Tribpedia: Environmental Problems And Policies

Tribpedia

Texas contains an abundance of natural resources, but efforts to impose environmental regulations have faced roadblocks for many decades. Texas holds a large share of the nation's oil and chemical manufacturing industries, so state policymakers must balance economic considerations with the need to curtail environmental risk. Oil, gas and chemical manufacturing industries employ thousands of Texans and contribute billions ...

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EPA Seeks to Clarify Federal Water Law

The EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are backing a rule change that would better define the bodies of water protected by the Clean Water Act. That could mean increased government oversight of streams and wetlands across Texas — which has critics fearful of interference with private property rights. 

The lesser prairie chicken roams in the circled areas above, according to research by state environmental officials and scientists.
The lesser prairie chicken roams in the circled areas above, according to research by state environmental officials and scientists.

States' Plan to Save Rare Bird Stirs Debate in Texas

Environmental officials in five states, including Texas, say interest in a plan to save the lesser prairie chicken should persuade the federal government not to list the bird as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act. 

Hugh Fitzsimons surveys the old windmill that pumps at two gallons a minute to fill the pila that then feeds the water trough for his bison and wildlife at SHAPE Ranch in Carrizo Springs, TX, February, 21, 2013.
Hugh Fitzsimons surveys the old windmill that pumps at two gallons a minute to fill the pila that then feeds the water trough for his bison and wildlife at SHAPE Ranch in Carrizo Springs, TX, February, 21, 2013.

Report: Water Availability a Risk for Oil, Gas Drillers

A new national report on water use for hydraulic fracturing suggests that oil and gas companies are at risk of running short on the precious resource — especially in South Texas.

 

The Brazos River runs dry in Knox County, Texas, during the summer drought of 2011. At the 2013 Texas Tribune Festival, the chairman of the Texas Water Development Board said that water availability models in the state will have to change, though he didn't say whether the state would look directly at possible effects of climate change in the planning.
The Brazos River runs dry in Knox County, Texas, during the summer drought of 2011. At the 2013 Texas Tribune Festival, the chairman of the Texas Water Development Board said that water availability models in the state will have to change, though he didn't say whether the state would look directly at possible effects of climate change in the planning.

Week Reveals Gap Remains Regarding Climate Change

Days after scientists unveiled a report predicting serious consequences tied to global warming, state officials debated whether the phenomenon is human-induced and whether they can do anything about it.

 

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Christopher J. Churchill, a biologist for the U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Geological Survey, displays several zebra mussels found along the shoreline of Lake Ray Roberts, near Sanger, Texas, Jul. 18, 2013.
Christopher J. Churchill, a biologist for the U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Geological Survey, displays several zebra mussels found along the shoreline of Lake Ray Roberts, near Sanger, Texas, Jul. 18, 2013.

Boater Education Courses Target Invasive Species

One way that invasive aquatic species like the zebra mussel can spread across Texas waterways is via boats that aren't cleaned. New legislation requires boater education courses to address the importance of cleaning boats. This story is part of our monthlong 31 Days, 31 Ways series.

Slideshow: Bracken Bat Cave

Every summer night, a swirling vortex of Mexican free-tailed bats emerges from Bracken Cave, the largest such colony in the world. It's a sight the cave's protectors say is threatened by a developer's plans. 

Texas Department of Public Safety patch worn on uniform during graduation ceremony in Austin, Texas April 7th, 2011
Texas Department of Public Safety patch worn on uniform during graduation ceremony in Austin, Texas April 7th, 2011

West Plant Blast Focus of Criminal Investigation

The Texas Rangers and the McLennan County sheriff's office are launching a criminal investigation into the fertilizer plant explosion last month in West.

The Big Brown power plant in Fairfield, Texas
The Big Brown power plant in Fairfield, Texas

Sierra Club Takes Aim at Coal Plants in East Texas

A battle over Texas coal is heating up, as the Sierra Club is launching a targeted effort to close down 1970s-era coal plants owned by power-generation giant Luminant. It will be one of the club's biggest anti-coal campaigns in the nation.

Odor Control tanks stand outside the Wastewater Treatment Plant in Wichita Falls, on Friday, January 25, 2013.
Odor Control tanks stand outside the Wastewater Treatment Plant in Wichita Falls, on Friday, January 25, 2013.

Water-Reuse Projects Move Forward, Despite Concerns

Several Texas cities have plans to implement potable reuse projects, which put treated wastewater through extra chemical and biological processes before it eventually becomes part of the drinking supply.