Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: July 8, 2014

Featured

  1. Residents, experts fear cap over toxic chemicals won’t hold up (Matthew Tresaugue – Houston Chronicle, 7/3/2014)
    Three years ago, two pits of paper mill sludge that had long been polluting the San Jacinto River were capped and sealed. This has helped keep that sludge out of the river. However, with increasing storms and flooding, residents are now calling for the removal of the chemicals from the pits. The recurrent flooding could weaken the integrity of the pits and allow cancer-causing dioxins into the environment.
    www.houstonchronicle.com
  2. Court: Texas not liable for death of cranes (Matthew Tresaugue- Houston Chronicle, 6/30/2014)
    Recently a federal court overturned a lower court ruling and determined that Texas was not to blame for the high number of deaths of the endangered whooping cranes. The court ruled that this was a unique event that could not have been predicted or controlled. This overturned the previous ruling that ordered the state to supply enough water for habitat maintenance before issuing any new permits for water withdrawal.
    www.houstonchronicle.com
  3. Water-cleanup catalysts tackle biomass upgrading (RICE News, 6/26/2014)
    Rice University chemical engineer Michael Wong has been researching the catalytic potential of palladium-gold nanoparticles in cleaning polluted water. These metallic specks break down carcinogenic and toxic compounds. Wong’s latest study tested whether palladium-gold nanocatalysts could convert glycerol, a waste byproduct of biodiesel production, into high-value chemicals. Data showed that an ideal catalyst could be formed with the right balance of palladium and gold.
    http://news.rice.edu

EcoNotes

  • 7 July
  • 5 July
    • Houston a top-20 city for traffic congestion, study says (Josh Cain – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
  • 3 July
    • Residents, experts fear cap over toxic chemicals won’t hold up (Matthew Tresaugue – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Houston giant named top green energy company of 2014 (Nora Olabi – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
    • Seem Hazy in Central Texas? It’s All Saharan Dust in the Wind (Dylan Baddour – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • An Expedition on the Disappearing Rio Grande (Brandi Grissom – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
  • 2 July
    • Announcing the merger of Houston Tomorrow & BetterHouston (5 Corners District)
      http://5cornersdistrict.org
    • Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan sues 10 companies, demands $23 million for Gulf oil spill (The Spring Observer)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • Door Knocking for a Healthy Gulf (Anna Dvorak – Gulf Restoration Network Blog)
      https://healthygulf.org
    • Texas cities are embracing their rivers again. (Russell Roe – Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine)
      http://tpwmagazine.com
    • The sand and surf of Padre Island National Seashore create a place of isolation and beauty. (Chase A. Fountain – Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine)
      http://tpwmagazine.com
    • When there’s not enough for all, who gets water from the Colorado River? (Jenna Craig – Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine)
      http://tpwmagazine.com
    • Four years after Gulf oil spill, some Texas restoration projects are set to begin.  (Sheryl Smith-Rodgers – Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine)
      http://tpwmagazine.com
  • 1 July
    • Texas wins a round in court fight over whooping cranes, water allocation (Texas Climate News)
      http://texasclimatenews.org
    • Groundbreaking for new grocery store in Houston food desert (Atara Lindenbaum – Houston Tomorrow)
      www.houstontomorrow.org
    • Boat draining now mandatory at all Texas lakes (Mark Haslett – KETR News)
      http://ketr.org
    • Don’t Pick Up Aquatic Hitchhikers: New Texas Boating Rules Start Today (Dylan Baddour – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • New state law aimed at protecting Texas waterways (Jeremy Desel – WFAA 8 News)
      www.wfaa.com
    • EPA’s CO2 Rule and the Back Door to Cap & Trade (The Energy Collective)
      http://theenergycollective.com
    • The Q&A: Blair Fitzsimons of the Texas Agricultural Land Trust (John Reynolds – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
  • 30 June
  • 29 June
    • Boom Meets Bust in Texas: Atop Sea of Oil, Poverty Digs In (Manny Fernandez and Clifford Krauss – The New York Times)
      www.nytimes.com
  • 28 June
    • Down the drain: Nearly 300 million gallons of water for 10 Texas cities in 2013 (Nicole C. Brambila – Lubbock Avalanche Journal)
      http://lubbockonline.com
  • 27 June
    • Chicken kicks up legal skirmish in oil patch (Matthew Tresaugue – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Everglades restoration project has had modest impact, report shows (Reuters)
      www.reuters.com
    • TxDOT pledges $25 million for Uptown BRT (David Crossley – Houston Tomorrow)
      www.houstontomorrow.org
    • Why Transit Matters for Houston’s Future (Kelsey A. Walker and Stephen L. Klineberg – Kinder Institute, Rice University)
      http://kinder.rice.edu
    • Council Endorses EPA Emissions Rule (Lizzie Jesperson – The Austin Chronicle)
      www.austinchronicle.com
  • 26 June
  • 25 June
  • 24 June
  • 23 June

Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: July 1, 2014

Featured

  1. Landing in Houston: ‘Like sliding down a banister’ (Rob Holmes – World Magazine, 6/27/2014)
    Houston is set to be the first city to implement the NextGen project at its airports, which is designed to save fuel, time, and money. Airports will switch from the current radar-based traffic control system to a GPS satellite-based program. While enhancing passenger safety and reducing delays, this program could also result in  “648,000 fewer nautical miles flown, 3 million less gallons of fuel used, and carbon exhaust cut by up to 31,000 metric tons.”
    www.worldmag.com
  2. Corridor to develop master plan (Lindsay Peyton – Houston Chronicle, 6/24/2014)
    Enormous business and population growth has the Energy Corridor Management District developing a new master plan to better accommodate pedestrians, bicycles, and transit vehicles. The master plan could include a Livable Centers bridge that spans I-10 and an update to the Energy Corridor’s Livable Centers Study that was completed four years ago. Growth in the corridor has been much higher than expected, with 17 buildings under construction and 10 more being planned.
    www.chron.com
  3. Supreme Court gives EPA another victory in Texas’ bid to thwart CO2 rules (Bill Dawson – Texas Climate News, 6/24/2014)
    Once again, the Supreme Court upheld an EPA regulation that requires emission-lowering construction permits at large new industrial facilities or existing plants where major modifications are planned. This requirement was challenged by Texas, business groups, and other states. This is just the latest ruling in a long battle with the EPA.
    http://texasclimatenews.org

EcoNotes

  • 27 June
    • Landing in Houston: ‘Like sliding down a banister’ (Rob Holmes – World Magazine)
      www.worldmag.com
    • Chicken kicks up legal skirmish in oil patch (Matthew Tresaugue – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • New Boating Regulations in Texas Intended to Curb Invasive Species (Laurie Johnson – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Here’s 5 Challenges to Texas Water That Might Surprise You (Dylan Baddour and Terrence Henry – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • EPA withholding release of report on earthquakes linked to disposal wells (Katie Colaneri – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Federal Government Targets Oil Industry for Underpaying Workers (Dave Fehling, KUHF News/StateImpact Texas – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • High-tech benches that can charge phones, monitor air quality to debut in Boston parks (David Harris – Boston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
  • 26 June
    • New NASA images highlight US air quality improvement (Kathryn Hansen – Phys.Org)
      http://phys.org
    • Texas’ recent rains improve drought, lake levels (OA Online)
      www.oaoa.com
    • How New Transmission Lines Are Bringing More Wind Power to Texas Cities (Terrence Henry – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • U.S. retailers look to limit pesticides to help honeybees (Carey Gillam – Planet Ark)
      http://planetark.org
    • Texas A&M Forest Service Urges Citizens to use Caution During July 4th Holiday (KBTX News)
      www.kbtx.com
    • U.S. Commerce Department announces 2014 regional fishery council appointments (NOAA)
      www.noaanews.noaa.gov
  • 25 June
    • Feds Give OK To Start Review For Dallas-Houston High-Speed Rail (Bradford Pearson – D Magazine)
      http://frontburner.dmagazine.com
    • Don’t Mess with Houston: Dealing with the Bayou City’s Litter Problem (Michael Hagerty – Houston Matters)
      www.houstonmatters.org
    • Industry touts economic effect of Keystone’s southern leg on Texas (Ryan Holeywell – Fuel Fix)
      http://fuelfix.com
    • New tests find bee-killing pesticides in 51% of “bee-friendly” plants from garden centers across U.S. and Canada (Luke Metzger – Environment Texas)
      www.environmenttexas.org
    • Republicans Wage Anti-’Secret Science’ Campaign Against The EPA (Brad Johnson – Huffington Post)
      www.huffingtonpost.com
    • Proposed Dallas-Houston Rail Line to Get Federal Review (Aman Batheja – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • As Renewables Grow in Texas, Battles Over Fees and Subsidies Emerge (Mose Buchele – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Concrete Progress: No Fruit Left Behind (Peter Brewitt – Orion Blog)
      www.orionmagazine.org
    • The Mongerji Letters (Geetha Iyer – Orion Magazine)
      www.orionmagazine.org
    • As Renewables Grow in Texas, Battles Over Fees and Subsidies Emerge (Mose Buchele – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • U.S. to face multibillion-dollar bill from climate change: report (Sharon Begley – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • With heat and humidity, areas will be ‘unsuited for outdoor activity’ (Sharon Begley – Planet Ark)
      http://planetark.org
    • Houston NextGen Project completed ahead of schedule (Thomas Net News)
      http://news.thomasnet.com
    • Texas officials respond to complaints about human waste fertilizer (Brett Shipp, WFAA – KHOU News)
      www.khou.com
  • 24 June
    • Will Dispute Sink $6 Million Buffalo Bayou Erosion Plan? (Ted Oberg – ABC 13 News)
      http://abc13.com
    • Corridor to develop master plan (Lindsay Peyton – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • Supreme Court gives EPA another victory in Texas’ bid to thwart CO2 rules (Bill Dawson – Texas Climate News)
      http://texasclimatenews.org
    • New report puts price tag on climate change in US (Andrea Thompson – Texas Climate News)
      http://texasclimatenews.org
    • Officials recruit Bay-area residents’ input on ‘Back Home’ housing project (Lindsay Peyton – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • Houston Parks and Recreation Department Community Gardens Will Grow For Good (City of Houston News)
      www.houstongovnewsroom.org
    • Feds Target Oil and Gas Industry for Underpaying Workers (Dave Fehling – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • ‘Dead zone’ the size of Connecticut expected along Louisiana coast, scientists say (Mark Schleifstein – NOLA News)
      www.nola.com
    • How Texas Could Easily Meet New Carbon Regulations (Bentham Paulos – Green Tech Grid)
      www.greentechmedia.com
  • 23 June
  • 21 June
    • EPA rules do not impose crippling burdens; instead they benefit public health (Adrian Shelley – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Fossil fuels offer human benefits that renewable energy sources can’t match (Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • New $1 million grant to fund Rice study on Houston-area urban development (The Rancher)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • Feral hogs cross the border (Charles Kuffner – Off the Kuff)
      http://offthekuff.com
  • 20 June
  • 19 June
  • 18 June
    • How Wasted Gas From Drilling Could Save Millions of Gallons of Texas Water (Dylan Baddour – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
  • 16 June
    • Office of Sustainability Relaunches its Blog (University of Houston)
      www.uh.edu
  • 10 June