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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Texas Military Bases Battle Encroachment of Cities

Luxury houses against the fence line at Camp Bullis on the northern outskirts of San Antonio, Texas. Camp Bullis is a 28,000-acre U.S. Army training camp located in Bexar County, Texas and is used primarily as a field training site for military medics stationed at Brooke Army Medical Center at nearby Fort Sam Houston.
Luxury houses against the fence line at Camp Bullis on the northern outskirts of San Antonio, Texas. Camp Bullis is a 28,000-acre U.S. Army training camp located in Bexar County, Texas and is used primarily as a field training site for military medics stationed at Brooke Army Medical Center at nearby Fort Sam Houston.

The ever-expanding suburbs of San Antonio have created light, noise and endangered species challenges for Camp Bullis, where all military medics train. Bullis says it is solving its problems. But other bases around Texas are also facing an array of encroachment issues, including endangered species and energy development.

Steam rises from the stacks at the Martin Lake Coal-Fired Power Plant in Tatum, TX March 30, 2011.
Steam rises from the stacks at the Martin Lake Coal-Fired Power Plant in Tatum, TX March 30, 2011.

On Refinery Row, an Effort to Expose Health Problems

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A Corpus Christi neighborhood sits right in the middle of several plants that have appeared on federal environmental watch lists. Terrence Henry of KUT News and NPR's StateImpact Texas spoke with one longtime resident of the area trying to get families to speak out about the health problems they've faced living on what some call Refinery Row.

Drought Raises Concerns About Texas Water Quality

As lake and river levels continue to drop due to the intense 13-month drought, concerns about water quality are growing across the state. In one badly hit West Texas town, the water is virtually undrinkable — and other cities are struggling with higher amounts of salts in the water supply.

With the Drought, More Dust Storms

Despite last weekend's rains, the Texas drought lingers — and experts say the number of irritating and dangerous dust storms could increase across the state, especially in West Texas and the Panhandle. There's no danger of a 1930s-era Dust Bowl, they say, but there's not much relief in sight either.

Can Texas Make It Rain?

Speculation that the drought gripping the state could last through 2020 has scientists in Texas looking to so-called weather modification, which, as Matt Largey of KUT News reports, involves using the power of science to play Mother Nature.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 9/5/11

M. Smith on Rick Perry's allergic reaction to federal school money, E. Smith elicits Ted Cruz's take on David Dewhurst, Root and Ramshaw cover Perry's first presidential debate, Ramshaw and Aguilar poke at Perry's immigration record and how it plays among Republicans, Hamilton on the dash for top status among Texas colleges, Galbraith on an environmental ruling from the White House that got conservative applause and one that didn't, Grissom has the latest on the Willingham arson case and the state's plans to look at other fires and Aaronson's widget for comparing the presidential candidates: The best of our best content from Sept. 5 to 9, 2011.

A grocery truck with the Texas "Lone Star" drives east on Texas 71 toward the wildfire east of Bastrop that is burning out of control on September 5, 2011.
A grocery truck with the Texas "Lone Star" drives east on Texas 71 toward the wildfire east of Bastrop that is burning out of control on September 5, 2011.

Fire Crews Straining Amid Devastation in Central Texas

Federal authorities arrived in Bastrop on Tuesday to assist with the wildfires that have killed two, charred more than 30,000 acres and destroyed at least 600 homes. Matt Largey of KUT News reports that the crisis has stretched fire crews to their breaking point.

Cracks have formed in the asphalt on Bayou Wood Circle near County Road 687 south of Angleton, Texas Tuesday Aug, 2, 2011.
Cracks have formed in the asphalt on Bayou Wood Circle near County Road 687 south of Angleton, Texas Tuesday Aug, 2, 2011.

Drought Damages Texas Infrastructure

In West Texas, the main concern is water. In cities like Houston and Fort Worth, clay soil is drying up because of the blistering summer heat, bursting water pipelines, buckling house foundations and splitting asphalt roads. Across Texas, the cause of these spiraling problems is the same: a nine-month drought that shows no signs of relenting.

EPA Chief, in Texas, Calls Pollution Rule "Not Onerous"

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson, said during a visit to Austin on Wednesday that a pollution rule adopted this month that has infuriated many Texas officials will save lives and can be enacted "cheaply and efficiently." She pledged to reach out to the state's electric grid operator, which has expressed concerns over the potential shuttering of coal plants.