Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: August 26, 2014

Featured

  1. Houston’s newest neighborhood park looks like a million dollars, but it was a long time coming (Clifford Pugh – Culture Map Houston, 8/22/2014)
    Mayor Annise Parker and other city leaders gathered under the broiling sun on Thursday to dedicate Mandell Park and marvel at how it came about. More than 30 years ago, the city bought the 1.2-acre property at the corner of Mandell Street and Richmond Avenue in the Montrose area for a library and leveled a strip shopping center and homes to clear the land for construction. But when plans changed to locate the library in a church building on nearby Montrose Boulevard, no one knew quite what to do with the old property. It soon became a dumping ground for trash, tires and old furniture until neighbors cleared it and started a community garden. Over the years, they convinced city officials that it deserved to be a park and embarked on a $1.2 million campaign to build and maintain it.
    http://houston.culturemap.com
  2. New State Park Largest Conservation Purchase In Texas History (Florian Martin – Houston Public Media, 8/21/2014)
    Texas is getting a new state park and wildlife habitat. The Powderhorn Ranch is a 17,000 acre piece of land off Matagorda Bay, about 150 miles southwest of Houston. Multiple public and private conservation organizations worked together to secure the property. They gathered at Houston’s Museum of Natural Science to make the spectacular announcement. Conservationists have had an eye on the property for more than 30 years. At almost $38 million, the acquisition marks the largest conservation land purchase in Texas history. Carter Smith, executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, said the sheer size of the land along with its rich flora and fauna are some of the things that make this addition to Texas’ state parks special.
    www.houstonpublicmedia.org
  3. Environmental study begins on high-speed rail from Houston to Dallas (Matt Stephens – Community Impact Newspaper, 8/20/2014)
    The Federal Railroad Administration and the Texas Department of Transportation have begun work on an environmental impact statement for the Texas Central Railway, a 240-mile high-speed rail system between Houston and Dallas. Robert Eckels, president of Texas Central Railway, said the FRA and TxDOT issued a notice of intent June 25 to begin the environmental study. Three routes are being considered for the train, Eckels said, including rights of way along I-45, north along Hwy. 249 through Tomball and along a Union Pacific path along Hwy. 290. Stops are being considered near Bryan College Station and possibly along Beltway 8 or the Grand Parkway. “All [routes] have their strengths,” Eckels said. “The main thing we’re looking for is the cost of construction and to minimize the impact on the communities.”
    http://impactnews.com

EcoNotes

  • 25 August
    • Environmental Justice Advocates Question Houston’s Recycling Plan (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
  • 23 August
    • METRO’s System Reimagining Plan Moves to Next Step: Board Review on Aug. 28 (WN)
      http://article.wn.com
  • 22 August
    • Houston’s newest neighborhood park looks like a million dollars, but it was a long time coming (Clifford Pugh – Culture Map Houston)
      http://houston.culturemap.com
    • The EPA’s Costly ‘Clean Power Plan’ Power Grab (Karen Lugo – Forbes)
      www.forbes.com
    • Ecologists Just Saved Miles Of Texas Coastline Using BP Oil Spill Money (Ari Phillips – Climate Progress)
      http://thinkprogress.org
    • Companies ask Lege for help to fight county lawsuits (Kiah Collier – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Kleb Woods Nature Preserve attracts hummingbirds and their fans (Gary Clark – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Renovated Mandell Park opens with a ribbon cutting and reception (Marc Pembroke – Examiner)
      www.examiner.com
    • NASA’s first green fuel spacecraft figures out eco-power – SlashGear (Chris Davies – Green Sight)
      www.greensight.com
    • Industry Groups Streamline Green Building Tool Development – Environmental Leader (Green Sight)
      www.greensight.com
    • Exxon Mobil touts chemical plant expansion (Fuel Fix)
      http://fuelfix.com
  • 21 August
  • 20 August
    • Environmental study begins on high-speed rail from Houston to Dallas (Matt Stephens – Community Impact Newspaper)
      http://impactnews.com
    • Texas regulators OK expanding nuclear waste site (Betsy Blaney – The Salt Lake Tribune)
      www.sltrib.com
    • EPA urged to reduce refinery pollution (LaGloria – FROST)
      www.frostillustrated.com
    • You might think bikeshares cut down on CO2, but the truth is complicated (Madeleine Thomas – Grist)
      http://grist.org
  • 19 August
    • Texas’ Water Rights System Gets Tested in Drought (Kate Galbraith – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • How Illegal Fishing Costs Texas And Mexico Millions Each Year (Pat Hernandez – KUHF News)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Texas’ Nuclear Waste Dump Poised to Get Wiggle Room (Jim Malewitz, The Texas Tribune – The Gilmore Mirror)
      www.gilmermirror.com
  • 18 August
    • Texas Officials Blast New Pollution Rules For Power Plants (Dave Fehling – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Free Mobile App Available for Texas Hunting and Fishing Regulations (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      www.tpwd.state.tx.us
    • Oil And Gas Industry Added 10,500 Jobs In Second Quarter (Andrew Schneider – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Fracking Eco Worries Breed Fraudsters (Ted Knutson – FA Magazine)
      www.fa-mag.com
  • 16 August
    • State of Texas clashes with EPA on water issues (Matthew Waller – Caller Times)
      www.caller.com
  • 15 August
  • 11 August
    • Reducing hurricane impacts: HARC, university partners studying breakwater islands, public opinions (HARC News)
      www.harc.edu

Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: August 19, 2014

Featured

  1. Houston Plays a Role in Solar Green Energy Movement (Pat Hernandez – Houston Public Media, 8/6/2014)
    The roof of Houston’s Green Building Resource Center is lined with giant solar panels that help power the building. It’s a facility that promotes solutions to improve the environment. Program Director Steve Stelzer believes solar energy is the wave of the futures. A new report by Environment Texas, a statewide, citizen-funded group that advocates for a cleaner environment, shows strong solar growth across the country. Texas saw a 45% increase in 2013, but director Luke Metzger says Houston was ranked 44th in the country.
    www.houstonpublicmedia.org
  2. Greens Bayou Coalition works to make improvements (Flori Meeks – Houston Chronicle, 8/12/2014)
    Along its 45-mile span from Jersey Village to the Houston Ship Channel, Greens Bayou passes neighborhoods and schools, hospitals and shopping centers, Bush Intercontinental Airport and the FM 1960 corridor. Since 2007, the Greens Bayou Corridor Coalition has been working to make improvements along the way. Most recently, it completed a strategic plan for a 27.5-mile bayou paddle trail, the creation of the Ida Gaye Park for seniors in north Houston and a master plan that outlines parks and trail projects for the entire span of the bayou.
    www.chron.com
  3. HGAC promotes awareness of commute alternatives in August (The Potpourri Tomball Edition, 8/13/2014)
    The Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC) recognizes Commute Solutions Month by encouraging drivers to try a commute alternative this month to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality. For the fourth year, Houston made Forbes’ “Fasting Growing Cities in America” list. This rapid growth is great news for our economy, but presents new challenges for our region. Commuting in our region has become synonymous with wasting time and money, and air quality continues to be a major concern. In fact, the EPA designated our region a severe-nonattainment area because we do not meet national air-quality standards for pollution. Since on-road vehicles account for approximately 40 percent of our region’s air emissions, committing to a commute alternative is essential to helping improve our region’s health.
    www.yourhoustonnews.com

EcoNotes

  • 18 August
    • Eagle Ford Sees Another Kind of Boom: Publishing (Jim Malewitz – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
  • 16 August
  • 15 August
    • On Climate Rules, Regulators Look Beyond Litigation (Jim Malewitz and Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
  • 14 August
    • New LEED certification favors downtown, mixed-use projects (Jenny Agee-Aldridge – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
    • How Trucks Can Remind Us To Recycle (Pat Hernandez – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • H-E-B steps up its efforts on sustainable seafood (Vicki Vaughan – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • EPA blames Texas for Illinois air pollution (H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. – Human Events)
      http://humanevents.com
    • Your iPhone is about to get (a little) less toxic (Sara Bernard – Grist)
      http://grist.org
    • Migrating hummingbirds will soon arrive, public welcomed to see hundreds at Huffman home (Casey Stinnett – Your Houston News)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • Is Railroad Commission Getting Serious About Man-Made Quakes? (Terrence Henry, StateImpact Texas/KUT – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
  • 13 August
    • HGAC promotes awareness of commute alternatives in August (The Potpourri Tomball Edition)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • Environmental Group Says Illegal Diesel Fracking Used in Texas (Dave Fehling – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Railroad Commission Starting to Get Serious About Manmade Quakes (Terrence Henry – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Proposed Water Supply Project Draws Praise, Concerns in San Antonio (KDH News)
      http://kdhnews.com
    • Group Says Illegal Fracking Used In Texas (Dave Fehling – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • 5 Undeniable Truths about the Clean Power Plan (Ben Schneider – EDF Blog)
      http://blogs.edf.org
    • State regulator unveils proposed rules on disposal wells (Rhiannon Meyers – Fuel Fix)
      http://fuelfix.com
    • Texas weighs new pipeline rules (Fuel Fix)
      http://fuelfix.com
    • San Antonio Mulls $3 Billion Water Supply Project (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • When climate disaster strikes, just hit the reset button (Heather Hansman – Grist)
      http://grist.org
    • Tesla is becoming the 800-pound green jobs gorilla (Heather Smith – Grist)
      http://grist.org
  • 12 August
  • 11 August
    • Protesters urge hasty cleanup at abandoned chemical plant (Cindy Horswell – Beaumont Enterprise)
      www.beaumontenterprise.com
    • Trains and Traffic: No Time for Crossed Signals (METRO – Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County) (WN News)
      http://article.wn.com
    • Some Texas cities turn to higher water impact fees (KTSM News)
      www.ktsm.com
    • Keystone XL’s Carbon Pollution More Than State Department Estimated, Study Finds (Seth Borenstein – Huffington Post)
      www.huffingtonpost.com
    • Why Are Environmentalists Being Blamed for Bursting the Fracking Bubble? (Alter Net)
      www.alternet.org
  • 10 August
  • 9 August
  • 8 August
    • In the Garden with Urban Harvest: Get the most out of garden space with permaculture (Bob Randall, Ph.D. – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • For Legacy Oil Family Facing Drought, It’s Conservation or Bust (Marfa Public Radio)
      http://marfapublicradio.org
    • Local architect hopes energy-efficient Heights home could lead by example (Erin Mulvaney – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Garden enthusiasts to gather for Greater Houston Plant Conference Sept. 12 (AgriLife Today)
      http://today.agrilife.org
    • Teaching kids about climate change? Read them a classic story (Lori Rotenberk – Grist)
      http://grist.org
    • Heat shmeat. Talk fall planting, protection of Heights trees (Martin Hajovsky – Houston Chronicle)
      http://blog.chron.com
  • 7 August
    • Bird identification expert to speak at Sugar Land Garden Club Aug. 26 meeting (Your Fort Bend News)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
  • 6 August
  • 4 August
    • Feds face backlash trying to regulate wetlands that often aren’t wet (Chris Adams – The Tribune)
      www.sanluisobispo.com
  • 1 August
    • EPA Finalizes Greenhouse Gas Permit for Texas Power Plant;$607 million in economic development and new jobs (EPA News)
      http://yosemite.epa.gov