2017 Environmental Year in Review

We asked you, our readers, to tell us what you might put on a list of the most significant environmental accomplishments, controversies, issues, news, and events in the greater Houston region impacting the environment.

Here’s what you’ve shared with us (in no particular order):

  • Passing the City of Houston Bike Plan
  • Negotiation of a new recycling contract for the City of Houston
  • San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund Record of Decision: Full Removal (read more from the Galveston Bay Foundation and the EPA, which is hosting a meeting on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017)
  • People’s Climate March (and Women’s March & Science March)
  • Climate change & related flooding/storm surge threat (pre-Harvey)
  • Proposed widening of I45, which is proposed to cover Little White Oak and impose even greater air quality, noise pollution, and lack of connectivity burdens on a large, mostly disadvantaged part of Houston
  • Federal judge orders Exxon to pay $20 million penalty for violations of Clean Air Act at Baytown refinery and chemical plants
  • At the Texas Legislature:
    • Preventing a ban on local reusable bag regulations (see commentary from Texas Campaign for the Environment, one of many advocated pounding the pavement in Austin earlier this year)
    • Efforts to remove municipalities’ ability to regulate local issues such as tree preservation that are essential to combating urban heat island effect
  • In Washington DC:
  • Terry Hershey’s legacy lives on (see article in Houston Chronicle)
  • The Great Blizzard of 2018 (not really a blizzard, but enough to make snowmen)
  • Harvey (here are a few of the early articles relating Harvey and the environment)

For posterity, please suggest additions to this list using this survey.

Curious about past suggestions? Check out 2016 results.