Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: March 3, 2015

Featured

  1. New website evaluates environmental impact of projects in State Water Plan; Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down Ratings Given to Highlighted Projects (Environment Texas, 2/26/2015)
    “Environment Texas Research and Policy Center launched a new website today designed to help educate Texans about the environmental impacts of projects in the State Water Plan. The interactive website – www.OurTexasWater.org – allows Texans to view a map of the state and learn about highlighted projects in their community. The new website comes as the Texas Water Development Board considers the first round of applications for funding from the new water infrastructure fund approved by voters in November 2013.”
    www.environmenttexas.org
  2. Federal funding breathes life into Greens Bayou Flood Damage Reduction Project (DVIDS, 2/25/2015)
    “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District and Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) will start work on the Greens Bayou Flood Damage Reduction Project in north Harris County this year due to $8 million in start-up funding allocated in the federal fiscal year 2015 budget for the Corps’ Civil Works program… The Corps is the lead agency on the $55 million Greens Bayou project and expects to start construction later this year on the first phase of excavation of the stormwater detention basin located adjacent to Greens Bayou near Antoine Road and the Sam Houston Tollway. West Greens Drive bisects the basin, dividing it into two parts, but it will function as a single flood damage reduction feature. Stormwater detention basins help to reduce flooding damages by safely storing excess stormwater during heavy rain events and slowly releasing it back into the bayou as water levels recede.”
    www.dvidshub.net
  3. Efficiency is what Texas Can (and Should) Do Best (John Hall – EDF News, 2/25/2015)
    “I have been involved in Texas’ energy sector for a long time, particularly from an environmental perspective. I was there when the state’s metropolitan centers and their robust industrial sectors were challenged to reduce ozone-forming pollution. I was there when Texas deregulated its energy market to increase competition, improve choices for residents and businesses, and lower electricity prices. And now, I’m here to witness the state’s transition to a clean energy economy – one that harnesses more West Texas wind energy, rooftop solar, and natural gas (with the right controls in place) than any other time in history. The one thing that ties all of these events together is efficiency – something Texas has led in the past.”
    http://blogs.edf.org/texascleanairmatters

EcoNotes

  • 2 March
    • Storm leads to 1,000 canceled flights in Texas as more snow heads east (Mary Wisniewski – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
  • 27 February
    • Looking for a Silver Lining in Falling Oil Prices in Texas (Philip Issa – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Climate change opens new doors to deadly diseases (Tim Radford – Texas Climate News)
      http://texasclimatenews.org
    • Energy giant’s bleak outlook is 25 percent rise in CO2 (Alex Kirby – Texas Climate News)
      http://texasclimatenews.org
    • Dear readers, thanks for all the memories (Kathy Huber – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Welcome To Houston, Texas – Still America’s Economic Miracle (Christopher Helman – Forbes)
      www.forbes.com
    • Texas Reports Electronics Recycling Results (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality)
      www.tceq.state.tx.us
    • Google invests $300 million in U.S. residential solar projects (Nichola Groom – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
  • 26 February
    • New website evaluates environmental impact of projects in State Water Plan; Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down Ratings Given to Highlighted Projects (Environment Texas)
      www.environmenttexas.org
    • The Secret Life of Bees: Using Big Data and Citizen Science to Unravel…What Bees Are Saying about the Environment (Jennifer Baljko – The Nature of Cities)
      www.thenatureofcities.com
    • Texas Bill Bans Sustainability Program, Based On A Glenn Beck Conspiracy Theory (Emily Atkin – Climate Progress)
      http://thinkprogress.org
    • Flood board to decide next week on ‘Big Oil’ lawsuit appeal (Fuel Fix)
      http://fuelfix.com
  • 25 February
  • 24 February
  • 23 February
  • 20 February
    • Harris County seeks new trial in pollution case (Matthew Tresaugue – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • Reflections in windows put birds on alert (Gary Clark – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Regional Water Symposium to Discuss State Funding, Conservation Methods and Public Perception (The Paper)
      http://fatcatwebproductions.com
    • Arctic drilling plan would require backup rig (Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Washington Bureau – San Antonio Express News)
      www.expressnews.com
  • 19 February
    • Major ammonia plant confirmed for Freeport (Jordan Blum – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
    • NatureFest Nurtures Outdoor Awareness at Jones Park (The Paper)
      http://fatcatwebproductions.com
    • Despite rains, many Texas reservoirs lower this year than last (Blair Fannin, Texas A&M University Extension – AG Professional)
      www.agprofessional.com
    • TCU professor: Texas water supply can be maintained (Julia Sanders – The 109)
      www.the109.org
    • Texas Parks Hoping for a Funding Boost (Neena Satija – TRIB + Water)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Houston energy companies cut capital spending by 40 percent (Jordan Blum – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
    • BP expects OPEC to outpace U.S. shale (Jordan Blum – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
    • IRNR joins partnership to establish the Center for Private Land Stewardship (Conservation Matters)
      http://twri.tamu.edu
    • How drought-tolerant are Central Texas’ favorite landscape plants? (Kathy Wythe – Conservation Matters)
      http://twri.tamu.edu
  • 18 February
    • Dryers: Homes’ energy guzzlers just got greener (Katherine Roth – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • Five coming projects on the Katy Prairie (Leah Binkovitz)
      www.chron.com
    • Houston energy company risks NYSE delisting (Jordan Blum – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
  • 17 February
    • More than 14,000 new trees are transforming a vital Houston park: $50-million-plus project’s uber green (Shelby Hodge – CultureMap Houston)
      http://houston.culturemap.com
    • Arctic melting opens sea route to more pollution (Alex Kirby – Texas Climate News)
      http://texasclimatenews.org
    • UH Students Revving Up for Shell Eco-Marathon (Jeannie Kever – University of Houston)
      www.uh.edu
  • 16 February
    • Recent UH Grad Named Forbes “30 Under 30″ for Energy (Greg Ortiz – University of Houston)
      www.uh.edu
    • Climate, satellite gaps are risky business for feds (Brian Kahn – Texas Climate News)
      http://texasclimatenews.org
    • UCLA study: Social conscience is key to cutting household energy (Tim Radford – Texas Climate News)
      http://texasclimatenews.org
  • 13 February
    • Refinery neighbors hope to breathe easier after air pollution study (Matthew Tresaugue – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
  • 12 February
  • 10 February
  • 7 February
    • Study: High-Tech Tools Across Houston Are Letting More Residents Live Car-Free (Gail Delaughter – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
  • 5 February
    • HARC works with stakeholders to improve water quality in a scenic tributary of Galveston Bay (Stephanie Glenn – HARC News)
      www.harcresearch.org

Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: February 23, 2015

Featured

  1. The Holdouts (Priscilla Mosqueda – Texas Observer, 2/16/2015)
    “When the landman comes knocking, most people living in the Texas oil patch experience something like joy, or at least sweet relief. Here’s someone offering you money up front and the promise of hefty royalty checks in exchange for producing oil and 
gas from the ground… Landmen are agents of oil and natural gas producers; it is their job to get the mineral rights owner to claim a piece of the pie… Almost everyone takes the money…. But across the shale plays—primarily the Barnett in the north and the Eagle Ford in the south—there are some who reject the landmen’s offers. Known in the industry as “holdouts,” these mineral rights owners dare to challenge Big Oil in Texas.”
    www.texasobserver.org
  2. Refinery neighbors hope to breathe easier after air pollution study (Matthew Tresaugue – Houston Chronicle, 2/13/2015)
    “Across Avenue R from Valero Energy Corp.’s Houston refinery sits Hartman Park, a tree-lined island roughly as long and as wide as a city block. There are swing sets, two tennis courts and an infield scratched out of its expanse. Beyond center field, in the northeast corner of the decades-old park, is its newest fixture: a high-tech lamp mounted atop four stories of scaffolding. The equipment is part of a monthlong project, set to launch as soon as Monday, to gather real-time data on harmful air pollution in Manchester, a working-class and predominantly Hispanic neighborhood just outside Loop 610 East. Researchers say the government-funded study will be the first to use light beams and mirrors to create three-dimensional maps of the air pollution over a neighborhood next to a refinery.”
    www.houstonchronicle.com
  3. Abandoned plant’s neighbors want city to clean up pollution (Matthew Tresaugue – Houston Chronicle, 2/16/2015)
    “Only a chain-link fence and some leafless trees separate Judy Jones’ house in south Houston from an abandoned industrial waste facility. They’re hardly enough to stop the noxious fumes that waft from the tanks, drums and sludge that remain more than four years after CES Environmental Services closed. Frustrated by the pace of the cleanup, Jones and her neighbors are urging the city to purchase the Griggs Road property and to pay for the removal of all existing structures. City officials then can decide an appropriate future use for the site, possibly as a park or a housing development, the residents say… The push comes six months after the federal Environmental Protection Agency began to clean up the property, an effort that involves removing several hazardous chemicals such as cancer-causing benzene and methyl ethyl ketone, a nose- and throat-irritating solvent.”
    www.houstonchronicle.com

EcoNotes

  • 20 February
  • 19 February
    • Citigroup sets $100 billion funding goal for green projects (Fuel Fix)
      http://fuelfix.com
    • Texas Parks Hoping for a Funding Boost (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Legislation Would Let Tesla Sell in Texas (Jim Malewitz – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Houston Conference Highlights Scientific Research On Deepwater Oil Spill Damage (Carrie Feibel – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Vehicle Registration and Inspection Stickers are Partnering Up in Texas (Karl Wehmhoener – MyHighPlains)
      www.myhighplains.com
    • Why Oil And Gas Taxes Will Not Solve Texas Road Funding Shortfall (Dave Fehling – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Texas Recycling Data Initiative Report Provides Baseline for Future Recycling Progress in Texas (Market Watch)
      www.marketwatch.com
    • Houston Conference Highlights Scientific Research On Deepwater Oil Spill Damage (Carrie Feibel – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
  • 18 February
    • Texas residents poisoned by toxic waste plant for years: ‘We don’t deserve to live like this’ (Jen Hayden – Daily KOS)
      www.dailykos.com
    • Need an Introduction to All the New Stuff Going into Buffalo Bayou Park? This’ll Be a Good Place To Start (Swamplot)
      http://swamplot.com
    • Houston insurance co. lands naming rights to Buffalo Bayou visitor center (Joe Martin – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
    • Dealers Reach Out, but Tesla Slams the Door (Jim Malewitz and Bobby Blanchard – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Residents urge City Council to Action (Brian Butler – Air Current News)
      http://airalliancehouston.org
    • Remaking Allen Parkway (Charles Kuffner – Off the Kuff)
      http://offthekuff.com
    • Cars in oil-train derailment newer-model (Jennifer A. Dlouhy – San Antonio Express-News)
      www.expressnews.com
    • Dreaming in Dirt (BK Loren – Orion Magazine)
      https://orionmagazine.org
    • U.S. EPA chief hints at softening carbon rule interim timeline (Valerie Volcovici – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • Gulf Council Seeks Applicants for New Ad Hoc Reef Fish Headboat Advisory Panel (Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council)
      www.wakulla.com
  • 17 February
  • 16 February
    • Abandoned plant’s neighbors want city to clean up pollution (Matthew Tresaugue – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • The Holdouts (Priscilla Mosqueda – Texas Observer)
      www.texasobserver.org
    • Houston Residents, Council Members Want Empty Chemical Plant Cleaned Up (Syeda Hasan – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • South Houston Residents Claim Abandoned Toxic Dump Causing Sickness (Greg Groogan – My Fox Houston)
      www.myfoxhouston.com
    • Climate, satellite gaps are risky business for feds (Brian Kahn – Texas Climate News)
      http://texasclimatenews.org
    • UCLA study: Social conscience is key to cutting household energy (Tim Radford – Texas Climate News)
      http://texasclimatenews.org
    • Plastic bag bans in Texas seem to be on the rise and working (Eagle Ford Texas)
      http://eaglefordtexas.com
    • Central Station Main to Open for METRORail Passengers (Jo-Carolyn Goode – Houston Style Magazine)
      http://stylemagazine.com
    • Oil-export backers aren’t getting much traction in Washington — yet (Jennifer A. Dlouhy – San Antonio Express-News)
      www.expressnews.com
  • 13 February
    • Refinery neighbors hope to breathe easier after air pollution study (Matthew Tresaugue – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Tiny lizard at center of big fight in the oil patch (Matthew Tresaugue – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • 2015 Engineer of the Year: Michael Talbott receives top honor (Alice Adams – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com