Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: September 2, 2014

Featured

  1. Shelton, Vickery: Houston not chained to re-create sprawling past – Outlook (Kyle Shelton and Kate Vickery – Houston Chronicle, 8/29/2014)
    What will the Houston region look like in 2040? Based on new Houston-Galveston Area Council projections released in August, our future looks much like our past. But is such a future ideal for our region? With the city taking steps toward the Houston General Plan, a comprehensive planning effort that could guide future local development, we urgently need to consider projections that offer alternatives to the status quo. The Council’s Regional Growth Forecast – widely used to inform policy decisions – and its Regional Land Use Information System map use historical data to project future population, employment and land-use trends in the eight-county region. The current model predicts that an additional 3.7 million people will live in the region by 2040.
    www.chron.com
  2. City to get dedicated bike lane downtown (Mike Morris – Houston Chronicle, 8/26/2014)
    Houston may get its first dedicated, on-street bike lane as early as October, as city officials prepare to convert one lane of Lamar Street downtown to a two-way cycling route connecting the popular Buffalo Bayou trails west of downtown to Discovery Green and points east. The nearly three-quarter-mile path, from the edge of Sam Houston Park to the edge of Discovery Green, will be painted green and separated from the remaining three lanes of traffic by a barrier of striped plastic humps sometimes called “armadillos” or “zebras,” said Laura Spanjian, the city’s sustainability director.
    www.chron.com
  3. Emmett proposes Dome become ‘world’s largest indoor park’ (Kiah Collier – Houston Chronicle, 8/26/2014)
    Harris County Judge Ed Emmett on Tuesday proposed turning the Astrodome into “the world’s largest indoor park” and recreation area, a concept he said would preserve a taxpayer-funded asset and honor the reason his predecessor built the iconic stadium nearly 50 years ago. The county’s top elected official did not present any blueprints or renderings on Tuesday, but discussed a loose concept for an evolving air-conditioned facility that he said could host festivals and other community gatherings, general exercise facilities, hike and bike trails on the upper levels, an amphitheater, a pavilion for concerts and other events, museums and special educational facilities for children.
    www.chron.com

EcoNotes

  • 31 August
  • 29 August
    • Shelton, Vickery: Houston not chained to re-create sprawling past – Outlook (Kyle Shelton and Kate Vickery – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • High speed rail could connect major Texas cities (Amber Downing – KHOU News)
      www.khou.com
    • Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management Working Group to Meet (The Outdoor Wire)
      www.theoutdoorwire.com
    • Bauer Business Focus: Barbara Shook and Texas’ Second Petrochemical Boom (Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Abbott Opinion Murky on Plastic Bag Bans (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
  • 28 August
    • METRO Invites Public to Share Views on Harrisburg Overpass(Guidry News)
      www.guidrynews.com
    • Burn permits up in smoke (Ty Johnson – Valley Morning Star) www.valleymorningstar.com
    • Meet a Scientist: Kirk Winemiller (Sara Carney – Conservation Matters August 2014)
      http://twri.tamu.edu
    • Celebrate Protect Your Groundwater Day Sept. 9 (Conservation Matters August 2014)
      http://twri.tamu.edu
    • Texas A&M research shows getting energy from oil and gas doesn’t require using fresh groundwater (Conservation Matters August 2014)
      http://twri.tamu.edu
    • Drought-stricken trees offer study platform (Conservation Matters August 2014)
      http://twri.tamu.edu
    • ‘Riparian Restoration on Farms and Ranches in Texas’ is now available (Conservation Matters August 2014)
      http://twri.tamu.edu
    • Social media training for natural resource professionals Sept. 10-11 in Austin (Conservation Matters August 2014)
      http://twri.tamu.edu
    • NOAA Seeks Public Comment on the Proposed Rule for the Aquaculture Plan for Federal Waters of the Gulf of Mexico (Julie Anderson Lively – Louisiana Lagniappe)
      http://louisianalagniappe.wordpress.com
  • 27 August
  • 26 August
    • City to get dedicated bike lane downtown (Mike Morris – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • Emmett proposes Dome become ‘world’s largest indoor park’ (Kiah Collier – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • A life on the water (Lisa Gray – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Judge Emmett proposes turning Astrodome into world’s largest indoor park (Guidry News)
      www.guidrynews.com
    • Texas Lawmakers Hear Proposals for Confronting Man-Made Quakes (Mose Buchele – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Texas Finally Buys Long-Planned Conservation Land (Neena Satija, The Texas Tribune – Governing)
      www.governing.com
    • EPA to clean up abandoned plant in Houston area (The Brownsville Herald) www.brownsvilleherald.com
  • 25 August
    • Mandell Park renovation celebration draws mayor and large crowd for dedication (Guidry News)
      www.guidrynews.com
    • Who’s Getting The Best Deals On Electricity In Texas? (Dave Fehling – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Echoes Of The Past In Today’s Petrochemical Building Boom (Andrew Schneider – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • EPA to clean up abandoned waste site that has plagued Houston neighborhood (Matthew Tresaugue – Houston Chronicle) www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Can the private space industry stabilize a boom-and-bust economy? (KXWT News)
      http://kxwt.org
    • Katy teen has perfected sewer fishing (Craig Hlavaty – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • Flares emitting more pollution than refineries (Zachary Toliver – Bakken.com)
      http://bakken.com
  • 23 August
    • Is a drought-buster on the way for North Texas? (Bill Hanna – Star-Telegram) www.star-telegram.com
    • METRO’s System Reimagining Plan Moves to Next Step: Board Review on Aug. 28 (METRO – Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County) (WN News)
      http://article.wn.com
  • 21 August
    • Despite Delay in Vote, Little Change Expected in Proposed LCRA Water Plan (Mose Buchele – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • City Ramping Up Efforts to Reduce Pollution Going to Local Waterways (Radio NB News)
      http://radionb.com
    • Eddie Hood Named Midwest Officer of the Year (Texas Parks & Wildlife) www.tpwd.state.tx.us
    • TPWD Employee Named State Boating Educator of the Year (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      www.tpwd.state.tx.us
    • Game Warden Named “State Officer of the Year” by NASBLA (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      www.tpwd.state.tx.us
  • 20 August
  • 18 August
  • 17 August
  • 12 August
    • Did the Railroad Commission finally get its head out of the sand on “fracking” earthquakes? (Cyrus Reed – Sierra Club)
      http://texas2.sierraclub.org

Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: August 26, 2014

Featured

  1. Houston’s newest neighborhood park looks like a million dollars, but it was a long time coming (Clifford Pugh – Culture Map Houston, 8/22/2014)
    Mayor Annise Parker and other city leaders gathered under the broiling sun on Thursday to dedicate Mandell Park and marvel at how it came about. More than 30 years ago, the city bought the 1.2-acre property at the corner of Mandell Street and Richmond Avenue in the Montrose area for a library and leveled a strip shopping center and homes to clear the land for construction. But when plans changed to locate the library in a church building on nearby Montrose Boulevard, no one knew quite what to do with the old property. It soon became a dumping ground for trash, tires and old furniture until neighbors cleared it and started a community garden. Over the years, they convinced city officials that it deserved to be a park and embarked on a $1.2 million campaign to build and maintain it.
    http://houston.culturemap.com
  2. New State Park Largest Conservation Purchase In Texas History (Florian Martin – Houston Public Media, 8/21/2014)
    Texas is getting a new state park and wildlife habitat. The Powderhorn Ranch is a 17,000 acre piece of land off Matagorda Bay, about 150 miles southwest of Houston. Multiple public and private conservation organizations worked together to secure the property. They gathered at Houston’s Museum of Natural Science to make the spectacular announcement. Conservationists have had an eye on the property for more than 30 years. At almost $38 million, the acquisition marks the largest conservation land purchase in Texas history. Carter Smith, executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, said the sheer size of the land along with its rich flora and fauna are some of the things that make this addition to Texas’ state parks special.
    www.houstonpublicmedia.org
  3. Environmental study begins on high-speed rail from Houston to Dallas (Matt Stephens – Community Impact Newspaper, 8/20/2014)
    The Federal Railroad Administration and the Texas Department of Transportation have begun work on an environmental impact statement for the Texas Central Railway, a 240-mile high-speed rail system between Houston and Dallas. Robert Eckels, president of Texas Central Railway, said the FRA and TxDOT issued a notice of intent June 25 to begin the environmental study. Three routes are being considered for the train, Eckels said, including rights of way along I-45, north along Hwy. 249 through Tomball and along a Union Pacific path along Hwy. 290. Stops are being considered near Bryan College Station and possibly along Beltway 8 or the Grand Parkway. “All [routes] have their strengths,” Eckels said. “The main thing we’re looking for is the cost of construction and to minimize the impact on the communities.”
    http://impactnews.com

EcoNotes

  • 25 August
    • Environmental Justice Advocates Question Houston’s Recycling Plan (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
  • 23 August
    • METRO’s System Reimagining Plan Moves to Next Step: Board Review on Aug. 28 (WN)
      http://article.wn.com
  • 22 August
    • Houston’s newest neighborhood park looks like a million dollars, but it was a long time coming (Clifford Pugh – Culture Map Houston)
      http://houston.culturemap.com
    • The EPA’s Costly ‘Clean Power Plan’ Power Grab (Karen Lugo – Forbes)
      www.forbes.com
    • Ecologists Just Saved Miles Of Texas Coastline Using BP Oil Spill Money (Ari Phillips – Climate Progress)
      http://thinkprogress.org
    • Companies ask Lege for help to fight county lawsuits (Kiah Collier – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Kleb Woods Nature Preserve attracts hummingbirds and their fans (Gary Clark – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Renovated Mandell Park opens with a ribbon cutting and reception (Marc Pembroke – Examiner)
      www.examiner.com
    • NASA’s first green fuel spacecraft figures out eco-power – SlashGear (Chris Davies – Green Sight)
      www.greensight.com
    • Industry Groups Streamline Green Building Tool Development – Environmental Leader (Green Sight)
      www.greensight.com
    • Exxon Mobil touts chemical plant expansion (Fuel Fix)
      http://fuelfix.com
  • 21 August
  • 20 August
    • Environmental study begins on high-speed rail from Houston to Dallas (Matt Stephens – Community Impact Newspaper)
      http://impactnews.com
    • Texas regulators OK expanding nuclear waste site (Betsy Blaney – The Salt Lake Tribune)
      www.sltrib.com
    • EPA urged to reduce refinery pollution (LaGloria – FROST)
      www.frostillustrated.com
    • You might think bikeshares cut down on CO2, but the truth is complicated (Madeleine Thomas – Grist)
      http://grist.org
  • 19 August
    • Texas’ Water Rights System Gets Tested in Drought (Kate Galbraith – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • How Illegal Fishing Costs Texas And Mexico Millions Each Year (Pat Hernandez – KUHF News)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Texas’ Nuclear Waste Dump Poised to Get Wiggle Room (Jim Malewitz, The Texas Tribune – The Gilmore Mirror)
      www.gilmermirror.com
  • 18 August
    • Texas Officials Blast New Pollution Rules For Power Plants (Dave Fehling – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Free Mobile App Available for Texas Hunting and Fishing Regulations (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      www.tpwd.state.tx.us
    • Oil And Gas Industry Added 10,500 Jobs In Second Quarter (Andrew Schneider – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Fracking Eco Worries Breed Fraudsters (Ted Knutson – FA Magazine)
      www.fa-mag.com
  • 16 August
    • State of Texas clashes with EPA on water issues (Matthew Waller – Caller Times)
      www.caller.com
  • 15 August
  • 11 August
    • Reducing hurricane impacts: HARC, university partners studying breakwater islands, public opinions (HARC News)
      www.harc.edu