Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: October 25, 2017

Featured Articles:

  1. City could restart curbside recycling in early November (Mike Morris – Houston Chronicle, 10/11/2017. Photo by Eric Kayne.)
    “Houstonians who have been dragging their overflowing recycling bins to the curb every other week only to roll them back again untouched finally should have their cartons and cans hauled off early next month, Mayor Sylvester Turner said Wednesday… ‘We’re hoping that we can start picking up the green bins in the month of November, hopefully the first week,’ Turner said after the City Council meeting. ‘We’ll see how things are going, but based on the pace that things are proceeding, we’re thinking we can speed that process up. That’s the plan.'” houstonchronicle.com.
  2. Trump’s pro-coal agenda is a blow for clean air efforts at Texas’ Big Bend park (Tom Dart – The Guardian, 10/11/2017. Photo by Alamy.)
    “Big Bend national park is Texas at its most cinematic, with soaring, jagged forest peaks looming over vast desert lowlands, at once haughty and humble, prickly and pretty. It is also among the most remote places in the state. Even from Alpine, the town of 6,000 that is the main gateway to the park, it is more than an hour’s drive to one of the entrances. So far from anywhere, it might seem an unlikely location to be scarred by air pollution. Yet for decades its stunning vistas have been compromised by poor air quality that Texas, working with the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is supposed to address. But environmental advocates fear that the Trump administration’s pro-coal agenda will derail the prospects of improvement, at least in the short term. Tuesday’s announcement that the EPA plans to abandon the 2015 Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon emissions came less than two weeks after the agency revealed a revised plan to combat regional haze in Texas and Oklahoma that critics say will do little to cut pollution.” theguardian.com

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Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: October 17, 2017

Featured Articles:

  1. The river is a monster’ Brazos River takes homes, roads, bridges in ever-changing paths  (Emily Foxhall – Houston Chronicle, 10/08/17. Photo by Mark Mulligan – Houston Chronicle.)  Swollen by torrential rains, the Brazos threatened hundreds of homes — even whole towns and subdivisions — in Fort Bend and Brazoria counties, changing its path once again…. A house that had teetered on the river’s edge fell partially over the bank. Massive trees slipped down the cliffs. Bridges, roadways and rail lines took yet another beating. Harvey added at least another $1 million to the $20 million or more in repairs already designated to protect the local infrastructure. http://www.houstonchronicle.com
  2. Houston’s Curbside Recycling Could Resume in November, Turner Says (Joseph Fanelli – Houston Press, 10/12/2017. Photo from Mayor Sylvester Turner Facebook page.)
    “With more than 1 million cubic yards of debris picked up from Hurricane Harvey, Houston Solid Waste Management is eyeing November to resume curbside recycling pickup in the city, Mayor Sylvester Turner said at a press conference on Wednesday.” http://www.houstonpress.com
  3. Environmental groups denounce Trump override of climate plan (Michael Biesecker and Adam Beam- Associated Press)                                                      “A coalition of left-leaning states and environmental groups are vowing to fight the Trump administration’s move to kill an Obama-era effort to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.Speaking Monday in the coal-mining state of Kentucky, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said he would be issuing a new set of rules overriding the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s drive to curb global climate change. “The war on coal is over,” Pruitt declared….” http://www.houstonchronicle.com

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Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: October 10, 2017

Featured Articles:

  1. As Harvey Repairs Continue, Bayou Partnership Considers The Future of Houston Greenspaces  (Travis Bubenik – Houston Public Media, 9/22/17. Photo by Don Geraci – Houston Public Media.) “A month after Harvey, there’s already talk about expanding Buffalo Bayou Park. Harvey damaged much of the park, but the group that takes care of it says the storm could be an opportunity as well.
    ‘Everyone’s saying that this is the new norm for Houston and for really the country and the world,’ said Anne Olson, President of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership. The non-profit the park saw almost 39 feet of water during Harvey and the storm destroyed hundreds of trees and damaged trails. The bayou’s greenways were designed to flood, but not to withstand this size of a flood.”  http://www.houstonpublicmedia.org/ 
  2. Research team maps Harvey’s toll on Galveston Bay (Alex Stuckey – Houston Chronicle, 10/3/2017. Photo by Yi-Chen Lee – Houston Chronicle.)
    “The water samples taken in recent weeks will be used to test for sewage, pharmaceuticals, metals and other chemicals, for example, that may have reached the bay because of Harvey. And as more and more troubling reports are made about what has spilled as a result of Harvey, it seems unlikely the bay has been spared. Indeed, that night, hours after the group had finished collecting water for the day, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that Harvey caused a leak in the waste pits, one of the city’s most dangerous and vulnerable Superfund sites. A sample taken by the EPA found concentrations of dioxin – one of the most potent human carcinogens – at 2,000 times higher than the level at which the EPA requires cleanup. The EPA said Thursday that the dioxin in the waste material isn’t easily dissolvable but it could migrate further into the surrounding sediments. Supplemental sampling will conclude to what extend it migrated, if at all. Experts also are concerned about the amount of raw sewage that may have reached the bay after Harvey, as wastewater treatment plants struggled to remain operating both during and after Harvey.” http://www.houstonchronicle.com/
  3. EPA to propose ending Obama- era Clean Power Plant: report (Julia Manchester – The Hill, 10/4/2017) “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is ready to repeal the centerpiece regulations former President Obama instituted to fight climate change,  according to a department document obtained by Reuters.Reuters reports that the document was distributed to the agency’s Regulatory Steering Committee, and that it proposes to repeal Obama’s Clean Power Plan.President Trump has already announced he would pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, and he launched a review of the Obama plan in March. The Clean Power Plan was the main way Obama had hoped to meet U.S. obligations to reduce climate emissions under the Paris deal.
    This would be the first major action taken by Trump to roll back the program.” http://thehill.com

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