Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: November 25, 2014

Featured

  1. How graywater could be a conservation method for the masses. (But isn’t.) (Fauzeya Rahman – Texas Observer, 11/19/2014)
    “…Every time you take a shower, use the bathroom sink or run a load of laundry, the resulting graywater—as distinct from “blackwater,” which has come into contact with human waste—could be diverted to water your lawn or irrigate a tree. A typical household produces 100 gallons of usable graywater per day, enough to replace 10 to 25 percent of potable water use on an average landscape, according to the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center. A statewide effort to retrofit homes with graywater systems could yield savings of up to 390,000 acre-feet of water per year, according to the Texas Water Resources Institute. That’s enough water to supply 130,000 typical households.”
    www.texasobserver.org
  2. Pollution eyed in sudden decline of sea turtle (Harvey Rice – Express News, 11/19/2014)
    “The sudden decline of Texas’ official sea turtle was unexpected and could be an indication that pollution could be making the Gulf of Mexico a difficult place for species like the Kemp’s ridley to survive, experts said Wednesday…  Scientific research presented on the Kemp’s ridley raised the possibility that the 2010 BP oil spill, the largest in U.S. history, might have contributed to the declines of sea turtle nests in 2013 and 2014, which have alarmed scientists. A study released Tuesday found oil in the carapace, or shell, of 29 sea turtles that returned to feed in the spill area in 2011 and 2012.”
    www.expressnews.com
  3. Saving the Mona Lisa of Galveston: Island non-profit and Chicago developer conserve ecosystem on West Galveston Island (Guidry News, 11/18/2014)
    “Managing member for Galveston Preserve at West Beach Ltd., Darren Sloniger, and Artist Boat’s Executive Director, Karla Klay, agreed over 6 years ago to work together to secure the protection of 360-acres of pristine dune/swale complex on the bayside of Galveston Island’s West End. The long-term vision is to protect barrier island habitats through the formation of a Coastal Heritage Preserve and to build a Gulf Coast Environmental Education Center that exemplifies the best practices in place-based and experiential learning in the coastal zone using the incredible disciplines of the sciences and the arts.”
    www.guidrynews.com

EcoNotes

  • 24 November
    • Local wildlife projects receive millions from BP spill money (John Wayne Ferguson – The Galveston County Daily News)
      www.galvestondailynews.com
  • 23 November
  • 21 November
    • Forgotten Greenway: Shady Acres residents set sights on revitalizing Little Thicket Park (Jonathan Garris – The Leader)
      www.theleadernews.com
    • Listening For The Call Of The Quail (Dave Fehling – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Clean Energy And Job Creation Go Hand-In-Hand In San Antonio (Jim Marston – Forbes)
      www.forbes.com
    • Patience runs low as EPA delays fuel rule (Rhiannon Meyers – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Drilling Brings Rise in Health Complaints (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Reaction to Train Plan Less Rosy in Rural Texas (Aman Batheja – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • EPA Air Regulations: 15% Real-Dollar (35% Nominal-Dollar) Increase in Utility Bills by 2020, Study Finds (GlobalWarming.org)
      www.globalwarming.org
    • U.S. EPA Said to Drop Renewable Fuel Quotas Planned for 2014 ( Mark Drajem and Mario Parker – Bloomberg Businessweek)
      www.businessweek.com
    • AT&T to pay $23.8M settlement over environmental violations (Marlize van Romburgh – Dallas Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
    • Sheldon Lake State Park Hosting Holiday in the Park Saturday December 13th (The Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce)
      http://web.lakehoustonareachamber.org
    • Apache Sells Off $1.4 Billion In Oil And Gas Leases To Pay For New Shale Play Holdings (Andrew Schneider – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Coming soon: An all new txH2O (Texas Water Resources Institute)
      http://twri.tamu.edu
    • TWRI requests graduate student research proposals (Texas Water Resources Institute)
      http://twri.tamu.edu
    • IRNR part of TAMU team receiving $1.4 million grant for woodland encroachment research (Texas Water Resources Institute)
      http://twri.tamu.edu/publications
    • Meet a scientist: Gretchen Miller (Sara Carney – Texas Water Resources Institute)
      http://twri.tamu.edu
    • How much water does the U.S. use? (Texas Water Resources Institute)
      http://twri.tamu.edu
    • Texas Water Development Board adopts SWIFT rules (Texas Water Resources Institute)
      http://twri.tamu.edu
    • Free soil testing available to Lower Rio Grande Valley producers (Texas Water Resources Institute)
      http://twri.tamu.edu
    • Urban Riparian Symposium coming to Austin in February (Texas Water Resources Institute)
      http://twri.tamu.edu
    • New Panhandle wildlife management area approved (Texas Water Resources Institute)
      http://twri.tamu.edu
    • AgriLife Research study: Drought-tolerant corn taps deeper soil profile (Texas Water Resources Institute)
      http://twri.tamu.edu
    • Public comments invited on USDA Conservation Stewardship Program interim rule (Texas Water Resources Institute)
      http://twri.tamu.edu
  • 20 November
    • Mark Oldham – First Eagle Scout Project at Deer Park Prairie (HNPAT News)
      hnpat.wordpress.com
    • Keystone XL or Not, Canadian Crude Already Shipping Out From U.S. (Mose Buchele – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • DuPont Tragedy One of Many Toxic Gas Releases (Neena Satija, Jim Malewitz and Marcos Vanetta – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Report: Solar Power Should Be One-Fifth Of All Energy In Texas By 2025 (Florian Martin – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Listening For The Call Of The Quail (Dave Quail – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • U.S. EPA Crowns 2014 Green Power Leaders (North American Wind Power)
      www.nawindpower.com
    • U.S. farmers set to get huge government payouts despite bumper harvest (Ros Krasny and Christine Stebbins – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • NOAA Fisheries Approves Final Rule to Modify Catch Limits for Spanish Mackerel in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic (Oyster Radio)
      http://oysterradio.blogspot.com
  • 19 November
    • How graywater could be a conservation method for the masses. (But isn’t.) (Fauzeya Rahman – Texas Observer)
      www.texasobserver.org
    • Pollution eyed in sudden decline of sea turtle (Harvey Rice – Express News)
      www.expressnews.com
    • New Houston location chosen for Energy Institute High School (Jordan Blum – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
    • Early birds e-cycle in Energy Corridor district last Saturday (Jocelyn Kerr – The Examiner)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • EPA Recognizes City of Houston for Reduction in Energy Consumption (EPA News)
      http://yosemite.epa.gov
    • Data App: Track Texas Reservoir Levels (Ryan Murphy and Kate Galbraith – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Cold Snap Raises Concern: How will the monarchs fare? (HMNS Blog)
      https://blog.hmns.org
    • Oil & Gas Executives Bullish On Future (Dave Fehling – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
  • 18 November
    • Fears confirmed: Texas turtle in trouble (Harvey Rice – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Experts gather to understand setback to turtle effort (Harvey Rice – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Saving the Mona Lisa of Galveston: Island non-profit and Chicago developer conserve ecosystem on West Galveston Island (Guidry News)
      www.guidrynews.com
    • Another magazine honors Texas Tech’s Hayhoe: “Leading global thinker” (Texas Climate News)
      http://texasclimatenews.org
    • Texas to receive $13.2 million for Gulf restoration projects (Conor Harrison – Lonestar Outdoor News)
      www.lsonews.com
    • Disappearing Rio Grande Expedition Recap (Colin McDonald and Jessi Loerch – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Texas Butterfly Festival beats the storm (Progress Times)
      www.progresstimes.net
    • Leading Environmental Services Company Exhibiting and Sponsoring at the 2014 CLEAN GULF Conference & Exhibition in San Antonio, Texas (WRBL)
      www.wrbl.com
    • Texas Grid Operator Says Clean Energy Plan Could Raise Bills and Lead to Blackouts (Mose Buchele – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
  • 17 November
    • Messing with city’s trees can be expensive (Mike Morris – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Groundwater study set for Montgomery County (John D. Harden – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • BP money benefits Coastal Bend conservation projects (David Sikes – The Corpus Christi Caller Times)
      www.caller.com
    • Texas Warns EPA Power Plant Regulations Will Cost Houston (Dave Fehling – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • DuPont plant remains closed as search for answers begins (Mark Collette, Matthew Tresaugue, and Lise Olsen – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Texas power grid chiefs say EPA’s CO2 plan would raise costs, might threaten reliability (Randy Lee Loftis – Dallas News)
      http://bizbeatblog.dallasnews.com
    • NFWF Announces $13.2 Million for Gulf Restoration Projects in Texas (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      www.tpwd.state.tx.us
    • TWDB: Level playing field given in water funds prioritization (Monique Ching – Go San Angelo Standard Times)
      www.gosanangelo.com
    • The Woodlands continues to attract major energy players (Emily Wilkinson – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
  • 16 November
    • Plant Where Workers Died Reported Recent Violations (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
  • 14 November
    • Was Harris County’s high-stakes pollution fight worth it? (Matthew Tresaugue – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Verdict In Waste Pits Trial Rejects County, But One Defendant To Pay $29.2 Million (Dave Fehling – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
  • 13 November
    • Rayburn: New plan needed to restore Buffalo Bayou (Robert Rayburn – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • UH Chemists Develop Porous Molecules that Bind Greenhouse Gases (Lisa Merkl – University of Houston)
      www.uh.edu
    • UH Students Compete for Best Environmental Design Ideas (University of Houston)
      www.uh.edu
    • Courts Will Take Up Case of Fracking v. Drilling (Jim Malewitz – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Keystone XL, entangled in Senate race, to get congressional votes (Jennifer A. Dlouhy – Express News)
      www.expressnews.com
  • 12 November
  • 7 November
    • UH Moment: Zipcars Give UH Students Access to Affordable Rental Cars (University of Houston)
      www.uh.edu
  • 6 November
    • Water Project Funds Ready to Flow — Almost (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
  • 5 November
    • UH Projects Earn Kudos for Enhancing City’s Landscape (Mike Emery – University of Houston)
      www.uh.edu
  • 4 November
    • Water Bottle Filling Stations a Hit as Usage Surpasses Million Mark (Richard Zagrzecki – University of Houston)
      www.uh.edu
  • 3 November
  • 30 October
  • 29 October
    • A new home for HARC: Continuing George Mitchell’s sustainability legacy (HARC News)
      www.harcresearch.org

Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: November 18, 2014

Featured

  1. U.S. and China Reach Agreement on Climate After Months of Talks
    China and the United States made common cause on Wednesday against the threat of climate change, staking out an ambitious joint plan to curb carbon emissions as a way to spur nations around the world to make their own cuts in greenhouse gases.The landmark agreement, jointly announced here by President Obama and President Xi Jinping, includes new targets for carbon emissions reductions by the United States and a first-ever commitment by China to stop its emissions from growing by 2030.
    www.nytimes.com
  2. In Houston, better air isn’t good air (Adrian Shelley – Trib Talk, 11/6/2014)
    Here’s the good news: Air quality in Houston is improving. 2014 will be the best ozone season in Houston since our city claimed the title of worst air in the nation nearly 20 years ago… But recent improvements in air quality shouldn’t overshadow the work that still needs to be done. The oil and gas industry is using a good ozone season to tout a problematic message: There are no more air pollution problems in Houston, so we should all stop worrying about it.
    http://tribtalk.org
  3. What New Master Plan Means For Houston’s Memorial Park Trails (Dave Fehling – Houston Public Media, 11/11/2014)
    A huge makeover is in the works for Houston’s Memorial Park. But bikers and runners who venture into its dense forest to use a network of remote trails worry what the changes will mean. The park on Houston’s west side covers 1,500 acres and is cut in half by busy Memorial Drive. The majority of park users are on the north side running, golfing, playing tennis or swimming. The south side is — in more ways than one — the wild side. It’s a dense forest criss-crossed by miles of dirt trails.
    www.houstonpublicmedia.org
  4. Settlements reached in Texas river pollution case (Beaumont Enterprise, 11/14/2014)
    Two of three businesses targeted by Harris County prosecutors in a lawsuit over polluting the San Jacinto River with poisonous paper-mill waste have agreed to pay $29 million to the county and state. The county on Thursday resolved its claims against McGinnes Industrial Maintenance Corp. and Houston-based Waste Management Inc… Prosecutors have argued the businesses were responsible for the release of carcinogenic chemicals from three paper-mill disposal pits near the river between 1973 and 2008.
    www.beaumontenterprise.com

EcoNotes

  • 14 November
  • 13 November
    • Settlements, split verdict yield murky result in waste pit case (Matthew Tresaugue – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • A Green paradise: Memorial Park’s $100 million makeover promises to be a dream for bikers and walkers (Barbara Kuntz – CultureMap Houston)
      http://houston.culturemap.com
    • Texas State Parks Finally Flaunting Their Fall Foliage (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      www.tpwd.state.tx.us
    • NOAA Fisheries Reopens the Public Comment Period on the Proposed Rule for the Aquaculture Plan for Federal Waters of the Gulf of Mexico (Southeast Fishery Bulletin)
      http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov
  • 12 November
  • 11 November
  • 10 November
    • Oceanic dead-zones are only getting worse with warming (James Maynard – Tech Times)
      www.techtimes.com
    • Will Prop 1 Money Help Ease Houston’s Freeway Congestion? (Gail Delaughter – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Dead zones are coming for your rivers, lakes, and oceans (Liz Core – Grist)
      http://grist.org
    • Will Big, New Power Line Make Electricity Cheaper in Houston? (Dave Fehling – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Fracking Has Amazing Benefits. So Why Did This Texas Town Just Ban It? (The Daily Signal)
      http://dailysignal.com
    • Dobie Aquatic Science class joins Galveston Bay Foundation program (The Pasadena Citizen)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • What’s more likely to kill you: A car crash or vehicle emissions? (Eric Jaffe – Grist)
      http://grist.org
    • Texas official ignores voters’ ban on fracking (Sara Bernard – Grist)
      http://grist.org
  • 9 November
    • How to protect our city against storms? First, make it lovable. (John S. Jacob, special to the Houston Chronicle – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
  • 8 November
  • 7 November
  • 6 November
    • Water Project Funds Ready to Flow — Almost (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • In Houston, better air isn’t good air (Adrian Shelley – Trib Talk)
      http://tribtalk.org
    • Which Houston Area Roads Will Be Repaired Next? (Steve Champion)
      http://abc13.com
  • 4 November
    • Editorial: Respect the trees (Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • Cy-Fair chamber forum focuses on mobility funding issues (Bryan Kirk – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
  • 3 November