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Posts Tagged ‘Sierra Club’

What is the environmental impact of building an Ike Dike?

Maybe we should try to figure that out. Plans for building a massive storm-surge protection system for the Houston area are rushing ahead before officials determine whether the project could harm Galveston Bay, environmental groups say. The Sierra Club and the Galveston Bay Foundation, the environmental groups most closely watching the planning process, worry that […]

Mayoral debate #1

Who watched? In the first televised debate in the Houston mayor’s race, three of the candidates jockeying to replace Mayor Annise Parker took aim at former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia and the agency’s allegedly low crime clearance rates. The pointed effort marked a swift and telling segue from the candidates’ summer circuit of mostly […]

Just a reminder, we still need to use less water

In particular, we need to water our lawns less. Even Texans with the greenest of lawns water them too much, many landscape experts say. And if everyone would turn on the sprinklers only twice a week — still probably more than necessary — the water savings would be significant, according to a report from the […]

Drinking water from the Gulf

Well, there is a lot of water there. The wicked drought gripping Texas has made one thing clear to Bill West: There is not enough water to meet new urban demands and competing environmental needs. So in his search for new sources of water, the general manager the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority is looking in another […]

Questions about the Memorial Park part of the Uptown/Memorial TIRZ

Lisa Falkenberg reports that some people have raised questions about the Memorial Park part of the Uptown/Memorial TIRZ. Reforestation is sorely needed in a park devastated by hurricane damage and drought. This is a great deal, city leaders and supporters say, a great way to restore our crown jewel to its former beauty. And we […]

What other environmental groups think about “One Bin For All”

As you know, last week the city announced that it had won the $1 million runnerup prize from the Bloomberg Foundation that would enable it to begin work on a single-bin solution for solid waste and recycling. While this announcement was generally met with cheers, the Texas Campaign for the Environment was not among those […]

The parks that weren’t there

Very sad. For 30 years, the state parks department has owned 1,700 acres of diverse wilderness about 45 minutes east of downtown Houston. It stretches from the highest hill on the Texas coastal plain down to a pristine, white sandy beach on the Trinity River. Yet the public never has had access to this indigenous […]

Mapping oil usage

From the Natural Resources Defense Council America buys 18.8 million barrels of petroleum products every day, accounting for more than 20% of all global usage. This can drain roughly $1 billion on average every day out of the economy. This oil use also accounts for more than a quarter of the heat-trapping carbon pollution emitted […]

There’s still a drought out there

Despite the rain, the state of Texas is still mostly in drought conditions, and the threat will remain for the next several years. Most of Central and East Texas beat long odds with heavy rains this winter, but experts warned state lawmakers Thursday that the drought is far from over. State climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon said […]

Sierra Club sues over coal permits

Remember how four coal plants were granted permits to pollute more in December? You probably don’t, because it basically happened under cover of darkness. The Sierra Club found out about it and has filed a lawsuit to call a halt to it. The environmental group is appealing permit amendments approved Dec. 16 by the Texas […]

How gassy are we?

I’m talking about greenhouse gases, of course. And the answer is, now you can find out for yourself. The greenhouse gas wars are about to heat up again in Texas. Next month, a federal court hears oral arguments in lawsuits that Texas has filed to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency, which began regulating heat-trapping emissions […]

It’s hard to get beyond coal

The city of Austin is trying, but there are many obstacles along the way. In Austin politics, it’s almost an article of faith that the city must aggressively curb its contribution to global climate change, regardless of what transpires across the rest of the country. That philosophy has led environmentalists to target the Fayette Power […]

CSAPR stayed

There was some bad news at the end of the year. A federal court ordered [last] Friday that the Environmental Protection Agency’s controversial cross-state air pollution rule be stayed — to the delight of Texas officials and the chagrin of environmentalists. The rule, which sought to reduce sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from power […]

Seeking more water for Houston

I don’t know how I feel about this. After decades of fits and starts, Houston is pushing forward with plans to move Trinity water nearly 30 miles to Lake Houston. The reservoir, located on the smaller San Jacinto River, fills the taps for millions of people in the region. Planners say the Luce Bayou project, […]

Recycling water

There’s more than one way to conserve water. The city of San Antonio recycles theirs to get the most out of what they have. “During wet seasons, the river functions like any other river would,” says Steve Clouse, the chief operating officer of the San Antonio Water System. “But during the dry seasons, we used […]

Luminant and the CSAPR

I have not followed the dustup between energy producer Luminant and the EPA very closely. What I know is that like most other disputes between those who want cleaner air here in Texas and those who don’t is that someone in the latter group is complaining about a new federal regulation that will force them […]

No grass, no problems

Texas is in the midst of one its worst droughts ever, yet one of the more arid cities in the state is seeing no noticeable drop in its reservoirs. How is that possible? Simple: They got rid of lawns years ago. For decades this city in far West Texas defied the look of most desert […]

Lawsuit filed to stop Grand Parkway

We’ll see how it goes. The Sierra Club has filed a lawsuit to block construction of the Grand Parkway in west Harris County until federal and state officials conduct a new analysis of the flooding consequences. The environmental group says the 15-mile toll road may increase runoff into Addicks dam, which the Army Corps of […]

Grand Parkway news

From Houston Tomorrow: The Sierra Club lawsuit to stop construction of the proposed SH99 toll road over the Katy Prairie will see its day in court by September,according to KUHF. The Sierra Club filed suit against “the Federal Highway Administration due to the failure of that federal agency to do an adequate assessment of the […]

Grand Parkway protest

From the inbox: Misplaced priorities: $4.8 billion to advance SH-99 while US-290 commuters sit in traffic Coalition to protest Grand Parkway as poster child of all that’s wrong with Texas transportation policy (Houston, TX) – As TxDOT hosts the final public hearings on its Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) Wednesday, a broad coalition of groups […]

Tar sands and Houston’s air quality

PDiddie attended the Houston Frontlines tour that I blogged about before, and wrote a really nice, detailed report about it. Some background: Tar sands oil contains — among other heavy metals, neurotoxins, and carcinogens — an average of 11 times more sulfur and nickel, six times more nitrogen, and five times more lead than conventional […]

Two environmental issues for your attention

Are you familiar with tar sands? The Sierra Club would like to acquaint you with them this Thursday, December 16, on its Houston Frontlines tour. Elected officials and community members will gather at Hartmann Community Center on Thursday, December 16th for a tour of industrial facilities along the Houston Ship Channel and the communities they […]

Burning biomass

I can’t say I knew much about this before I read the story, but now that I have my initial reaction is to be skeptical. Interest in building power plants fueled by wood waste has recently surged in East Texas, which has none of the wind-power potential of West Texas but does have plenty of […]

The Great Texas Clean Up Festival

Looking for something to do Saturday? The Sierra Club has a suggestion. RAY JOHNSTON BAND LOS PISTOLEROS DE TEXAS ROBERT ELLIS & THE BOYS MRS. GLASS Join us on JULY 24TH, from 4-10pm for a day of music and art. Featured artists: Amos Garcia, Kate Fu, Kyle Fu, JSQUARD, Lizbeth Ortiz, Andrew Chapa, Rockey Perez, […]

“Sprayed Away”

A couple of months ago, I blogged about a report on water conservation from the National Wildlife Federation and the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. Last week, they came out with a new report, on outdoor water usage and how the demands of summertime increase water consumption in 18 Texas cities, mostly due […]

Public hearing on tar sands pipeline

The Sierra Club has an announcement. The impact of toxic tar sands oil on Houston’s air quality will be the subject of a press teleconference on Friday morning in the hours before a public hearing hosted by the State Department on the same issue that night. The Obama Administration is considering a proposal by TransCanada […]

Some people want the EPA to do more

The Sierra Club is taking legal action against the Environmental Protection Agency, saying it has dragged its feet in Texas. The group said EPA officials have missed legal deadlines for action on limiting Texas pollution’s effects on neighboring states; reducing pollution from particulate matter, or soot; and regulating ozone, or smog. “The [Obama] administration has […]

Why should anyone trust the TCEQ?

Rick Perry wants the EPA to back off. I know, I’m as shocked as you are. Gov. Rick Perry, citing improvements in Texas air quality, asked President Barack Obama on Friday to get regional Environmental Protection Agency administrators to back off efforts to take over the state’s air quality permitting process for refineries and power […]

San Antonio to introduce tiered water rates

Good for them. The San Antonio Water System presented a proposed rate structure to the City Council on Wednesday that would penalize high-volume users while rewarding those who use less. “This is designed to change behavior,” said Doug Evanson, SAWS chief financial officer and senior vice president. […] By increasing rates for the top 7 […]

“Drop by drop”

We’ve talked a lot about flooding and drainage issues, and about the possibility of water rate increases in Houston, but something that has not gotten a lot of attention is water conservation. I want to call your attention to a new report that examines this in detail. The National Wildlife Federation and the Lone Star […]

The EPA hearing on smog

Here’s the Chron story on that EPA hearing on smog from Tuesday. The EPA’s plan calls for a smog limit between 60 and 70 molecules of ozone per billion molecules of air, down from 75 parts per billion set in the final months of Bush administration. Ozone is the main ingredient in smog. Federal regulators […]

EPA public hearing on hazardous ozone standards in Houston

The following was sent to me from the Sierra Club: Right now the EPA is accepting public comments on proposed new ozone standards that will make the air we breathe cleaner and our communities healthier, but they are facing fierce opposition from the coal industry and its allies. We need you to join us the […]

Open beaches

Got the following email from a colleague and thought it was worth mentioning: Very late Sunday night a “deal” was made in the Texas legislature to make an exemption in the Texas Open Beaches Act – the law that guarantees public access to our beaches. Rep. Wayne Christian of Center, Texas use to have a […]