Environmental News Update 2/16/01
San Jacinto Conservation Coalition to Meet
On Thursday, February 22 at 7:00 p.m., the San Jacinto Conservation Coalition will meet at Atascocita Lutheran Church, 7927 FM 1960 E. in Atascocita. Texas Parks and Wildlife biologist Andy Sipocz will speak on bottomland hardwood forests and the value of riparian corridors with a slide presentation plus live video footage of sand mining on the San Jacinto River. SJCC will give an update on their smart growth initiatives in NE Harris County, with opportunities for letter writing. Contact Nancy Simpson 281-324-6431 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
TMMSN to Host "Fins Up 2001"
The Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network (TMMSN), and organization dedicated to the recovery, rehabilitation, and release of live stranded dolphins along the Texas coast. will host its first major fund-raising event of the 21st century, "Fins Up 2001," on March 31 from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the San Luis Resort on Galveston Island. There will be food door prizes, raffle prizes, and a silent auction for everyone to participate. Anyone and everyone is welcome to attend! The cost will be $50.00 per person ($75.00 per couple). Please RSVP by March 25, 2001 by either calling 1-800-9MAMMAL (800-962-6625) with your credit card information (we accept Master Card, Visa, and Discover), or send your check or money order to: TMMSN, Fins Up 2001, 5001 Avenue U Suite 105C, Galveston, TX 77551-5926. For more information, visit http://www.tmmsn.org.
Improving Public Involvement In Transportation Forum
An open forum on Improving Public Involvement In Transportation will be held Wednesday, February 21 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Houston-Galveston Area Council (HGAC), 3555 Timmons Lane. Jeff Taebel, Manager of Community and Environmental Planning at the HGAC, will facilitate a panel discussion and open forum on improving the public involvement process for transportation planning and projects. The program is sponsored by Trans Texas Alliance, Cypress Creek United Civic Association, and Texas Community Project.
Texas Trails Symposium 2001
The Texas Trails Network will host a Symposium in Del Lago on Lake Conroe near Houston on Wednesday, February 21. The meeting, which is a pre-conference activity of the Texas Recreation and Parks Society (TRAPS), will prepare participants for everything related to trail grant application, construction, maintenance, and promotion within their communities. Registration and payment of the $60 fee must be made on-site at Del Lago Resort the day of the conference. For more information about the Symposium or the TRAPS Annual Institute, contact Joe Moore at 817-410-3121 or email@example.com, or visit http://www.traps.org.
Livable Texas Conference
The Partnership for a Livable Texas Conference, sponsored by the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) and Clean Texas, will run from February 22-23 at the Hotel Sofitel in Houston. Presenters will show how other cities, businesses, industries, and organizations are improving the environmental quality of Texas. Participants will share ideas for environmental initiatives and learn what CLEAN TEXAS can do for their communities. For additional information, visit http://www.cleantexas.org.
Discussion on Air Quality Regulations to be Held
On Wednesday, February 21, the Houston Chapter of the Texas Economic & Demographic Association (TEDA) will host a discussion on how the new air quality regulations will affect the Houston area. Presenters will cover what the State Implementation Plan is; what impacts it will have on lifestyles, economic competitiveness, and regional development; and how local governments and businesses are planning to react. The meeting will run from 8:00 to 11:45 a.m. at the United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast, 2200 North Loop West. Registration costs $30 per person for TEDA members and their guests and $40 for all others. For more information, call Edith Chambers at 713-844-3618.
ACT Lobbying Day
The Alliance for a Clean Texas, a coalition of more than two dozen religious, environmental, health, and consumer groups, is sponsoring a statewide environmental lobby day on Monday February 26th at the Capitol in Austin. Participants will travel to Austin, visit their legislators, and share concerns and experiences. A pre-lobby day training session will be offered on Sunday, February 25 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. to share information about the legislative process and how to deliver a compelling and targeted message to a legislator. For more information, go to http://www.sierraclub.org/chapters/tx.
Title V Action Alert
The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) has proposed "Title V" air permitting rules that fail to protect citizens' right to know about air pollution in their neighborhoods and fail to recognize citizen gathered evidence of air violations, according to Public Citizen. The SEED Coalition is allowing citizens to sign onto a comment letter demanding that the TNRCC change those rules to protect citizens' rights at http://www.seedcoalition.org. Also, EPA Region 6 plans to sponsor a free Citizen Workshop on Title V, probably in Houston. If you are interested in attending, send an email to Neil Carman at Neil_Carman@greenbuilder.com.
First TNRCC Reform Bills Public Hearing
The first two Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) reform bills are coming up for public hearing on Monday, February 19 at 2:00 p.m. in the House State Affairs Committee. HB 37 by McClendon strengthens the TNRCC Office of Public Interest Counsel (OPIC) by making it governor-appointed (instead of appointed by the TNRCC Director), able to use independent technical experts (instead of having to rely on TNRCC experts that are defending the polluters' permits), and able to appeal TNRCC Commission decisions that are bad for the public. HB 616 creates an independent Office of Natural Resources Public Interest Counsel to represent the public interest in TNRCC hearings, rulemakings, advisory committees and other decisions. The ONRPIC would also have the ability to appeal TNRCC Commission decisions in court if those decisions are not in the public interest. HB 37 and HB 616 may be merged into one bill in committee. The Public Interest Sunset Working group supports these bills, and would like citizens to note their support through short letters, calls, e-mails, or faxes to the committee members. Committee members are listed at http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/cgibin/db2www/tlo/cmtembr/cmtembrs.d2w/ report?LEG=77&SESS=R&CMTECODE=C450&CTYPE=House. More information on the Public Interest Sunset Working group can be found at http://www.texascenter.org/sunset.
Soot Causes Global Warming
Soot, the black dust emitted from fireplaces, diesel equipment, and jet engines, is a major cause of global warming, according to researchers at Stanford University. So far, the role of soot has not been considered during the international talks to control climate change, even though it may cause as much as 30 percent of the greenhouse effect. Until now, experts have emphasized reducing carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases to curb temperature changes, but that focus may shift in light of new information. (Environmental News Network, 2/8/01)
House Chairs Rank Low on Environmental Scorecard
The new environmental committee chairmen in the House of Representatives have extremely poor environmental voting records, according to an analysis by the League of Conservation Voters (LCV). The LCV rated the voting records of the environmental committee chairmen of the 107th Congress on a scale of 1 to 100 percent, based on whether their votes benefited the environment. The national average for House of Representatives of the 106th Congress was 47 percent. The new chairmen averaged 7 percent. The five House environmental subcommittees ranked by LCV were the House Resources Committee, House Energy and Commerce Committee, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, and the House Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee. (LCV 1/01)
Outreach Event Manager Paid Summer Internship - Friends of Hermann Park
Summer intern will coordinate the Friends of Hermann Park Annual Old Fashioned Fall Festival community outreach event. Responsibilities include create/update participant mailing list; develop and coordinate activities; seek sponsorship support and in-kind donations; publicize through local media; secure volunteer support; purchase supplies. Intern will be required to work with FHP staff as well as outside consultants in a project management role. Contact Lisa Cuccia, Community Relations Manager, at 713-524-5876 for more information.
Environmental Education Camp Paid Summer Internship - Friends of Hermann Park
Camp counselors will teach environmental education activities to children ages 4 to 18 years of age in Bayou Parkland in Hermann Park. Other responsibilities include maintaining the outdoor classroom, grounds maintenance, simple curriculum development, animal care, and light office work. Contact Lisa Cuccia, Community Relations Manager, at 713-524-5876 for more information.
The Mickey Leland Environmental Internship Program provides summer internship opportunities for minorities, women, and economically disadvantaged students pursuing environmental, engineering, science-related, and public administration careers at colleges and universities across the United States. The program was established in 1992 by the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) in partnership with the Texas Water Development Board, the Texas General Land Office, the Texas Chemical Council, the Texas Council of the American Electronics Association and numerous private corporations. The purpose of the program is to expose undergraduate and graduate students to environmental issues and give them the opportunity to gain professional experience. For more information, visit http://www.tnrcc.state.tx.us/admin/employ/intern.
Progressive Technology Project Grants
The Progressive Technology Project seeks to strengthen citizen action, increase public participation by under-represented communities and build stronger grassroots organizations by exploring and supporting the effective use of information technology. Their grant making activities are designed to help community organizing groups support and develop strategic uses of technology that strengthen their ability to affect change in their communities and beyond. PTP's granting will help grassroots organizations build the best tools and uses of technology possible, support their use by real people, test them in meaningful work, and share experiences so the entire field can benefit from the results. http://www.progressivetech.org/index.htm
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