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.”

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.”


  • 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

Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: October 25, 2017

Featured Articles:

  1. City could restart curbside recycling in early November (Mike Morris – Houston Chronicle, 10/11/2017. Photo by Eric Kayne.)
    “Houstonians who have been dragging their overflowing recycling bins to the curb every other week only to roll them back again untouched finally should have their cartons and cans hauled off early next month, Mayor Sylvester Turner said Wednesday… ‘We’re hoping that we can start picking up the green bins in the month of November, hopefully the first week,’ Turner said after the City Council meeting. ‘We’ll see how things are going, but based on the pace that things are proceeding, we’re thinking we can speed that process up. That’s the plan.'” houstonchronicle.com.
  2. Trump’s pro-coal agenda is a blow for clean air efforts at Texas’ Big Bend park (Tom Dart – The Guardian, 10/11/2017. Photo by Alamy.)
    “Big Bend national park is Texas at its most cinematic, with soaring, jagged forest peaks looming over vast desert lowlands, at once haughty and humble, prickly and pretty. It is also among the most remote places in the state. Even from Alpine, the town of 6,000 that is the main gateway to the park, it is more than an hour’s drive to one of the entrances. So far from anywhere, it might seem an unlikely location to be scarred by air pollution. Yet for decades its stunning vistas have been compromised by poor air quality that Texas, working with the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is supposed to address. But environmental advocates fear that the Trump administration’s pro-coal agenda will derail the prospects of improvement, at least in the short term. Tuesday’s announcement that the EPA plans to abandon the 2015 Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon emissions came less than two weeks after the agency revealed a revised plan to combat regional haze in Texas and Oklahoma that critics say will do little to cut pollution.” theguardian.com

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Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: October 17, 2017

Featured Articles:

  1. The river is a monster’ Brazos River takes homes, roads, bridges in ever-changing paths  (Emily Foxhall – Houston Chronicle, 10/08/17. Photo by Mark Mulligan – Houston Chronicle.)  Swollen by torrential rains, the Brazos threatened hundreds of homes — even whole towns and subdivisions — in Fort Bend and Brazoria counties, changing its path once again…. A house that had teetered on the river’s edge fell partially over the bank. Massive trees slipped down the cliffs. Bridges, roadways and rail lines took yet another beating. Harvey added at least another $1 million to the $20 million or more in repairs already designated to protect the local infrastructure. http://www.houstonchronicle.com
  2. Houston’s Curbside Recycling Could Resume in November, Turner Says (Joseph Fanelli – Houston Press, 10/12/2017. Photo from Mayor Sylvester Turner Facebook page.)
    “With more than 1 million cubic yards of debris picked up from Hurricane Harvey, Houston Solid Waste Management is eyeing November to resume curbside recycling pickup in the city, Mayor Sylvester Turner said at a press conference on Wednesday.” http://www.houstonpress.com
  3. Environmental groups denounce Trump override of climate plan (Michael Biesecker and Adam Beam- Associated Press)                                                      “A coalition of left-leaning states and environmental groups are vowing to fight the Trump administration’s move to kill an Obama-era effort to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.Speaking Monday in the coal-mining state of Kentucky, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said he would be issuing a new set of rules overriding the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s drive to curb global climate change. “The war on coal is over,” Pruitt declared….” http://www.houstonchronicle.com

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