Environmental News Update 12/8/00
Arbor Day Awards
The deadline for nominations for the Trees For Houston's Arbor Day Awards is December 15. Eligible recipients include individuals, businesses, community organizations, and foundations that have made exceptional contributions to the planting and preservation of trees in the Houston area within the last year. Call Trees For Houston at (713) 840-8733 for more details on eligibility and nominations.
TNRCC Approves Clean Air Plan
On Wednesday, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission approved a set of pollution reduction measures designed to bring the region into compliance with federal ozone standards. The plan should reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 75 percent and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) by 40 percent region-wide. Both NOx and VOCs are ozone precursors. Measures include a 90 percent reduction in NOx emissions from industry, a more stringent vehicle emissions testing program, bans on the use of heavy construction equipment and commercial lawn equipment from 6 a.m. to noon from April to October, and a reduction in the speed limit to 55 miles per hour. The measures will apply to the entire eight-county region, except for the equipment bans. For the full plan, visit http://www.tnrcc.state.tx.us/exec/media/press/12-00houssip.html
EDF Says Air Plan Falls Short
The above-mentioned clean air plan is not enough to protect public health, according to the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). "It weakens previous positions endorsed by the TNRCC and includes ideas that are simply unworkable," said Dr. Ramon Alvarez, an EDF scientist. "This plan withdraws building codes for new buildings, which reduce pollution while lowering utility bills. In addition, the Commission withdrew its rule to require the sale of the same low sulfur gasoline that will be used to cut smog in California." EDF also disapproves of the ban on morning construction equipment, noting that it will create hardship for workers. They question some of the calculations used to determine the actual pollution reduction from certain measures as well. http://www.environmentaldefense.org/pubs/NewsReleases/2000/Dec/f_houston.html
Clean Air Act Turns 30
The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) released a report Wednesday marking the 30th anniversary of the Clean Air Act. In December 1970, this historic legislation was enacted to protect public health by cleaning the nation's air. The report examines some of the Act's ground-breaking successes and also focuses on the particular problem of nitrogen oxides (NOx) air pollution, which has increased by 3.5 million tons between 1970-98, a rise of 17% since the Act was adopted. The report, Building on 30 Years of Clean Air Act Success: The Case for Reducing NOx Air Pollution, is available for download at http://www.environmentaldefense.org/pubs/NewsReleases/2000/Dec/d_CAA.html
Development Assistant, Houston Office of the Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy of Texas, a non-profit conservation organization, is seeking a full-time Development Assistant for its Houston office. Duties include providing administrative and secretarial support to the Associate Director, and maintaining computerized databases. Requirements include proficiency in Microsoft Word (specifically Access and Excel), 3 years of high-level administrative/secretarial experience and previous experience working in fundraising and/or special events is preferred. Send cover letter and resume to The Nature Conservancy of Texas, 3015 Richmond Ave, Suite 290, Houston, TX 77098 or it may be faxed to (713) 522-0803.
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