Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: July 22, 2014

Featured

  1. Researchers gauge seaweed fouling beaches (Harvey Rice – Houston Chronicle, 7/18/2014)
    Students from Texas A&M University at Galveston have been measuring the amount of seaweed landing on Galveston beaches in front of the seawall since April. The students are trying to answer two questions: How much seaweed has arrived in Galveston this season, and how long will it take the seaweed to dissolve? This work will help the Galveston Park Board and other cities along the Gulf Coast cope with seaweed that could be an increasing problem.
    www.houstonchronicle.com
    Note: The Chronicle included a second article, by Lisa Gray: Seaweed Gone Wild.
  2. Houston Area Park Waters Itself, Cleans Storm Drain (Florian Martin – Houston Public Media, 7/11/2014)
    Ghirardi WaterSmart Park in League City is the first park of its kind in the Houston Area. It uses lowered flowerbeds, which sit in a bowl-shaped depression with compost, sand, and shale with native clay soils, to collect and filter water. Underground pipes then channel the naturally cleaned water into the storm drain system. The park also has a metal tank that collects rain water from the roof of the pavilion. This water is used to irrigate the plants, reducing the amount of city water needed to keep the park maintained.
    www.houstonpublicmedia.org
  3. Houston’s Experimental Recycling Plan Targets Minority Neighborhoods for Waste Facility (Robert Bullard – OpEdNews, 7/13/2014)
    The Zero Waste Houston Coalition, a group of community and recycling advocates, released a new report, It’s Smarter to Separate: How Houston’s Trash Proposal Would Waste Our Resources, Pollute Our Air and Harm Our Community’s Health, Thursday on the steps of Houston City Hall. The report details environmental problems and challenges facing the its “One Bin for All” trash experiment Houston is proposing to jumpstart its recycling program. The controversial plan promotes a “dirty material recovery facility” or dirty MRF and will direct waste to an incinerator using gasification, pyrolysis or catalytic conversion. The report cites massive air pollution problems with trash gasification or pyrolysis, which are incineration technologies the City of Houston is also considering under its proposal.
    www.opednews.com

EcoNotes

  • 18 July
    • Researchers gauge seaweed fouling beaches (Harvey Rice – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Texas air medical celebrates 20 years of quality care (Justin Zamudio, San Angelo Standard-Times – EMS1)
      www.ems1.com
    • City moves to mow down blight (Mike Morris – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
  • 17 July
    • New Study Shows Rate of Groundwater Decline Slowing in Texas (Dylan Baddour – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • EPA representatives propose Clean Water Act expansion (KVUE News)
      www.kvue.com
    • Google’s Street View takes on America’s gas leaks (Edward McAllister – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • Obama unveils measures to help communities adapt to climate change (Larry Downing – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • Small-Scale Solar Energy Projects take Advantage of Abundant Sunlight in West Texas (Marfa Public Radio)
      http://marfapublicradio.org
    • Despite Obstacles, Solar Gains Ground in Texas (Marfa Public Radio)
      http://marfapublicradio.org
    • Texas could sue Denton if frack ban passes, Land Commissioner Patterson says (Nicholas Sakelaris – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
    • Legislation Introduced to Invalidate CWA Proposed Rule (Wisconsin AG Connection)
      www.wisconsinagconnection.com
    • Agencies respond to environmental group’s phosphorus claims (Josh Bollinger – My Eastern Shore MD)
      www.myeasternshoremd.com
  • 16 July
    • In Texas, Using Fire to Protect and Expand Water Supplies (Dylan Baddour – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Who’s Behind Denton’s Fracking Ban? Head Texas Regulator Thinks It Could Be Russia (Terrence Henry – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Record Number of METRO Riders Are Opting to Stop and Roll (WN News)
      http://article.wn.com
    • Texas judge upholds $3 million fracking verdict (Mica Rosenberg – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • Will the EPA’s New Carbon Rule Survive Judicial Challenge? (The Energy Collective)
      http://theenergycollective.com
    • Do EPA letters constitute a suit? Texas Supreme Court to decide (Amy B. Briggs, David B. Killalea , Stephen T. Raptis, Robert H. Shulman and Susan P. White – Lexology)
      www.lexology.com
    • Health chief: No fast answer to drilling questions (Kevin Begos – The Dallas Post)
      www.mydallaspost.com
    • Legislation introduced to invalidate CWA proposed rule (Dairy Herd Management)
      www.dairyherd.com
  • 15 July
    • Construction Begins on Largest Carbon Capture Project in the World (Terrence Henry – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • As Solar Grows in Texas, Border City Provides a Model (Marfa Public Radio)
      http://marfapublicradio.org
    • Texas drilling company shuts down disputed well (Miami Herald)
      www.miamiherald.com
    • Texas utilities preparing for new EPA regulations (Jim Malewitz, The Texas Tribune – KTSM News)
      www.ktsm.com
    • EPA Followed States’ Lead in Developing Power Plant Proposal, Officials Say (Andrew Childers – Bloomberg BNA)
      www.bna.com
  • 14 July
  • 13 July
    • Climate Scientists: Texas Is Missing an Opportunity (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Houston’s Experimental Recycling Plan Targets Minority Neighborhoods for Waste Facility (Robert Bullard – OpEdNews)
      www.opednews.com
    • State lays oyster reef at Galveston Bay boardwalk (Christopher Smith Gonzalez, Galveston County Daily News – The Statesman)
      www.statesman.com
  • 12 July
  • 11 July
    • Houston Area Park Waters Itself, Cleans Storm Drain (Florian Martin – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Trees for Houston gives away thousands of seedlings (Nate Brown – The Kingwood Observer)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • State to San Antonio: No, You Can’t Own Your Wastewater (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • In the Garden With Urban Harvest: Seeds bring success in vegetable gardening (Bob Randall, Ph.D. – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • Contributing factors to groundwater table declines identified (Texas A&M Agrilife, Science Daily)
      www.sciencedaily.com
  • 10 July
  • 9 July
  • 8 July
    • Houston energy company buys local water treatment company (Jordan Blum – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com

Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: July 15, 2014

Featured

  1. Pollution From Ship Channel and Port Traffic Affects Galena Park (Carrie Feibel – Houston Public Media, 7/7/2014)
    Galena Park, a city on the north side of the ship channel with about 10,000 residents, was recently found to have elevated levels of elemental carbon. The level of elemental carbon in the air indicates the amount of diesel engine exhaust, and a high amount increases risk of cancer. Galena Park is surrounded by highways, freight rail lines, and heavy industry. Adrian Shelley, Houston Air Alliance’s executive director, believes the port authority needs to focus on relieving the traffic jams which cause trucks to idle for hours.
    www.houstonpublicmedia.org
  2. Houston’s One Bin for All Proposal Divides Environmentalists (Laurie Johnson – Houston Public Media, 7/10/2014)
    Houston’s One Bin for All has long sparked debate. This program, which would allow residents to throw all of their trash and recyclables into one bin, would replace curbside recycling. Opponents of the plan believe that the technology is not be capable of diverting 75% of waste from landfills, which is the amount city leaders claim. They argue that no facility that separates recycling from trash has ever exceeded 30% recycling. However, proponents say that this technology has already been proven in Europe and is emerging in the United States. Before implementing One Bin for All, the city will make sure that private companies can meet certain criteria including cost-effectiveness, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and using technology that has a positive impact on the environment.
    www.houstonpublicmedia.org
  3. Climate Scientists: Texas is Missing an Opportunity (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)   While Texas’ Republican leadership touts the state’s booming economic growth, Texas-based climate scientists — some of the world’s most renowned — say that growth has come at a high cost.
    www.texastribune.org

EcoNotes

  • 13 July
    • Climate Scientists: Texas is Missing an Opportunity (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
  • 12 July
  • 11 July
    • Sheep Power: Texas Solar Farm Employs Lamb Landscapers (Jim Malewitz – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
  • 10 July
    • Houston’s One Bin for All Proposal Divides Environmentalists (Laurie Johnson – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • You May Want to Slow Your Coal Roll in Texas (Dylan Baddour – StateImpact) http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • U.S. House Passes Bill Extending Anti-Terrorism Safeguards For Chemical Plants (Andrew Schneider, Houston Public Media – StateImpact) http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Texas Sets Dove, Teal Seasons (Texas Parks & Wildlife) www.tpwd.state.tx.us
    • U.S., China ink coal, clean energy deals but climate differences remain (Valerie Volcovici and Michael Martina – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • U.S. lawmakers threaten to subpoena EPA over power plant regs (Valerie Volcovici – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Advisory Panel to Discuss Red Snapper Management (The Outdoor Wire)
      www.theoutdoorwire.com
  • 9 July
  • 8 July
  • 7 July
    • Pollution From Ship Channel and Port Traffic Affects Galena Park (Carrie Feibel – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Beat July Heat with a Canoe, Kayak Outing (Texas Parks & Wildlife) www.tpwd.state.tx.us
    • Texas A&M Investigation Sheds New Light On Avoiding Water-Borne Parasites in Dogs (Bio News Texas)
      http://bionews-tx.com
    • Dow Chemical’s Water Woes Signal Trouble (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
  • 6 July
    • Salvaging historic trees and crafting unique furniture redefines business as usual at this unique Houston store (Barbara Kuntz – Culture Map Houston)
      http://houston.culturemap.com
    • What Are the Range of Possibilities for Sea Level Rise Projections? (Union of Concerned Scientists)
      www.ucsusa.org
  • 4 July
    • EPA Grants Nearly $800,000 to Improve Houston-Galveston Area Air Quality; Houston-Galveston Area Council will use grant to reduce ozone-forming emissions (Top US News)
      www.topusnewstoday.com
  • 2 July
    • Supreme Court Takes Antitrust Case Stemming From California Energy Crisis (Andrew Schneider – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
  • 1 July
  • 26 June
    • Destroying Buffalo Bayou in order to “restore” it (Susan Chadwick – Memorial Examiner)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com