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

Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: July 22, 2014

Featured

  1. Researchers gauge seaweed fouling beaches (Harvey Rice – Houston Chronicle, 7/18/2014)
    Students from Texas A&M University at Galveston have been measuring the amount of seaweed landing on Galveston beaches in front of the seawall since April. The students are trying to answer two questions: How much seaweed has arrived in Galveston this season, and how long will it take the seaweed to dissolve? This work will help the Galveston Park Board and other cities along the Gulf Coast cope with seaweed that could be an increasing problem.
    www.houstonchronicle.com
    Note: The Chronicle included a second article, by Lisa Gray: Seaweed Gone Wild.
  2. Houston Area Park Waters Itself, Cleans Storm Drain (Florian Martin – Houston Public Media, 7/11/2014)
    Ghirardi WaterSmart Park in League City is the first park of its kind in the Houston Area. It uses lowered flowerbeds, which sit in a bowl-shaped depression with compost, sand, and shale with native clay soils, to collect and filter water. Underground pipes then channel the naturally cleaned water into the storm drain system. The park also has a metal tank that collects rain water from the roof of the pavilion. This water is used to irrigate the plants, reducing the amount of city water needed to keep the park maintained.
    www.houstonpublicmedia.org
  3. Houston’s Experimental Recycling Plan Targets Minority Neighborhoods for Waste Facility (Robert Bullard – OpEdNews, 7/13/2014)
    The Zero Waste Houston Coalition, a group of community and recycling advocates, released a new report, It’s Smarter to Separate: How Houston’s Trash Proposal Would Waste Our Resources, Pollute Our Air and Harm Our Community’s Health, Thursday on the steps of Houston City Hall. The report details environmental problems and challenges facing the its “One Bin for All” trash experiment Houston is proposing to jumpstart its recycling program. The controversial plan promotes a “dirty material recovery facility” or dirty MRF and will direct waste to an incinerator using gasification, pyrolysis or catalytic conversion. The report cites massive air pollution problems with trash gasification or pyrolysis, which are incineration technologies the City of Houston is also considering under its proposal.
    www.opednews.com

EcoNotes

  • 18 July
    • Researchers gauge seaweed fouling beaches (Harvey Rice – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Texas air medical celebrates 20 years of quality care (Justin Zamudio, San Angelo Standard-Times – EMS1)
      www.ems1.com
    • City moves to mow down blight (Mike Morris – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
  • 17 July
    • New Study Shows Rate of Groundwater Decline Slowing in Texas (Dylan Baddour – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • EPA representatives propose Clean Water Act expansion (KVUE News)
      www.kvue.com
    • Google’s Street View takes on America’s gas leaks (Edward McAllister – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • Obama unveils measures to help communities adapt to climate change (Larry Downing – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • Small-Scale Solar Energy Projects take Advantage of Abundant Sunlight in West Texas (Marfa Public Radio)
      http://marfapublicradio.org
    • Despite Obstacles, Solar Gains Ground in Texas (Marfa Public Radio)
      http://marfapublicradio.org
    • Texas could sue Denton if frack ban passes, Land Commissioner Patterson says (Nicholas Sakelaris – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
    • Legislation Introduced to Invalidate CWA Proposed Rule (Wisconsin AG Connection)
      www.wisconsinagconnection.com
    • Agencies respond to environmental group’s phosphorus claims (Josh Bollinger – My Eastern Shore MD)
      www.myeasternshoremd.com
  • 16 July
    • In Texas, Using Fire to Protect and Expand Water Supplies (Dylan Baddour – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Who’s Behind Denton’s Fracking Ban? Head Texas Regulator Thinks It Could Be Russia (Terrence Henry – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Record Number of METRO Riders Are Opting to Stop and Roll (WN News)
      http://article.wn.com
    • Texas judge upholds $3 million fracking verdict (Mica Rosenberg – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • Will the EPA’s New Carbon Rule Survive Judicial Challenge? (The Energy Collective)
      http://theenergycollective.com
    • Do EPA letters constitute a suit? Texas Supreme Court to decide (Amy B. Briggs, David B. Killalea , Stephen T. Raptis, Robert H. Shulman and Susan P. White – Lexology)
      www.lexology.com
    • Health chief: No fast answer to drilling questions (Kevin Begos – The Dallas Post)
      www.mydallaspost.com
    • Legislation introduced to invalidate CWA proposed rule (Dairy Herd Management)
      www.dairyherd.com
  • 15 July
    • Construction Begins on Largest Carbon Capture Project in the World (Terrence Henry – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • As Solar Grows in Texas, Border City Provides a Model (Marfa Public Radio)
      http://marfapublicradio.org
    • Texas drilling company shuts down disputed well (Miami Herald)
      www.miamiherald.com
    • Texas utilities preparing for new EPA regulations (Jim Malewitz, The Texas Tribune – KTSM News)
      www.ktsm.com
    • EPA Followed States’ Lead in Developing Power Plant Proposal, Officials Say (Andrew Childers – Bloomberg BNA)
      www.bna.com
  • 14 July
  • 13 July
    • Climate Scientists: Texas Is Missing an Opportunity (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Houston’s Experimental Recycling Plan Targets Minority Neighborhoods for Waste Facility (Robert Bullard – OpEdNews)
      www.opednews.com
    • State lays oyster reef at Galveston Bay boardwalk (Christopher Smith Gonzalez, Galveston County Daily News – The Statesman)
      www.statesman.com
  • 12 July
  • 11 July
    • Houston Area Park Waters Itself, Cleans Storm Drain (Florian Martin – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Trees for Houston gives away thousands of seedlings (Nate Brown – The Kingwood Observer)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • State to San Antonio: No, You Can’t Own Your Wastewater (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • In the Garden With Urban Harvest: Seeds bring success in vegetable gardening (Bob Randall, Ph.D. – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • Contributing factors to groundwater table declines identified (Texas A&M Agrilife, Science Daily)
      www.sciencedaily.com
  • 10 July
  • 9 July
  • 8 July
    • Houston energy company buys local water treatment company (Jordan Blum – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com