Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: February 3, 2022

EPA chief’s visit gives communities hope

(Houston Chronicle, Keith Downey, Updated 01/27/22. Photo: Elizabeth Conley)

“In Fifth Ward and Liberty Gardens, it’s not only the creosote contamination. We’re landlocked by freeways and railroads, so we are exposed to transportation emissions. People don’t realize that freeways can cause floods, too. When 52 inches falls over your head, 52 inches also falls on the freeway. Where does that water go? “

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At a Crossroads

(Houston Chronicle, Dug Begley, Updated 01/30/22. Photo by Mark Mulligan.)

“Growth in Fort Bend County and the rest of the region is coming, however, and somewhere along this flat stretch of farmland the Grand Parkway eventually will cross the Fort Bend Tollway. Where county leaders eventually decide to put that intersection will have an impact far beyond the typical road, with potential ripple effects on the cost to build the toll roads, the types of development… “

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TCEQ proposal rankles advocates

(Houston Chronicle, Emily Foxhall, Updated 01/29/22. Photo by Godofredo A. Vásquez.)

“Industrial disasters in recent years have caused more concerning air pollution readings than winter storms or hurricanes, state regulators say. The findings highlight what many Houstonians may already know: There’s a critical need for monitoring air quality when chemical facilities and refineries explode or catch fire.”

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Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: January 27, 2022

San Marcos River home to 7 endangered species

(Houston Chronicle, Annie Blanks, Updated 01/22/22. Photo: Staff file photo)

“The animals are endangered because their numbers are declining, and their habitats are increasingly disappearing. The gambusia, for instance, went extinct because of human activities that polluted and weakened the groundwater, which ultimately weakened the habitat.”

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Houston eyeing own tunnel vision

(Houston Chronicle, Emily Foxhall, Updated 01/23/22. Photo by Mark Mulligan.)

“The tunnel provides a case study for Houston engineers analyzing whether to build something similar to protect the nation’s fourth-largest city. The region’s flood control infrastructure fell far short when Hurricane Harvey hit …and portending the stronger, wetter storms that climate change is expected to bring.”

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Despite law, disabled Texans still at risk in disasters

(Houston Chronicle, St. John Barned-Smith, Updated 01/25/22. Photo by Jon Shapley.)

“A law passed later in 2021 was supposed to help ensure that disabled Texans got help in times of emergency… investigation found that city officials are confused about how to implement the new law and that disabled Texans are just as vulnerable as they were last year.”

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Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: January 20, 2022

Farmers find ‘kink in armor’ in fight against proposed landfill

(Houston Chronicle, Emily Foxhall, Updated 01/16/22. Photo by Elizabeth Conley.)

“Weldon received a letter in December saying state environmental regulators had tentatively OK’d the project to go next to his land. He’d been fighting it for months, fearing the landfill would contaminate his well water….”

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Surfside Beach builds dunes with Christmas trees

(Houston Chronicle, John Tedesco, Updated 01/16/22. Photo by Mark Mulligan.)

“The tree branches create baby dunes by trapping loose sand. As the dunes grow and coastal grasses take root on top of them, the trees decompose and nourish the grass, which helps ensure that the dunes don’t blow away.”

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Solar power comes to some renters

(Houston Chronicle, Shelby Webb, Updated 01/14/22. Photo by Lori Van Buren/ Albany Times Union file photo.)

“Some renters in Montrose soon will be able to plug in to an electrical grid powered by solar panels atop their apartment buildings — just like homeowners who pay for the pricey rooftop equipment.”

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