The focal point for the decades-long debate on where to put all the nation’s radioactive waste may soon shift to West Texas. There is a facility already storing and disposing certain types of low-level radioactive waste in Andrews County, but it may soon be allowed to accept more and different kinds of radioactive waste. In addition, officials in Loving County are pressing for a high-level radioactive waste dump intended to be temporary storage until the federal government – at long last – selects and finalizes a permanent waste depository.
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Today, the Railroad Commission took an initial step toward recognizing an issue it has essentially punted on for several years: the connection between the injection of large amounts of oil and gas wastes underground and the induced seismic activity that has occurred in areas throughout Texas, but particularly in an area to the northwest of Fort Worth. As anyone with a twelve-step program knows, the first step to fixing a problem is to recognize it exists.
As the drought continues to tighten its grip on Texas, many communities are taking a serious look at their water supplies. Factors under consideration include supply management review, implementing methods to extend current water supplies, and adding additional water supplies in an attempt to hedge against drought.
As fracking continues to spread to new areas of Texas, local citizens are concerned about its environmental impact and the effect it has on the small town way of life. Big Bend area Sierran Kay Plavidal gives a moving account of how Big Bend/Alpine could soon be on the verge of losing its beauty, uniqueness, and endangering its water supplies. But citizens are organizing themselves.
**Update - August 4:The Lone Star Chapter has submitted its formal comments on updating the state energy codes. To read them, click here.** The State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) has asked the public for input on whether or not they should raise the state’s minimum energy code for new buildings. As a subset of building codes, energy codes are minimum requirements for how energy efficient a new building must be. Aspects such as design, technologies, and construction practices determine a building’s energy efficiency.
The Lower Rio Grande Valley Sierra Club ran the numbers, and the four proposed Brownsville LNG export terminals will produce as much nitrogen oxides annually as all the vehicles on the road in Cameron County. Find out what other pollutants the natural gas export facilities could bring to the Valley in this column by Sierran Stefanie Herweck.
On Wednesday, July 9, after a three-hour meeting, the Austin Energy Generation & Resource Planning Task Force approved its final report that lays out ambitious goals for Austin Energy over the next 15 years. As a member of both this task force and its 2009 predecessor, I can state the plan is ambitious and I support it. If approved, it should make Austin Energy one of the cleanest and most efficient utilities in the United States.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court upheld EPA regulations that could have implications for the Lone Star state. From our Beyond Coal Team, here's a rundown of what's happening with Cross-State Air Pollution rules and what we can expect.
Here’s an easy problem for the Legislature to solve next session: Texas’ cities are facing additional federal regulations to clean-up their dirty air. Fortunately,, the state just happens to have over a billion dollars sitting in its coffers for that expressed purpose. The state programs have already been created; the fees for those programs have been collected; yet the Legislature has decided to withhold that money, leaving it sitting idle in the state’s bank account.
Last week, Kevin Patteson, the executive administrator for the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), issued his long-awaited recommendation on the proposed construction of the Marvin Nichols reservoir, deciding to keep the controversial proposal within the 2011 Region C water plan. The reservoir, proposed to be developed along the Sulphur River in East Texas (TWDB Region D), would potentially serve as a source of water for the growing Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex.