrielle Banks – Houston Chronicle)
    • Texas Facing Major Climate Change Impacts, Study Finds (Kiah Collier – Trib + Water)
    • City of Houston considers monthly surcharge for trash collection, recycling expenses (Joel Eisenbaum – Click 2 Houston)
    • Metro shows off close calls to warn others to watch out (Dug Begley – Houston Chronicle)
    • Blockwalking with AAH: Rice University’s Urban Immersion Program (airCurrent News)
    • In Latest EPA Ruling, Both Sides Claim a Win (Kiah Collier and Jim Malewitz – The Texas Tribune)
    • Audit Finds “Significant Weaknesses” in GLO Contracting (Jim Malewitz – The Texas Tribune)
    • The Q&A: Sheila Olmstead (Polo Rocha – Trib + Water)
    • TPWD Graduates 23 Texas Game Wardens and State Park Police Officers (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
    • SXSW Eco Announces Additional Programming and Speakers, Schedule Now Live (Houston Business Journal)
    • EPA Ordered to Review Limits on Cross-Border Coal Emissions (Mark Drajem and Sophia Pearson – Bloomberg Business)
    • Appeals Court Upholds Bulk of Obama Air Pollution Regulation (News Max)
    • Saving water with plastics (Catherine Kavanaugh – Plastics News)
    • Candle power to charge smartphone (Ben Gruber – Planet Ark News)
    • Environmental case law update (March – June 2015) ~ Part II (Lexology)
    • UH Hosts Conference on Hurricane Preparation and Recovery (Jeannie Kever – University of Houston)
    • Conservation Yields Undergrad Awards (Eric Gerber – Unviersity of Houston)
  • 27 July
  • 25 July
    • Montgomery County, Magnolia form panel to oppose high-speed rail (Matthew Tresaugue – Houston Chronicle)
    • Keep Kingwood Green answers questions from the community (The Atascocita Observer)
  • 24 July
    • Sign-up to attend HARC hosted Oncor Microgrid tour August 27 (HARC)
    • The Texas Drought’s Over, But The Texas Slow-Motion Water Crisis Is Not (Mose Buchele and Ben Philpott – StateImpact)
  • 23 July
    • UH Moment: Lens Turns Smartphone Into Microscope (Greg Ortiz – University of Houston)
    • Texas Water Board OKs $4 Billion in Projects (Kiah Collier – Trib + Water)
  • 22 July
    • Clean Water Rule would guard streams that flow into Trinity (Sara E. Smith – Star-Telegram)
  • 21 July
    • Interactive Map: Get From Houston To Galveston On Public Transit (Gail Delaughter – Houston Public Media)
  • 20 July
  • 17 July
    • Although it is Still Summer, You Need a Plan (University of Houston)
    • White House, EPA Honor Environmental Education Award Winners (EPA News)
  • 14 July
    • UH Moment: Solar Powered Cell Phone Charging Station (Greg Ortiz – University of Houston)
  • 9 July
  • 8 July
    • Gavin Dillingham and Alex Cuclis discuss the SCOTUS EPA air pollution ruling (HARC)
  • 7 July
    • Barnett Shale Research Raises New Concerns about Methane Emissions (Jeannie Kever – University of Houston)

The Department of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) seeks Nurse Practitioner (Instructor)

The Department of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) in Houston, Texas, is seeking a Nurse Practitioner (instructor) with a passion for environmental health and community medicine to join its multidisciplinary team. BCM’s Environmental Health Service (EHS) currently focuses primarily on clinical care, outcomes and risk-assessment research, professional education, and community outreach—with particular attention to air quality, healthy homes, and environmental justice issues in the Houston- Galveston metropolitan area. In addition to seeing patients in the clinics, this person will make home (or other) field visits to help develop and oversee exposure reduction action plans, assist with patient medical compliance, and oversee field-based exposure reduction. For the right candidate, this position offers a flexible schedule and relatively small caseload, allowing for extended continuity of care. https://chk.tbe.taleo.net