Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: October 28, 2014

Featured

  1. Study: Major bus expansion key to relieving Woodlands’ traffic congestion (John D. Harden – Houston Chronicle, 10/17/2014)
    An ambitious plan to expand mass transit could improve traffic and air quality in The Woodlands, according to a draft of a long-awaited transit plan released by transportation officials. The plan, recently presented to Woodlands Township officials, includes short- and long-term goals to expand bus service in Town Center and throughout the Montgomery County community, as well as park-and-ride service into Houston. If implemented, the transit expansion could include about $12 million in start-up infrastructure and vehicle costs, in addition to up to $6 million a year in operational expenses. Township members aren’t going to be quick to hit the gas on implementation. They said they need more information about the study and the data to justify the recommendations.
    www.houstonchronicle.com
  2. TRDI Study Seeks to Quantify Recycling Activities in Texas (Power Engineering International, 10/21/2014)
    A statewide survey launched October 15 by the Texas Recycling Data Initiative (TRDI) is seeking to quantify the amount of recycling occurring throughout Texas. The survey is intended to give Texas policy makers the information they need to examine the economic, environmental and policy issues of interest to Texas businesses, citizens, and governmental agencies. Survey results will be made available to the 84th Texas Legislative Session that begins in January 2015. Survey data will allow the legislature to evaluate the costs and economic benefits of recycling… TRDI seeks to measure not just the amount of material being recycled, but the types of material and the places where those materials are being recycled. In addition to tracking traditional recyclables collected, the project will gather data on organics, construction and demolition material, electronics, and household hazardous waste.
    www.powerengineeringint.com
  3. Thousands drawn to debut of Hermann Park garden (Rebecca Hennes – Houston Chronicle, 10/18/2014)
    Thousands of nature lovers gathered at Hermann Park Saturday to celebrate its 100th anniversary with the unveiling of a new eight-acre garden, complete with an extravagant pavilion and a massive 30-foot “mount” that gives visitors a panoramic view of the park’s landscaping and surrounding museum district… The 15-acre lot, previously known as the Houston Garden Center, was transformed through an eight-year effort into the McGovern Centennial Gardens. It’s the largest improvement project in the Hermann Park Conservancy’s history.
    www.houstonchronicle.com

EcoNotes

  • 27 October
    • Midterm Elections Could Strengthen Opponents of Crude Oil Export Ban (Andrew Schneider – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
  • 24 October
  • 23 October
  • 22 October
    • Does Drop In Oil Prices Make Texas Crude Too Expensive? (Dave Fehling – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • UH Researcher Wins $1.5 Million Federal Solar Energy Award (Jeannie Kever – University of Houston News)
      www.uh.edu
  • 21 October
    • TRDI Study Seeks to Quantify Recycling Activities in Texas (Power Engineering International)
      www.powerengineeringint.com
    • Rubinstein: All Texans can participate in water planning (Carlos Rubinstein – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Texas plant to debut new carbon capture technology (David Hendricks, San Antonio Express-News – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • First-of-its-kind carbon capture plant opens in North San Antonio (David Hendricks – Fuel Fix)
      http://fuelfix.com
    • Texas scientist: We don’t need to reduce smog because we spend 90 percent of our time indoors (Joanna Rothkopf – Salon)
      www.salon.com
    • Voters Cast Ballots in First-Ever Push to Ban Fracking in Texas (Mose Buchele – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Disappearing Rio Grande Expedition Recap (Colin McDonald and Jessi Loerch – Trib + Water)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Texas on Lonely Side of Battle Over Ozone Pollution (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Does Drop In Oil Prices Make Texas Crude Too Expensive? (Dave Fehling – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Texas pipeline company pays $306,570 in fines for multiple Marcellus violations (John Beauge – PennLive)
      www.pennlive.com
  • 20 October
    • Rice Crew moves to Buffalo Bayou (David Ruth – Rice News)
      http://news.rice.edu
    • Exploration Green protected from commercial development forever (The Bay Area Citizen)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • Texas water regulation reform could be next step to quenching state’s thirst (Matthew Walker – Corpus Christi Caller Times)
      www.caller.com
    • Routes for proposed Houston-Dallas bullet trains unveiled (Dug Begley – Houston Chronicle)
      http://blog.chron.com
    • Webster honored by Scenic Texas at Scenic City certification event (The Bay Area Citizen)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • Routes for proposed Houston-Dallas bullet trains unveiled (Dug Begley – Houston Chronicle)
      http://blog.chron.com
    • Nuclear-reactor ship headed to Galveston to be scrapped – Your Houston News: News Nuclear-reactor ship headed to Galveston to be scrapped (Kristi Nix – The Pasadena Citizen)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • Photos: Inside Hermann Park’s new gardens and pavilion (Paul Takahashi – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
    • Texas PUC Leaves CenterPoint’s ‘Excess Revenue’ Untouched (Dave Fehling – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
  • 19 October
  • 18 October
  • 17 October
    • Study: Major bus expansion key to relieving Woodlands’ traffic congestion (John D. Harden – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Houston unveils a new park space: Vision for city’s Green game changer dates back to 1924 (Joel Luks – Culture Map Houston)
      http://houston.culturemap.com
    • Officials hope downtown bike lane opens by end of year (Dug Begley – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Stunning Buffalo Bayou mansion proves to be the perfect setting for waterways protecting gala (Shelby Hodge – Culture Map Houston)
      http://houston.culturemap.com
    • Yellow-rumped warblers should arrive in Houston area any time now (Gary Clark – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Texas PUC Leaves CenterPoint’s ‘Excess Revenue’ Untouched (Dave Fehling – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • How Much ‘Excess Revenue’ Did CenterPoint Energy Make? (Dave Fehling – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Construction to begin on massive methanol plant in Beaumont (Olivia Pulsinelli – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
  • 16 October
    • Harris County Seeks Accounting for Decades of Pollution (Neena Satija – Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Migrating Monarch Butterflies Stymied by Wind, Storms in Texas Hill Country (Monika Maeckle – My SA News)
      http://blog.mysanantonio.com
  • 15 October
  • 14 October
    • Craft: Bill would obstruct Clean Air Act protections (Elena Craft – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • Pioneer CEO sees 1 million barrels a day of Texas condensate exports (Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Washington Bureau – Express News)
      www.expressnews.com
    • Refiners ask Obama to hold firm on renewable quotas (Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Washington Bureau – Express News)
      www.expressnews.com
    • Celebrate Halloween This Year at a Texas State Park (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      www.tpwd.state.tx.us
  • 13 October
    • Five things you need to know in Texas energy this week (Jordan Blum – Houston Business Journal)
  • 12 October
    • Texans Coming to Grips With Rising Water Costs (Christine Ayala and Neena Satija – Trib + Water)
      www.texastribune.org
  • 9 October
    • Texas added 23,100 oil-and-gas jobs over last year (James Aldridge – San Antonio Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com

Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: October 21, 2014

Featured

  1. Harris County seeks accounting for decades of pollution (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune, 10/16/2014)
    Laced with the poisons of many years of industrial activity, waterways around Houston are considered toxic enough that adults are cautioned not to eat more than 8 ounces of fish or blue crabs taken from them. Pregnant women and children are warned to eat none at all. or more than half a century, parts of the San Jacinto River, Houston Ship Channel and Galveston Bay have suffered devastating environmental contamination. And for decades, nobody knew for sure who was responsible for dumping what. But in recent years, at least some of the most noxious pollution has been traced to wastewater from a paper mill that was dumped into Houston area waters beginning in 1965. On Thursday morning, a Harris County district court jury will hear opening statements in a lawsuit filed to wrest penalties from three of the companies allegedly responsible.
    www.texastribune.org
  2. Houston’s air is cleaner, but the goal post is moving (Matthew Tresaugue – Houston Chronicle, 10/12/2014)
    Houston, for a time, held the unwanted title of the nation’s capital of bad air. These days, however, this land of unchecked growth, traffic-choked freeways and prolific smokestacks isn’t even the smoggiest place in Texas. As its best year for air quality draws to a close, the eight-county region has dropped below the Dallas-Fort Worth area and pulled even with San Antonio by measure of smog, or ozone, throughout the day. The pollutant remains a stubborn menace for Houston, but its steady retreat is remarkable, considering it wasn’t long ago when city leaders bragged about the stench from nearby oil refineries and chemical plants – calling it the smell of prosperity.
    www.houstonchronicle.com
  3. EPA Cleaning Up Smelly Industrial Site In Heart Of Neighborhood (Houston Public Media, 10/13/2014)
    Walk down Griggs Road in South-Central Houston and you might smell the former CES Environmental Services site before you get to it. Just a mile south is the University of Houston campus and two miles away is the Texas Medical Center. The site itself is about the size of three football fields. It holds several warehouses and several dozen storage tanks and tanker trucks. It was owned by a company called CES Environmental Services which recycled chemicals and sold a product to paper mills. Over the years, besides the smell, neighbors reportedly endured an explosion that sent shrapnel into their yards. And when the rains came earlier this spring and summer, the EPA says chemically-contaminated storm water ran into neighborhood ditches. Gary Moore, on-scene coordinator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, arrived earlier this summer to try, once and for all, to clean the place up.
    www.houstonpublicmedia.org

EcoNotes

  • 17 October
    • Natgasoline clears EPA hurdle for $1 billion methanol plant in Beaumont (Eric Besson, Beaumont Enterprise – Fuel Fix)
      http://fuelfix.com
    • How Much ‘Excess Revenue’ Did CenterPoint Energy Make? (Dave Fehling – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Removing Risks from Your Homes Indoor Air (MENAFN News)
      www.menafn.com
    • Lawyers to debate $590 million Houston transmission project (Ryan Holeywell – Fuel Fix)
      http://fuelfix.com
    • Galveston Bay Foundation Hosts Eighth Annual Bike Around the Bay (Houston Newcomer Guides)
      http://houstonnewcomerguides.com
  • 16 October
    • Harris County seeks accounting for decades of pollution (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Officials, residents extol benefits of new Memorial Park Running Trails Center (Adam Yanelli – The Examiner)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • Solar power leaders back EPA climate rule (Timothy Cama – The Hill)
      http://thehill.com
    • Construction on $1B Beaumont methanol plant to start Nov. 1 (Eric Besson – Beaumont Enterprise)
      www.beaumontenterprise.com
    • Video: A Revenue Stream or a Cause for Concern? (Alana Rocha and Justin Dehn – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Mercer’s Third Annual Sustainable Landscape Conference Promotes … – The Paper Magazine (Green Sight)
      www.greensight.com
    • Blackwood Land presents second annual Houston Edible Garden tour (Your Fort Bend News)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • Nature Discovery Center names Reiner as interim executive director (Memorial Examiner)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • San Antonio acts to protect bat colony (Josh Baugh – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Texas conservationists plan $20.5 million bat deal (Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
  • 15 October
    • Hermann Park unveils Houston’s grandest public garden (Molly Glentzer – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
  • 14 October
    • EPA Funds Reduce Water Pollution, Increase E-Waste Recycling (Environmental Leader)
      www.environmentalleader.com
    • Celebrate Halloween This Year at a Texas State Park (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      www.tpwd.state.tx.us
    • Will Low Oil Prices Rattle The Texas Economy? (Mose Buchele – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Texans Concerned about EPA Water Regulations (My High Plains)
      www.myhighplains.com
    • BPA in the air: Manufacturing plants in Ohio, Indiana, Texas are top emitters (Brian Bienkowski – Environmental Health News)
      www.environmentalhealthnews.org
    • Your Texas Agriculture Minute: Time to dog pile EPA (Gene Hall – The East Montgomery County Observer)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • States Can Produce Twice as Much Renewable Electricity as EPA Calculated, Science Group Finds (Union of Concerned Scientists)
      www.ucsusa.org
  • 13 October
  • 12 October
    • Houston’s air is cleaner, but the goal post is moving (Matthew Tresaugue – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Biodiversity in our backyard (Lisa Gray – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
  • 11 October
    • America’s Second Favorite City: Houston wins huge honors from a national mag, but about that No. 1 pick (Elizabeth Rhodes – CultureMap Houston)
      http://houston.culturemap.com
  • 10 October
    • State parks need public, private funding (Carol Dinkins – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • Texas A&M AgriLife center in Dallas wins 2014 WaterSense Excellence Award (AgriLife TODAY)
      http://today.agrilife.org
  • 9 October
    • Natural-gas flaring unpopular with voters in West, poll finds (Jennifer A. Dlouhy – Express News)
      www.expressnews.com
    • FLUID DISCUSSION: Environmental summit puts focus on water (Christina R. Garza – The Brownsville Herald)
      www.brownsvilleherald.com
    • Halloween at the Hatchery Coming Up October 30 (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      www.tpwd.state.tx.us
    • Outdoor Annual App Update Available (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      www.tpwd.state.tx.us
  • 8 October
    • Whooping Cranes Beginning Their Fall Journey to Texas (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      www.tpwd.state.tx.us
    • State’s Early History Comes Alive in Texas State Parks (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      www.tpwd.state.tx.us
    • How a Band of Austin Activists Convinced Walmart to Care About a Creek (Karen Brooks Harper – Next City News)
      http://nextcity.org
  • 3 October
    • Texas Sees Significant Decline in Rural Land (Marcos Vanetta and Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org