Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: July 6, 2015

Featured

  1. Growth poses new challenges to Jones State Forest (Matthew Tresaugue – Houston Chronicle, 6/29/2015)
    “Jones State Forest was in the middle of nowhere when Texas created it eight decades ago – some 40 miles separated the piney woods and Houston. These days, the forest is an island of tall trees surrounded on all sides by apartment complexes, single-family houses and strip malls. The Woodlands and Texas 242 border the southwest side of the property and FM 1488, the increasingly busy roadway, runs through the middle of the it. Montgomery County’s increasing urbanization is bringing a new set of challenges to the woods, which the state initially purchased to hold onto a piece of a once-great forest that was being clear-cut by timber harvesters.”
    www.chron.com
  2. Galveston Scientists Release Rescued Kemp’s Ridley Turtles (Syeda Hasan – Houston Public Media, 7/3/2015)
    Joe Flanagan, chief veterinarian at the Houston Zoo, is on a boat about 25 miles offshore from Galveston. He’s directing a team of researchers as they prepare to release turtles into the water. The animals often get caught by fisherman, and the group rescues and rehabilitates them. On this trip, they released eight Kemp’s ridley, an endangered species of sea turtles… large populations nest in the Gulf of Mexico, but their numbers have been steadily declining. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is still assessing if some of that decrease stems from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.
    www.houstonpublicmedia.org
  3. Protecting Jobs … Or People? Supreme Court Declares EPA Pollution Rule Illegal (Dave Fehling – Houston Public Media)
    “The U.S. Supreme Court narrowly ruled that the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s new regulations to cut pollution from power plants were illegal because they failed to consider the enormous cost to comply. Texas was one of 21 states involved in the litigation. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the ruling was a ‘significant victory in our efforts to rein in an out-of-control EPA.’ Paxton alleged the new rules were killing jobs. But proponents of the new rules said not enforcing them would risk killing people. Justice Elena Kagan in her dissent said cutting power plant pollution including mercury would have saved ‘any, many lives.’ The group Environment Texas said the state has some of the dirtiest coal-burning power plants in America and that if the new rules meant shutting them down, so be it.”
    www.houstonpublicmedia.org

EcoNotes

  • 6 July
    • Researcher Says Seaweed Can Provide Snapshot Of Ocean Life (Syeda Hasan – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Lone Star Coastal National Recreation Area will undermine property rights (Katrina Evenhouse – The Galveston County Daily News)
      www.galvnews.com
    • Will Pope Francis inspire climate activism among Texas Catholics? (Greg Harman – Texas Climate News)
      http://texasclimatenews.org
  • 3 July
    • Galveston Scientists Release Rescued Kemp’s Ridley Turtles (Syeda Hasan – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Environmental Justice Report: 81% Of Products Tested At U.S. Dollar Stores Are Unsafe (Kit O’Connell – MintPress News)
      www.mintpressnews.com
    • Oil Rig Count Rises for First Time This Year (Mose Buchele, KUT News/StateImpact Texas – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Hey, Texas! Get outside and visit your wild neighbors (HMNS News)
      http://blog.hmns.org
    • Oil Rig Count Rises for First Time This Year (Mose Buchele, KUT News/StateImpact Texas – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Lawsuit filed against U.S. over protections for rare wolf (Curtis Skinner – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • BP reaches $18.7 billion settlement over deadly 2010 spill (Terry Wade and Kristen Hays – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • White House directs GMO regulators to update, improve oversight (Carey Gillam – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • Like a mysterious movie set, the moss-fringed curtains of Caddo open on fascinating history and abundant wildlife. (Preston Kirk – Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine)
      http://tpwmagazine.com
    • 3 Days in the Field (Mike Cox – Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine)
      http://tpwmagazine.com
    • When the sun goes down, the fish come up. (Larry D. Hodge – Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine)
      http://tpwmagazine.com
    • First, you acquire some iconic Texas land. Then what? (Rob McCorkle – Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine)
      http://tpwmagazine.com
    • Meet Scarlet Colley, patron saint of the Laguna Madre dolphins. (Melissa Gaskill – – Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine)
      http://tpwmagazine.com
  • 2 July
    • Fearing Competition From Other States, Texas Changes Law For Pollution Permits (Dave Fehling – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Despite Rains, Lake Release Limits Upheld (Tyler Whitson, Austin Monitor – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Texas to get $750 million from BP oil spill settlement (Joshua Cain – Fuel Fix)
      http://fuelfix.com
    • BP Payment Plan: Texas Gets Share Of Billions Over 18 Years (Dave Fehling – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • BP pays record $18.7 billion to settle claims in Deepwater spill (The Kansas City Star)
      www.kansascity.com
    • Allergies and Air Quality (airCurrent News)
      http://airalliancehouston.org
    • Under BP Deal, Another $788 Million Will Flow to Texas (Jim Malewitz – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • A cartoonist takes on the BP oil spill (Nick Anderson – Houston Chronicle)
      http://blog.chron.com
    • Texas to get nearly $790M in BP oil spill settlement (Beaumont Enterprise)
      www.beaumontenterprise.com
    • Pilot Program Provides Free Transfers to Cash-Paying Riders (Mass Transit)
      www.masstransitmag.com
    • After HB 40, What’s Next for Local Drilling Rules in Texas? (Mose Buchele – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Saving water for a not-so-rainy day (Kelly Comstock –  Water)
      http://brownandcaldwell.com
    • African Dust Blows Into Houston, More on the Way (Travis Herzog – ABC 13 News)
      http://abc13.com
    • Texas to receive nearly $1 billion in settlement with BP (KFDM News)
      www.kfdm.com
    • Texas reaches agreement on Deep Water Horizon case (The Pearland Journal)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • DEP and FWC respond to record BP settlement, applauds Gulf Coast recovery progress (Phil Ammann – Saint Peters Blog)
      www.saintpetersblog.com
    • Polar bears face steep declines because of melting sea ice: U.S. study (Laura Zuckerman – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • Wisconsin Governor Walker signs bill banning microbeads (Brendan O’Brien – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • Recent flooding could potentially speed up spread of zebra mussels (Leslie Lee – Texas Water Resources Institute)
      http://twri.tamu.edu
    • Celebrate Smart Irrigation Month and save water (Texas Water Resources Institute)
      http://twri.tamu.edu
    • Quantifying Connections – World-renowned Texas A&M researcher uses water, energy, food nexus to analyze resource problems near and far (Leslie Lee – Texas Water Resources Institute)
      http://twri.tamu.edu
  • 1 July
    • Wild animals in the city: It’s time to stop being surprised (Peter Alagona, University of California, Santa Barbara – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Texas A&M Forest Service employee receives prestigious Smokey Bear Award (The Gilmer Mirror)
      www.gilmermirror.com
    • Supreme Court decides against EPA on the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (Adrian Shelley – airCurrent News)
      http://airalliancehouston.org
    • Houston’s HOV And HOT Lanes Are Staying Open Later (Gail Delaughter – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Rustic or Dangerous? Why Keeping Treated Wood Materials Indoors Can be a Bad Idea (Texas Clean Air Matters)
      http://blogs.edf.org
    • Pew survey: Most young Americans oppose offshore drilling, nuclear power (Fuel Fix)
      http://fuelfix.com
    • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Awards Grants to 35 States, District of Columbia for Work on Deadly Bat Disease (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)
      www.fws.gov
    • SCOTUS gives polluters a win (Charles Kuffner – Off the Kuff)
      http://offthekuff.com
    • Chronic Wasting Disease found in Medina County deer (Conor Harrison – Lone Star Outdoor News)
      www.lsonews.com
    • New CO2 rules should aid Keystone XL approval, TransCanada says (Scott Haggett – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • U.S., Brazil pledge to raise renewable energy in power output (Jeff Mason and Valerie Volcovici – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
  • 30 June
    • Hanson: Texas flooding reveals our accidental pollution (Jenna Hanson – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • Where Does the Trash on Houston Freeways Come From? (Maggie Martin – Houston Matters)
      www.houstonmatters.org
    • For Astronomers’ Sake, Some Drillers Cut Their Lights (Jim Malewitz – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • BP pledges $1 million to Student Conservation Association for local projects (Lauri Harvey Keagle – NWI Times)
      www.nwitimes.com
    • New data reveals which U.S. fracking wells needed the most water to drill (Joshua Cain – Fuel Fix)
      http://fuelfix.com
    • Nature Activities at Village Creek State Park
      Nature Activities at Village Creek State Park
    • Great Texas Birding Classic Awards $25,000 in Conservation Grants (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      http://tpwd.texas.gov
  • 29 June
    • Growth poses new challenges to Jones State Forest (Matthew Tresaugue – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • Houston Native Alison Weaver to Run Moody Center at Rice University (Rainey Knudson – Glasstire)
      http://glasstire.com
    • Protecting Jobs … Or People? Supreme Court Declares EPA Pollution Rule Illegal (Dave Fehling – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Opinion: STOP Riding Like This! Ease the Impact of Mountain Biking on the Environment (Chris Daniels – Single Tracks)
      www.singletracks.com
    • City Faces Lawsuits Over Post Oak Bus Lanes and Drainage Fee (Michael Hagerty – Houston Matters)
      www.houstonmatters.org
    • Katy Prairie Conservancy to host range ride July 18 (Carol Brejot – Memorial Examiner)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • Flooded Texas Homeowners Face Steep Costs to Rebuild (Mike Morris and Anita Hassan, Houston Chronicle – Emergency Management)
      www.emergencymgmt.com
    • Supreme Court Thwarts EPA Mercury Rules (Jim Malewitz and Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Texas Sues EPA Over Provision of Federal Water Law (Neena Satija – Trib+Water)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Lake Texoma Anglers Reminded of Regulations Prohibiting Moving of Baitfish (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      http://tpwd.texas.gov
  • 28 June
    • Texas A&M developing technology to test water for fecal contaminants amid rash of stomach illnesses (Joshua Siegel – The Eagle)
      www.theeagle.com
  • 27 June
    • East End residents voice fears about the oil trains that surround them (Claudia Feldman – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
  • 26 June
    • “Operation Dry Water” Nationwide Boating Under the Influence Crackdown This Weekend in Texas (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      http://tpwd.texas.gov
  • 24 June
    • USDA Launches Environmental Markets Website (USDA News)
      http://blogs.usda.gov
    • Water Environment Federation Announces New WEF Stormwater Institute (Water Environment Federation)
      www.wef.org
    • Rich Haut to receive SPE Distinguished Membership Award in September (HARC News)
      www.harcresearch.org
  • 23 June
    • What to do if you’re hit by a car while riding your bike (Greg Hanscom – Grist)
      http://grist.org
  • 22 June
  • 19 June

Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: June 29, 2015

Featured

  1. Supreme Court denies bid to reopen case of dead whooping cranes (David Sikes – Corpus Christi Caller Times, 6/22/2015)
    “The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday it has denied a petition to reopen a case involving the deaths of 23 endangered whooping cranes, according to Houston environmental attorney Jim Blackburn, who filed the petition as lead counsel in a lawsuit against the state over the deaths. No explanation was given, Blackburn said. This stems from a 2010 lawsuit filed by The Aransas Project, a Rockport-based nonprofit group of environmentalists, business owners, anglers and conservationists who advocate responsible water management. The group in its lawsuit accuses the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality along with the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority of withholding freshwater meant to nourish the San Antonio Bay estuary that, in turn, nourishes the only wild flock of whooping cranes during their winter stay in Texas.”
    www.caller.com
  2. METRO Wins Award for Best Transit Agency in North America (Jo-Carolyn Goode – Houston Style Magazine, 6/25/2015)
    The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) is the recipient of the 2015 “Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award” by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). The national organization bestows the award annually to transit agencies in three categories. METRO competed and won in the category for largest transit agencies, those which provide 20 million or more passenger trips annually. The award acknowledges transit accomplishments over the past three years… METRO was judged on safety, operations and maintenance, customer service, financial management, sustainability, workforce development, attendance and employee costs, minority and women advancement, marketing, policy administration, and community relations. METRO was also judged on quantitative measures including riders per hour and total passenger miles.
    http://stylemagazine.com
  3. How are Texas cities doing in their energy-efficiency efforts? (Texas Climate News, 6/23/2015)
    “To comply with the Obama administration’s proposed cuts in power plants’ climate-changing pollution, states will have various tools at their disposal in tailoring plans for their particular circumstances. One is increased efforts to advance energy efficiency. Against that regulatory backdrop, a leading advocacy organization pushing greater energy efficiency issued its annual scorecard for municipal governments recently. Texas cities did pretty well as a group. Among the 51 large cities that were ranked by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Austin was in the top 10 (with the ninth-best rating), Houston and San Antonio not far behind (at No. 13 and No. 17), Dallas was just below the top-20 tier (at No. 22) and El Paso and Fort Worth were in the bottom of the middle range at No. 35 and No. 37.”
    http://texasclimatenews.org

EcoNotes

  • 29 June
  • 26 June
    • Texas Leading Challenge to New Smog Standards (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Houston energy leaders optimistic despite oil slump (Suzanne Edwards – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
  • 25 June
    • All systems go for METRO’s new bus network following board approval (Memorial Examiner)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • Why are bees hurting? A lineup of suspects (Nathanael Johnson – Grist)
      http://grist.org
    • Texas Just Banned Sales of Shark Fin, Will Other States Follow? (Amanda Keledjian, Oceana – Live Science)
      www.livescience.com
    • Should Millions in ‘Fake Profits’ Be Returned to Texas Electricity Market? (Dave Fehling – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • METRO Wins Award for Best Transit Agency in North America (Jo-Carolyn Goode – Houston Style Magazine)
      http://stylemagazine.com
    • Green Infrastructure, Stormwater and Water Quality (Christine A. Fazio and Ethan I. Strell – New York Law Journal)
      www.newyorklawjournal.com
  • 24 June
  • 23 June
    • The Reason Beachgoers Are Being Warned to Avoid Gulf Waters in Texas (Gillian Mohney – ABC News)
      http://abcnews.go.com
    • Privatization of Beaches: What’s At Stake in Galveston (Michael Hagerty – Houston Matters)
      www.houstonmatters.org
    • How are Texas cities doing in their energy-efficiency efforts? (Texas Climate News)
      http://texasclimatenews.org
    • Landowners’ lawsuit could harpoon environmental activists’ Pa. campaign (Bakken News)
      http://bakken.com
    • How are Texas cities doing in their energy-efficiency efforts? (Texas Climate News)
      http://texasclimatenews.org
    • Obama administration sees cost savings, health benefits from climate action (Valerie Volcovici – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
  • 22 June
    • Supreme Court denies bid to reopen case of dead whooping cranes (David Sikes – Corpus Christi Caller Times)
      www.caller.com
    • New study finds high cancer rates in East Harris County (Marcelino Benito – KHOU News)
      www.khou.com
    • Pope Francis’ encyclical makes grade in climate science, experts say (Texas Climate News)
      http://texasclimatenews.org
    • Take Care of Texas releases video—how to compost (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality)
      www.tceq.state.tx.us
    • Are solar compactors actually good for the earth? (Grist)
      http://grist.org
    • Are ‘Fake Profits’ Driving Up The Cost Of Electricity In Texas? (Dave Fehling – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Dallas Teacher Named Wildlife Forever Educator of the Year (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      https://tpwd.texas.gov
    • Texas Balking as Federal Climate Rules Loom (Jim Malewitz – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Watering the land (Valerie Cranston – Current-Argus News)
      www.currentargus.com
    • Satellites, Sensors, and Soil (Sara Carney – Texas Water Resources Institute)
      http://twri.tamu.edu
    • 5 things to know in Texas energy this week (Suzanne Edwards – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
    • Money approved for Texas earthquake study (Max B. Baker – Star-Telegram)
      www.star-telegram.com
    • Texas Student To Represent U.S. In International Stockholm Junior Water Prize Competition (Water Online)
      www.wateronline.com
  • 21 June
    • Texas Sets $8 Billion Bond Deluge for Water Works After Drought (Darrell Preston – Bloomberg Business)
      www.bloomberg.com
  • 20 June
    • American recycling is stalling, and the big blue bin is one reason why (Aaron C. Davis – The Washington Post)
      www.washingtonpost.com
  • 19 June
    • TX Climatologist: Rains don’t wash away need for conservation (Mark Wiggins – KVUE ABC)
      www.kvue.com
    • Clean Water Act jurisdiction under the newly issued clean water rule (Lexology)
      www.lexology.com
    • Raising a Buzz for Bees and Butterflies (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      https://tpwd.texas.gov
    • Storm chasers capture East Austin flooding on camera (Shannon Murray – KVUE)
      www.kvue.com
  • 18 June
    • Tropical Storm Bill, May floods top off Texas reservoirs already on the mend from historic drought (John Boyd – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • Mayors National Climate Action Agenda Now Includes 26 Cities (City of Houston)
      www.houstongovnewsroom.org
    • Resource managers help turn trash into cash (Sarah Scully – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Houston Zoo is Ditching Plastic Bags (Shayla Andreas – The Official Houston Zoo Blog)
      http://blogs.houstonzoo.org
  • 17 June
    • Study finds elevated levels of metals, chemicals in Barnett Shale water samples (Max B. Baker – Star-Telegram)
      www.star-telegram.com
    • Study: To Keep The Drilling Revolution Growing, Address Environmental Factors (Dave Fehling – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Rice survey: 58% in Houston agree with pope that warming’s mainly man-made (Bill Dawson – Texas Climate News)
      http://texasclimatenews.org
  • 15 June
  • 14 June
  • 8 June
    • Solar-powered charging station benefits students, environment (The Cougar)
      http://thedailycougar.com
    • UH Researchers Search for New, More Efficient Materials (Jeannie Kever – University of Houston)
      www.uh.edu
  • 4 June