85th Texas Legislature Regular Session Update – February 21, 2017

The Texas Legislature has filed the following bills for consideration during Texas’ 85th legislative session. The session began on January 10, 2017. March 10, 2017, is the deadline for filing most bills. While the Legislature has begun referring bills to committees, the committees pertaining to environmental bills have not yet begun to meet. You can read more on the Texas Senate News page and on the Texas House of Representatives News page.

The Houston Chronicle published an informative article on Tuesday, “Bill would create alerts for chemical releases,” in which Air Alliance Houston’s Adrian Shelley is quoted.

Alliance for a Clean Texas (ACT) is an organization that promotes protecting the land, air, and water throughout the state of Texas.  Their website, as well as their weekly newsletters, are a great tool to learn more about current environmental issues, organizations that partner with the ACT, and current legislation updates. If you would like to sign up for their newsletter, click here! CEC member organizations that are part of the Alliance include Air Alliance HoustonEnvironment Texas, Environmental Defense Fund, Sierra Club, Texas Campaign for the Environment, and the Texas League of Conservation Voters.


Bills Assigned to a Committee

  • HB 544: Natural Resources
  • HB 572: Agriculture & Livestock
  • HB 815: Environmental Regulation
  • HB 838: Environmental Regulation
  • HB 922: Natural Resources
  • HCR 43: Natural Resources
  • SB 675: Agriculture, Water, & Rural Affairs

Committee Meetings

Houston Environmental News Update February 22, 2017

Scroll down to read notes from our member organizations and the community, or view the emailed version of the newsletter.

The CEC office is in a school building* built about 100 year ago in the old Sixth Ward. Our office–a classroom–has a wall of north facing windows. We have natural light and almost never have to turn on the lights. Even better than the lighting, though, is our view. We look out over a playground designed for gatherings and growing–built while Urban Harvest was a tenant. Right now, the fig trees are leafing, the mockingbirds are singing their hearts out, and the bees are going crazy pollinating the citrus and apple trees, which smell divine.

An even more sure sign of the imminent arrival of spring is the proliferation of environmental events. This Saturday alone, CEC has 28 events listed on our event calendar–and we are adding more all the time.

* MECA, who owns and manages the building, provides music, art, tutoring, and counseling, so the halls are often filled with ballet folklorico dancers, art exhibits, mariachi music, and children. Other tenants of the building include nonprofits such as United We Dream (the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation), and studios for Forest Photography, the Film Acting Academy, an opera instructor, a tango school, a yoga school, a percussionist, a language school, and more we haven’t met yet. A giant burr oak frames our view of downtown, which is with walking distance. Buffalo Bayou Park, bike trails, restaurants, and several bus routes are also within a few blocks. Occasionally, we catch sight of caravans of trail riders and wagons on their way to the rodeo. As you might imagine, it is a dynamic place to work.


Earth Day Houston 2017

Dozens of Earth Day festivals will be held throughout the Houston area in 2017. We have begun compiling a list of Earth Month events on our calendar.

If you are hosting an Earth Month event (or any environment-related event), please be sure to let us know so we can share it! Information can be sent to news@cechouston.org.

Don’t miss our Environmental Trivia Contest at Saint Arnold Brewing Company, to be hosted by the CEC as part of Earth Month Houston, on April 30, 2017. Tickets will be available soon.

The CEC is also gearing up for the following year’s Earth Day, and is recruiting members for our Earth Day Houston 2018 Planning Committee. To become a part of this exciting event, contact Rachel Powers, Executive Director, at 713-524-4232 or rachel@cechouston.org.

CEC Welcomes One New Team Member: Christie Tran
Read more about our new part-time program coordination intern, Christie Tran. Keep an eye out for more announcements about people joining our team.

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CEC is pleased to welcome Christie Tran as a Program Coordination intern

Christie Tran is studying hospitality management at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston. She’ll be putting her studies to good use as she helps CEC plan events such as the Environmental Trivia Contest on April 30, 2017. Christie is excited to gain experience with event planning and to make connections within the community. When she is not studying, Christie loves kayaking, camping, and tasting different types of food from around the world. We are delighted to have her working with us, and we value her diligence and enthusiasm. Christie can be reached at christie.tran@cechouston.org.