Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: July 16, 2019

The city of South Houston wants to remove mercury limits from its wastewater plant permit. Residents are fighting to keep them.

(Houston Chronicle, Perla Trevizo, Updated 07/11/19. Photo by Perla Trevizo.)

“At a time when chemical plants are catching fire and federal officials are trying to clean up SuperFund sites in the Houston area, they argue that officials can’t be too cautious when dealing with a toxic chemical such as mercury and local waterways.”


Old Galveston drilling site reborn as nature preserve

(Houston Chronicle, Sergio Chapa, Updated 07/11/19. Photo by Elizabeth Conley.)

“…[W]ith the help of the Railroad Commission’s Brownfield Response Program, the old well site has been deemed safe, allowing the conservation group, Artist Boat, to move ahead with restoring the coastal prairie, planting native grasses.”


Feeling the heat: Climate change could mean more extreme heat days for Houston and Texas, report concludes

(Houston Chronicle, Perla Trevizo, Updated 07/16/19. Photo by Juan Figueroa)

“If the number of extremely hot, humid days already seems like too many, a national study finds it’s likely to get worse.”


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Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: July 9, 2019

When you couldn’t see the Arboretum for the trees

(Houston Chronicle, Allyn West, Updated 07/05/19. Photo by Houston Arboretum and Nature Center.)

“The death of almost half the trees at the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center might have saved the place.

A thicket — a combination of invasive plants and out-of-control natives — had swallowed the land. In the unbalanced ecosystem that had ermerged over the decades, bushes and vine-covered trees grew where they had no business growing.”


Houston, it’s up to us to tackle global warming

(Houston Chronicle, Brett Perlman and Andy Steinhubl, Updated 07/08/19. Photo by Scott Kingsley.)

“Could Houston — the world headquarters of the oil and gas industry — take the lead in solving the world’s global warming problems?”

Another unique opportunity for the Houston to lead involves our port: shifting marine operations to cleaner fuels, including hydrogen and liquefied natural gas, and continue electrifying port facilities.


Approval of $2B consent decree could hike Houston’s water rates as early as next year

(Houston Chronicle, Mike Morris, Updated 07/09/19. Photo by Godofredo A Vásquez)

“The Environmental Protection Agency has long been concerned that Houston’s cracked, clogged or flooded sewer pipes spill waste… Eighty percent of area waterways fall short of water quality standards for fecal bacteria.

Turner said he is proud of the proposal, saying it is a targeted solution that will limit sewer spills, upgrade facilities, and help keep pace with the city’s growth.”


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Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: July 2, 2019

Judge finds Formosa liable for plastic pollution at Texas plant

(Houston Chronicle Editorial Board, Updated 06/29/19. Photo by Jerry Lara.)

“A federal judge has found Formosa Plastics liable for spilling thousands of pounds of plastic pellets and powders into Texas Gulf Coast waters.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt sided with environmental activists Thursday, ruling that Formosa violated state and federal law when its Point Comfort plant spilled plastics into Lavaca Bay and Cox Creek, about halfway between Houston and Corpus Christi. The judge will next decide whether to penalize the Taiwanese company, which could face penalties of up to $162.2 million, according to the nonprofit Texas RioGrande Legal Aid.”


KMCO fined for pattern of environmental violations at Crosby plant

(Houston Chronicle Editorial Board, Updated 06/28/19. Photo by Nguyen Le.)

“The company that owns a Crosby chemical plant where one worker was killed and two others critically injured during an April explosion and fire was hit this week with nearly $80,000 in fines for an alleged pattern of past violations of environmental laws at the facility.

State environmental regulators on Wednesday approved the fine for KMCO for a string of violations going back to 2012. They cited the Crosby plant for failing to follow the Clean Air Act’s permitting and reporting procedures over five years, including problems with unpermitted flares, exceeding emissions and failing to conduct regular inspections, state documents show.” houstonchronicle.com

Teen activists host town hall on climate change

(Houston Chronicle Editorial Board, Updated 06/29/19. Photo by Steve Gonzales.)

“Saturday marked the first public event hosted by the nascent Houston chapter of the national Sunrise Movement. Founded in 2017, the organization is a coalition of young people who regularly participate in activism that aims to educate Americans about climate change, and fight back against man-made planetary harm. And Canfield is confident that Saturday’s consciousness raising will be the first of many actions Sunrise takes in her native city.

And not a moment too soon.”


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