Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: February 13, 2019

Houston ranks second in Texas for most unauthorized pollution, environmental study finds

(Erin Douglas – Houston Chronicle, Updated 02/12/2019. Photo by Kin Man Hui)
“The Houston metro area has the second most unauthorized air pollution in the state, analysis of reports filed by companies to state regulators by the Texas Environment Research & Policy Center, an environmental policy nonprofit, found. Over 9 million pounds of unauthorized emissions were released in Houston in 2017, second to Midland, where Texas’ booming oil field, the Permian Basin, is located.”
chron.com

Environmentalists troubled by Sims Bayou chemical spill

(R.A. Schuetz and Massarah Mikati – Houston Chronicle, Updated 02/11/2019. Photo by Melissa Phillip)
Environmental organizations are raising an alarm over the potential health impacts of chemicals spilled Feb. 3 into Sims Bayou near Hobby Airport when an estimated 64,000 gallons of jet fuel escaped from a Southwest Airlines-owned fuel storage facility. Amy Sullivan, who has been monitoring the water quality in Sims Bayou for six years with the water monitoring network Texas Stream Team, said she was flabbergasted Thursday when she went to sample the bayou, as a pearly film marbled the water’s surface, and the overpowering stench of fuel permeated the air. chron.com

Texas is growing fast. We need to protect our water.

(Andrew Sansom and Anna Huff – Houston Chronicle, 02/11/2019. Photo by Smith Collection / Gado / Getty Images)
“Texas is one of the fastest growing states in the country. But a downside of this growth is that, coupled with extreme weather events, such as droughts and floods, many of our existing water resources are becoming overburdened…The answer lies in changing our attitudes and behavior so that, when we do use water, we use it more wisely.”
houstonchronicle.com

EcoNotes

  • 12 February
  • 11 February
  • 8 February
    • With coyote sightings on the rise in The Woodlands, officials offer safety tips (Marialuisa Rincon – Houston Chronicle) https://www.chron.com
    • Houston, we have a problem for the Houston toad (Cheryl Conley – Houston Chronicle) https://www.chron.com
  • 7 February
    • More Republicans say stricter environmental regulations are ‘worth the cost’ (Haley Davie and Baxter Oliphant – Pew Research Center) http://www.pewresearch.org
  • 6 February

CEC Welcomes Akshay Chhajed as Business Development Intern

Akshay Chhajed is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration with emphases on finance and strategy from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business along with double minors in International Studies and Modern Greek. He was born and brought up in Mumbai (Bombay), India and moved to the United States in 2014 after high school to pursue his undergraduate education and widen his global perspective.

For leisure, he enjoys traveling, electronic dance music, hiking and scuba diving and is an avid learner of topics such as history, economics, linguistics and the classics. He is very passionate about engaging with diverse cultures and also speaks English, Hindi, Modern Greek and French.

Having recently moved to Houston, he is enthusiastic to contribute to CEC in activities related to business and is looking forward to gain more knowledge about the relationship and intersection between ongoing environmental issues and businesses, especially with regards to corporate social responsibility. Akshay can be reached at [email protected]

Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: February 7, 2019

Houston to Dallas bullet train gives the green light to local environmental company

(Marcy de Luna – Houston Chronicle, 02/05/2019. Photo by JR Central) While construction is not set to start until late 2019, plans for the highly-anticipated high-speed bullet train project that will connect Houston to Dallas in 90 minutes are inching along as developers at Texas Central are making moves to get the project on track. This week, Texas Central announced via press release that it has partnered with Resource Environmental Solutions (RES) to help protect and enhance natural ecosystems and the environment throughout construction and operations. houstonchronicle.com

Report finds Harvey’s hit led to 27% increase in plant pollution

(Matt Hollis – The Baytown Sun, 02/03/2019.) “Texas industrial facilities reported releasing more than 63 million pounds of air pollution without authorization in 2017, a 27 percent increase over the previous year, according to a report by Environment Texas Research and Policy Center. While the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality could issue fines as high as $2.3 billion for 2017 violations, the report found the agency only levied a total of $1.2 million in fines in 2017 or 2 cents per pound of pollution.” baytownsun.com

We need science fiction to fight climate change [Opinion]

(Charlie Jane Anders, The Washington Post – Houston Chronicle, 01/31/2019. Photo by Universal/Getty Images) “Sen. Kamala Harris was half right in her speech launching her 2020 presidential campaign, when she said we need to address climate change based on “science fact, not science fiction.” The truth is, we need both. Science fiction has an important role to play in rescuing the future from the huge challenges we’re facing – and the responses to Harris’ statement illustrate this perfectly.” houstonchronicle.com

EcoNotes

  • 6 February
  • 5 February
    • Texas ranks No. 5 for green building in 2018 (Katherine Feser – Houston Chronicle) https://www.chron.com
    • Environment America response to the 2019 State of the Union (Andrea McGimsey, John Rumpler, Rob Sargent, Steve Blackledge – Environment America) https://environmentamerica.org
    • Third of Himalayan glaciers can no longer be saved: study (Binaj Gurubacharya, Associated Press – Houston Chronicle) https://www.chron.com
  • 4 February
    • Hong Kong makes record seizure of pangolin scales, ivory (Violet Law, Hong Kong, Associated Press – Macau Daily Times) https://macaudailytimes.com.mo
  • 31 January
    • America colonisation ‘cooled Earth’s climate’ (Jonathan Amos – BBC) https://www.bbc.com