Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: July 29, 2014


  1. Outlook: More transit choices critical if city to remain low-cost place to live (Michael Skelly – Houston Chronicle, 7/27/2014)
    The obvious stakes are the Houston values of embracing innovation and fostering competition. While it’s little solace if you are sitting in traffic, exciting innovations in transportation are making their way to the land of endless freeways.
  2. LETTER: The recent TCEQ meeting in Clear Lake (The Bay Area Citizen, 7/21/2014) Recently, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality(TCEQ), held a public meeting in Clear Lake to discuss the Clear Lake Water Authority(CLCWA) request to dump millions of gallons of treated sewage effluent in the Clear Lake old golf course. During the meeting, the TCEQ explained that, in this case, it is only considering the water quality exiting the CLCWA proposed pipe. What happens after the water leaves the pipe is not this group’s job. Second, the TCEQ staff acknowledged that there are no studies on the health effects of long term exposure to this undiluted effluent. This TCEQ group cannot consider the public health impacts when contaminated run off joins the effluent channel and pools behind resident homes. Because of the narrow ruling parameters, approval by TCEQ will not mean that the CLCWA effluent is safe or that public health is protected.


  3. Texas lawmakers study water woes, desalination expansion (Betsy Blaney – FWBP News, 7/20/2014)
    Hundreds of miles of Texas coastline may offer more than a scenic view in the coming years. One day, it could help solve the state’s water woes. A committee of state lawmakers is studying whether tapping the ocean to turn saltwater to fresh water would alleviate a problem exacerbated by population growth and a persistent drought that has left Texas lakes at near-record lows. The committee is also evaluating the benefits of building more desalination plants farther inland to filter brackish water, and plans to submit a report of its findings before the Legislature meets in January. The report could include legislative proposals aimed at expanding the technology across Texas.
  4. Six Years Later, Still No Consensus on Proposed ‘Ike Dike’ (Laurie Johnson – Houston Public Media, 7/17/2014)
    The Ike Dike would be a coastal barrier protecting the Houston-Galveston region from hurricane storm surge. It’s an idea under research at Texas A&M University and promoted by the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership. Bob Mitchell is the president of that group. He says the dike would extend from the Sabine Pass to the San Luis Pass to protect Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Channel. Opponents of the plan do agree that some sort of protection should be put in place to prevent massive loss of life and infrastructure. But Page Williams with the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club says it’s not clear how or if the Ike Dike would work.


  • 28 July
    • Think It’s Hot In Austin? Get Used To 110 (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
  • 26 July
  • 25 July
    • Texas, gas states biggest winners under EPA carbon rules: report (Planet Ark News)
    • Colorado River advocacy groups squaring off in water fight (Connie Swinney – Daily Trib)
    • Clean Air Leaders To Preview EPA Hearings On Historic Climate Pollution Plan, GFA To Release Poll Findings On Communities Of Color & Climate Change (Street Insider)
  • 24 July
    • Tesla’s Interest In Dallas County Inland Port Raises Profile Of Quiet Area (Shelley Kofler – Kera News)
    • Rollin’ on the river; Cleanup effort to make Cedar River more accessible (Eric Johnson – Austin Daily Herald)
    • EPA: No comment on fracking air pollution (Jim Morris – Yahoo! News)
    • Under Water: The EPA’s Struggle to Combat Pollution (Naveena Sadasivam – ProPublica)
    • States Against E.P.A. Rule on Carbon Pollution Would Gain, Study Finds (Coral Davenport – The New York Times)
    • Buck Creek Watershed Protection Plan Accepted by EPA (AgriLife Today)
  • 23 July
    • Reports map hotter city temps, urge planning based on climate “realities” (Texas Climate News)
    • Texas Slams EPA Website that Compares State Pollution Enforcement (Dave Fehling – StateImpact)
    • Drinking Water Systems Draw Federal Concerns (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
    • Parched Texas town turns to sewage water to keep city flush with water (Marice Richter – Planet Ark)
  • 22 July
    • Funnel cloud passes over Texas refining hub, no damage (Erwin Seba and Tom Brown – Planet Ark News)
    • Climate Change Clouds Future of El Niño Forecasting (Dylan Baddour – StateImpact)
    • Nuverra Environmental Solutions : Updates on Texas Court Case Involving Subsidiary Heckmann Water Resources (4-Traders)
  • 21 July
    • LETTER: The recent TCEQ meeting in Clear Lake (The Bay Area Citizen)
    • Sheep Keeping Grass Under Control At OCI Solar “Farm” In San Antonio (Ryan Loyd – Texas Public Radio)
    • Major Investment in the U.S.: Air Liquide Expands its Relationship with OCI N.V. in Beaumont, Texas (North Fork Vue)
    • EPA to hold Aug. 5 public hearings on tightening refinery emissions standards (Deer Park Broadcaster)
  • 20 July
  • 17 July
  • 14 July
    • Water Planners Focus on Bigger Texas, Not a Hotter One (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)

Houston Parks Board seeks Communications Manager

Houston Parks Board is seeking a Communications Manager to centralize communications within the organization. The Communications Manager is responsible for the successful development and implementation of the communications strategy designed to promote the Houston Parks Board and its various projects, advocacy and fundraising efforts. Responsibilities include brand management; messaging; develop strategy and implementation plan for communicating the projects, fundraising and advocacy of Houston Parks Board; community contact – serve as the first point of contact for Houston Parks Board and Bayou Greenways 2020 including monitoring and responding to inquiries that arrive through the website, phone, email or social media; develop strategy and oversee the implementation of website improvements, social media, email communications and media relations; create programs to increase subscription/traffic/distribution of the organizations various marketing tools; assist with planning and organizational budget development; project-manage the creation of Houston Parks Board Annual Report; manage a Communications Coordinator; manage a public relations firm that may be assisting with media relations and other communications support. Please submit cover letter and resume w/dates to: Roksan Okan-Vick FAIA, Executive Director, Houston Parks Board 300 North Post Oak Lane, Houston, TX 77024; or via fax 713-942-7664Houston Parks Board Communications Manager – 2014