Between 8am on January 13, and 6:54am the next day, Marathon Petroleum’s Blanchard Galveston Bay Refinery (formerly owned by BP) in Texas City dumped an estimated 216,000 lbs. of spent catalyst into the air during a major “upset event” when air pollution control equipment failed that was designed to capture catalyst dust from a “cracking” unit. The catalytic dust, a fine white powder somewhat like talcum but grittier, fell onto the community of Bayou Vista, and visibly accumulated on cars and homes in the area. More than two months later, residents are still asking questions, concerned for their health and the health of the bay, and still getting the cold shoulder from the Marathon and the TCEQ.
[Original Post: Jim Malewitz, Texas Tribune, March 30, 2015]
A House committee on Monday approved legislation that would limit local control over oil and gas activities — a committee substitute for a bill that initially stirred anger in city halls across Texas. In a 10-1 vote, the House Committee on Energy Resources approved an updated version of House Bill 40, among the most prominent of nearly a dozen bills filed in the aftermath of Denton's vote in November to ban hydraulic fracturing within the North Texas city's limits.
[Original Post: Elizabeth Douglass, InsideClimate News, March 30, 2015]
It's been two years since a broken 1940s ExxonMobil pipeline flooded an Arkansas neighborhood with Canada's heaviest oil, and the ripple effects of the spill have made it to Washington D.C., where regulators are poised to end decades of complacency by addressing the dangers of older pipelines across the country.
The Sierra Club and National Wildlife Federation released a report estimating that reasonable restrictions on lawn watering could save Texas billions of gallons of water every year. As shown in Water Conservation by the Yard: Estimating Savings from Outdoor Watering Restrictions, 52 billion gallons (about 158,000 acre-feet) of water savings per year could be achieved in the North Central Texas and Houston-Galveston regions alone if even minimal outdoor watering restrictions are adopted more widely.
By Dave Cortez and Mayté Salazar
Have you ever fallen behind on your bills? What about getting your power, water, or gas service cut off because you fell behind? As Austin confronts a poverty crisis, persistent drought, and ongoing economic segregation, thousands of Austinites continue to struggle to pay for one of the most fundamental services we’ve all become accustomed to – electricity.
Frisco, Texas – The newly reformed Sierra Club Cross Timbers Group, which serves Denton and Collin counties, will hold a free long-range water planning and conservation panel discussion on March 23 in Frisco.
The Rio Grande International Study Center is having a celebration to help Laredo say “no more plastic bags” and celebrate this campaign with entertainment, DJ, games, arts and crafts, a river pledge, a bike raffle, Easter eco basket giveaways, a proclamation, a visit by the Easter Bunny. Join them Saturday, March 14from 1-5pm at Mall del Norte, in the courtyard in front of Macy’s.