Houston Environmental News Update June 20, 2018

Public servants — those folks who do the hard work, sometimes with little recompense, of keeping our society functioning — seldom receive the appreciation they deserve, and in fact are often denigrated in public discourse. In 2003, the United Nations General Assembly designated June 23 as United Nations Public Service Day, to celebrate the value and virtue of public service to the community; highlight the contribution of public service in the development process; recognize the work of public servants, and encourage young people to pursue careers in the public sector.”

Here at the Citizens’ Environmental Coalition, we’d like to pay special tribute to the many public organizations (and their employees) in the greater Houston region who work to protect our environment and the public, and foster awareness of the special features of our diverse ecosystem. Below is a far-from-comprehensive list, all CEC member organizations.

Speaking of people who deserve some recognition, the CEC recently welcomed a brand-new crew of fabulous summer interns: Carisa Hong, coordination; Robert Kidd, policy and communications; Jazmin Avellaneda, policy and communications; Cynthia Arroyo, bookkeeing; Maura McCampbell, policy and communications; Tyler O’Shea, communications; and Kirsty Michel, policy and communications. If you happen to see them out and about, please make them feel welcome!


Houston Green Film Series: Evolution of Organic
Please join CEC, the Houston Green Film Series, Rice Media Center, and additional partners for Evolution of Organic on Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Arrive at 6:30 for conversation, networking, and a light meal. We’ll begin the film promptly at 7:00. Mark Kitchell’s Evolution of Organic brings us the story of organic agriculture, told by those who built the movement. Not just a history, the film looks forward to exciting and important futures: the next generation who are broadening organic; what lies “beyond organic”; and carbon farming and sequestration as a solution to climate change – maybe the best news on the planet. Learn more on Facebook.
On July 18, plan to join us for STRAWS, in recognition of Plastic Free July.

Vox Storytellers 2018: Houston Environmental Stories
On June 30, 2018, CEC will partner with several other environmental organizations and the Houston-based arts and advocacy network Vox Culture in presenting “Vox Storytellers 2018.” The event will feature four speakers of diverse backgrounds (including architect and valued occasional CEC volunteer Kim Schaefer) who will share their stories in a public conversation about the environmental challenges faced by the city. The free event will be held at Cafeza, 1720 Houston Ave. For more information and to RSVP, visit eventbrite.com.

Please save the date–or even better, register–for CEC’s Greater Houston Environmental Summit on Friday, August 10, 2018.

Annually, CEC hosts a networking and learning event for the extraordinary people who work at or are interested in the work of environmental organizations in the greater Houston region.

This year’s program includes:

  • Excellent Featured Speakers — See the full descriptions.
    • John Magera , Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR and Houston Zoo
    • John W Nielsen-Gammon, Ph.D., Texas A&M & Texas State Climatologist
    • Jaime González (The Nature Conservancy)
    • Glen Miracle (Laughing Frog Farm)
    • Paula Paciorek (Galveston Bay Foundation)
    • Elena Craft, Ph.D. (Environmental Defense Fund)
    • April Ward (Living Paradigm CDD)
    • Amy Dinn (Lone Star Legal Aid); and
    • A representative of the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC).
  • Table Talks: Small group discussions with experts on a variety of topics related to our post-Harvey theme, including impacts on our air and water quality, environmental justice initiatives, wildlife and landscape conservation, and efforts to build resiliency for our future.  A cross between a breakout session and speed networking.
  • Exhibit tables from CEC member groups and local businesses. (See the registration page to reserve your exhibit table.)
  • Delicious, locally-grown food from Pat Greer’s Kitchen.
  • A few surprises 🙂

Further event details are provided on the Eventbrite Registration page.

Scroll down to read notes from our member organizations and the community, or view the emailed version of the newsletter, which includes a green job listing.


Texas Railroad Commission Open Meeting Agenda – 19 June, 2018

The following items were to be taken up for discussion and/or decision by the Railroad Commission of Texas on the 19 June, 2018.

Items 50 through 180 of this agenda constitute underground pipeline damage prevention second of the Texas administrative code (Title 16, Part 1, Chapter 18). It contains a total of 44 violations in the Houston area (items 53, 57, 63, 68, 70-71, 124, 126-127, 130, 133-135, 140-143, 145, 147-148, 153-154, 157, 161-162, 164-165, 168, 170, 174) which breach the following rules:

  • 18.3 – Excavator Notice to Notification Center.
  • 18.4 – Excavator Obligation to Avoid Damage to Underground Pipelines.
  • 18.8 – Operator Marking Requirements.
  • 18.11 – Reporting Requirements.

An additional item concerning the Houston area is as follows in item 12 of the Oil and Gas Hearing Division:

  • Enforcement action against Rap Operating, L.L.C. (Operator No. 693654) for violations of a Statewide Rule on the Goolsbee (Gas ID No. 250050) Lease, Well No. 2, Hamman, East (11,150) Field, Matagorda County, Texas; Talafuse Gas Unit (Gas ID No. 257003) Lease, Well No. 4, Hamman, East (Fb A) Field, Matagorda County, Texas; Violation of 16 TAC §3.14(b)(2); Motion for Rehearing.

CEC Welcomes Tyler O’Shea as Communications Intern

Tyler O’Shea is in his second year at Texas State University studying International Relations and Communications as a dual degree. He was an exchange student in Germany for a year where he developed a love for the environmentally friendly way of life abroad.  He enjoys hiking around the Houston nature reserves or running his local trails in Kingwood. He is excited to be interning at CEC, where he has the opportunity to promote environmental awareness in the Houston community similar to what he experienced in Germany. He is looking forward to a successful internship with the CEC!