Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: September 6, 2019

TCEQ’s dangerous trade off: jobs over clean air

(Houston Chronicle, Editorial Board, Updated 09/06/19. Photo by Dow Chemical.)

“Look at the agency’s decision to grant permits,over community objections, for a $10 billion ethane cracker plant just north of Corpus Christi. Levin said the nearby communities only asked for “modest improvements” to the permits, including additional air monitoring equipment inside the plant, but their request was denied. Not only is the commission doing a bad job enforcing environmental rules, it is making rules that are bad. Among them a proposed regulation that will expose Texans to higher levels of ethylene oxide, a cancer-causing flammable gas used to sterilize medical equipment and make plastic packaging.”

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Metro supporters have nine weeks to sell bond plan to voters

(Houston Chronicle, Dug Begley, Updated 09/03/19. Photo by Steve Gonzales.)

“Transit officials spent the past 18 months developing a plan to add $7.5 billion in new bus lines, rebuilt transit centers and rail expansion. They have nine weeks to sell it to voters. Officials are asking for voter approval to borrow $3.5 billion, paid back by future sales tax revenues from Metro’s 1 percent sales tax. Metro, based on its 2020 budget, will spend $6.7 million to educate voters on the long-range plan, another $1.8 million for public engagement and $800,000 on legal expenses related to the plan.”

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Report: Plastics industry driving pollution

(Houston Chronicle, Perla Trevizo and Erin Douglas, Updated 09/05/19. Photo by Jon Shapley.)

“The Environmental Integrity Project identified 90 plants that either make plastics or their ingredients in the Houston and Port Arthur area and, using state data, found that in 2017 the plants emitted 55,704 tons of potentially health-damaging air pollutants. More than $140 billion in new petrochemical capacity has been planned or added in the Gulf Coast region since 2010, according to the American Chemistry Council, an industry trade group. The Baytown facility has violated the Clean Air Act for the last three years, according to Environmental Protection Agency data. The TCEQ declined to comment in advance of the public release of the EIP report.”

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Additional Headlines

  • 9/06/19
    • Post Oak bus project narrowly avoids problem with lane width (Dug Begley – Houston Chronicle) www.houstonchronicle.com
  • 9/05/19
    • Exxon eyes oil M&A as clean energy shift seen taking decades (Kevin Crowley – Bloomberg News) www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Rice scientists develop clean tech to transform carbon dioxide into fuels (Erin Douglas – Houston Chronicle) www.houstonchronicle.com
  • 9/04/19
    • As long as Brazil’s president remains in office, the Amazon will remain endangered [Opinion] (Mark Jones – Sportscaster) www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Brazil is slowly killing its magnificent rainforest. [Opinion] (Joshua Busby and Eugenio Arima – Author and UT Austin Professor respectively) www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Methane emissions, pollution hit record in Permian: study (Jordan Blum – Houston Chronicle) www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Rice receives federal grant for green building (Nancy Sarnoff – Houston Chronicle) www.houstonchronicle.com
  • 9/03/19
    • Houston recycler Avangard takes on challenge of plastic wrap (Andrea Leinfelder – Houston Chronicle) www.houstonchronicle.com
  • 9/02/19
    • Texas regulators may raise the acceptable level of a toxic chemical. Activists and East Harris County residents are worried. (Perla Trevizo – Houston Chronicle) www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Houston Zoo eyes big changes in advance of 2022 centennial (Molly Glentzer – Houston Chronicle) www.houstonchronicle.com
  • 8/30/19
  • 8/29/19
  • 8/28/19
    • Environmentalists give Galveston Bay a ‘C’ for overall health (Nick Powell – Houston Chronicle) www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Texas A&M Forest Service launches online tools to assist Texas landowners (Texas A&M University – Houston Chronicle) www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Houston Arboretum & Nature Center moves forward with building renovations (Rebecca Hazen – Houston Chronicle) www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Methane emissions a worry? Absolutely, and that’s why the natural gas industry is responding [Opinion] (Paul Griffin – Author) www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Why natural gas is not the answer to climate change [Opinion] (Luke Metzger and Emma Pabst – Executive director of Environmental Texas and Environmental Texas Associate respectively) www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Harris County approves ‘worst-first’ priority model for flood bond projects (Zach Despart – Houston Chronicle) www.houstonchronicle.com