Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: August 5, 2014

Featured

  1. Facing budget gap, city may consider garbage fee (Mike Morris – Houston Chronicle, 7/25/2014)
    For years, Houston’s Solid Waste Management Department Director Harry Hayes has suggested the city implement a garbage fee to expand curbside recycling and pay for other initiatives. And for years, Mayor Annise Parker has demurred. Now, with a looming budget deficit that could force widespread layoffs and cuts to services, the idea may see serious discussion at the council table for the first time.
    www.houstonchronicle.com
  2. Outlook: EPA’s proposed rules on C02 above criticism (Richard Eidlin – Houston Chronicle, 7/31/2014)
    Some national business organizations have hammered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for proposing new rules on carbon pollution from existing power plants, cutting carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030, using 2005 levels as a baseline. It’s ludicrous to pretend that climate change isn’t happening. It’s beyond comprehension that large business advocacy organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, think that our government should stand by and do nothing, while climate-related disasters in 2012 caused more than $139 billion in damages, while U.S. taxpayers shelled out $96 billion in climate-related damages in 2012 alone, or while sea levels rise 6.6 feet by 2100 – enough to swamp Miami.
    www.chron.com
  3. Conservation efforts helping longleaf pine rebound in E. Texas (Matthew Tresaugue – Houston Chronicle, 8/1/2014)
    The 5,600-acre Sandyland Sanctuary, a Nature Conservancy-managed property some 100 miles northeast of Houston, is home to some of the states’ last stands of longleaf pine, a towering tree that dominated these sandy flatlands before the area was heavily logged a century ago. Across the eight-state region, timber companies, conservation groups and government officials are working to revert millions of acres to longleaf-pine forests and keep them free from development.
    www.houstonchronicle.com

EcoNotes

  • 3 August
    • Ohio Water Crisis a Warning for Texas, Other States (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
  • 1 August
    • Conservation efforts helping longleaf pine rebound in E. Texas (Matthew Tresaugue – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • What Every Texan Needs to Know About “Toilet to Tap” Water (Desmond Lawler – Know)
      www.utexas.edu
    • As Renewable Energy Grows, Wind and Solar Pull Ahead of Hydropower (Dylan Baddour – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
  • 31 July
    • Eidlin: EPA’s proposed rules on C02 above criticism (Richard Eidlin – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • Texas Tech Researchers Discover Low-Grade Nonwoven Cotton Picks Up 50 Times Own Weight of Oil (Newswise)
      www.newswise.com
    • EPA Sends Rule Reports on Air Quality Implementation Plans to Senate (Aile Dayandante – Insurance News Net)
      http://insurancenewsnet.com
  • 30 July
    • Why a Tanker of Kurdish Oil is Stranded by the Galveston Coast (David Brown & Rhonda Fanning – KUT News)
      http://kut.org
    • RestoreTheTexasCoast.org is unveiled (News 23 Center)
      www.kveo.com
    • MillerCoors In Fort Worth Is Saving Water While Brewing Beer (Justin Martin – KERA News)
      http://keranews.org
    • Four Guys and a Boat Tackle a Texas-Sized Water Problem (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • EPA Public Hearing on Carbon Pollution Standards Draws More “Public” than Power Industry Speakers (Gail Reitenbach – Power)
      www.powermag.com
    • VIDEO: How to ‘Drive Clean Across Texas’ year-round (Tyler Morning Telegraph)
      www.tylerpaper.com
    • Honey, I Shrunk The Windmills! To The Size Of An Ant (Lauren Silverman – Breakthrough)
      http://breakthroughs.kera.org
    • Federal officials extend deadline for offshore drilling comments (Jennifer A. Dlouhy – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • U.S. EPA kicks off hearings on power plant emissions rules (Valerie Volcovici – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
  • 29 July
    • 4 Ways Texas Could Win Big Under New Climate Change Rules (Terrence Henry – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Drought conditions down sharply from last year (Mike W. Thomas – San Antonio Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
    • Don’t Frack on Me: Local Challenges to the Right to Drill (Dave Fehling – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • U.S. coastal flooding on the rise, government study finds (Ryan McNeill – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
  • 28 July
  • 26 July
    • Skelly: More transit choices critical if city to remain low-cost place to live (Michael Skelly – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
  • 25 July
  • 24 July
  • 21 July

Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: July 29, 2014

Featured

  1. Outlook: More transit choices critical if city to remain low-cost place to live (Michael Skelly – Houston Chronicle, 7/27/2014)
    The obvious stakes are the Houston values of embracing innovation and fostering competition. While it’s little solace if you are sitting in traffic, exciting innovations in transportation are making their way to the land of endless freeways.
    www.houstonchronicle.com
  2. LETTER: The recent TCEQ meeting in Clear Lake (The Bay Area Citizen, 7/21/2014) Recently, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality(TCEQ), held a public meeting in Clear Lake to discuss the Clear Lake Water Authority(CLCWA) request to dump millions of gallons of treated sewage effluent in the Clear Lake old golf course. During the meeting, the TCEQ explained that, in this case, it is only considering the water quality exiting the CLCWA proposed pipe. What happens after the water leaves the pipe is not this group’s job. Second, the TCEQ staff acknowledged that there are no studies on the health effects of long term exposure to this undiluted effluent. This TCEQ group cannot consider the public health impacts when contaminated run off joins the effluent channel and pools behind resident homes. Because of the narrow ruling parameters, approval by TCEQ will not mean that the CLCWA effluent is safe or that public health is protected.

    www.yourhoustonnews.com

  3. Texas lawmakers study water woes, desalination expansion (Betsy Blaney – FWBP News, 7/20/2014)
    Hundreds of miles of Texas coastline may offer more than a scenic view in the coming years. One day, it could help solve the state’s water woes. A committee of state lawmakers is studying whether tapping the ocean to turn saltwater to fresh water would alleviate a problem exacerbated by population growth and a persistent drought that has left Texas lakes at near-record lows. The committee is also evaluating the benefits of building more desalination plants farther inland to filter brackish water, and plans to submit a report of its findings before the Legislature meets in January. The report could include legislative proposals aimed at expanding the technology across Texas.
    http://fwbusinesspress.com
  4. Six Years Later, Still No Consensus on Proposed ‘Ike Dike’ (Laurie Johnson – Houston Public Media, 7/17/2014)
    The Ike Dike would be a coastal barrier protecting the Houston-Galveston region from hurricane storm surge. It’s an idea under research at Texas A&M University and promoted by the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership. Bob Mitchell is the president of that group. He says the dike would extend from the Sabine Pass to the San Luis Pass to protect Galveston Bay and the Houston Ship Channel. Opponents of the plan do agree that some sort of protection should be put in place to prevent massive loss of life and infrastructure. But Page Williams with the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club says it’s not clear how or if the Ike Dike would work.
    www.houstonpublicmedia.org

EcoNotes

  • 28 July
    • Think It’s Hot In Austin? Get Used To 110 (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
  • 26 July
  • 25 July
    • Texas, gas states biggest winners under EPA carbon rules: report (Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • Colorado River advocacy groups squaring off in water fight (Connie Swinney – Daily Trib)
      www.dailytrib.com
    • Clean Air Leaders To Preview EPA Hearings On Historic Climate Pollution Plan, GFA To Release Poll Findings On Communities Of Color & Climate Change (Street Insider)
      www.streetinsider.com
  • 24 July
    • Tesla’s Interest In Dallas County Inland Port Raises Profile Of Quiet Area (Shelley Kofler – Kera News)
      http://keranews.org
    • Rollin’ on the river; Cleanup effort to make Cedar River more accessible (Eric Johnson – Austin Daily Herald)
      www.austindailyherald.com
    • EPA: No comment on fracking air pollution (Jim Morris – Yahoo! News)
      http://news.yahoo.com
    • Under Water: The EPA’s Struggle to Combat Pollution (Naveena Sadasivam – ProPublica)
      www.propublica.org
    • States Against E.P.A. Rule on Carbon Pollution Would Gain, Study Finds (Coral Davenport – The New York Times)
      www.nytimes.com
    • Buck Creek Watershed Protection Plan Accepted by EPA (AgriLife Today)
      http://today.agrilife.org
  • 23 July
    • Reports map hotter city temps, urge planning based on climate “realities” (Texas Climate News)
      http://texasclimatenews.org
    • Texas Slams EPA Website that Compares State Pollution Enforcement (Dave Fehling – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Drinking Water Systems Draw Federal Concerns (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Parched Texas town turns to sewage water to keep city flush with water (Marice Richter – Planet Ark)
      http://planetark.org
  • 22 July
    • Funnel cloud passes over Texas refining hub, no damage (Erwin Seba and Tom Brown – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • Climate Change Clouds Future of El Niño Forecasting (Dylan Baddour – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Nuverra Environmental Solutions : Updates on Texas Court Case Involving Subsidiary Heckmann Water Resources (4-Traders)
      www.4-traders.com
  • 21 July
    • LETTER: The recent TCEQ meeting in Clear Lake (The Bay Area Citizen)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • Sheep Keeping Grass Under Control At OCI Solar “Farm” In San Antonio (Ryan Loyd – Texas Public Radio)
      http://tpr.org
    • Major Investment in the U.S.: Air Liquide Expands its Relationship with OCI N.V. in Beaumont, Texas (North Fork Vue)
      www.northforkvue.com
    • EPA to hold Aug. 5 public hearings on tightening refinery emissions standards (Deer Park Broadcaster)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
  • 20 July
  • 17 July
  • 14 July
    • Water Planners Focus on Bigger Texas, Not a Hotter One (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org