Tribpedia: Environment

Tiny Nordheim Sues State Over Drilling Waste Dump

Paul Baumann's property, owned by his family for generations, is directly next to a proposed drilling waste dump in the small town of Nordheim. He, along with other concerned citizens, are protesting the dump as they fear it will pollute and ruin their way of life.
Paul Baumann's property, owned by his family for generations, is directly next to a proposed drilling waste dump in the small town of Nordheim. He, along with other concerned citizens, are protesting the dump as they fear it will pollute and ruin their way of life.

A tiny South Texas town is continuing its fight against an oil and gas waste site half its size, even after regulators gave its developer the go-ahead. Residents of Nordheim, population 316, are suing the Texas Railroad Commission in a case that highlights bureaucratic gaps.

A law banning the trade of shark fins goes into effect in Texas on Friday.
A law banning the trade of shark fins goes into effect in Texas on Friday.

In Time for Shark Week, Texas Fin Ban Takes Effect

A ban on the trade of shark fins in Texas goes into effect Friday — just in time for the popular string of Discovery Channel programming known as “Shark Week.”

Border Patrol Agent Isaac Villegas makes his way through Carrizo cane, an invasive plant species that lines the banks of the Rio Grande in Roma, TX. while searching for a group of undocumented immigrants reported to have crossed the river on Mar. 8, 2016.
Border Patrol Agent Isaac Villegas makes his way through Carrizo cane, an invasive plant species that lines the banks of the Rio Grande in Roma, TX. while searching for a group of undocumented immigrants reported to have crossed the river on Mar. 8, 2016.

New Carrizo Eradication Effort Reignites Old Debate

A state plan to eradicate invasive Carrizo cane along the Rio Grande — cited by Gov. Greg Abbott as a border security priority — is finally getting some funding after sitting dormant for almost a year.

An aerial photograph of the Stolthaven Oil Tanking facility along the Houston Ship Channel on Nov. 10, 2015. Shell's Deer Park facility can be seen in the upper right.
An aerial photograph of the Stolthaven Oil Tanking facility along the Houston Ship Channel on Nov. 10, 2015. Shell's Deer Park facility can be seen in the upper right.

Hell and High Water: A Concern Centered on Storage Tanks

Storage tanks along the Houston Ship Channel hold one of the world's largest concentrations of oil, gases and chemicals. Some scientists fear a disaster waiting to happen when Houston's perfect storm comes. Read more about this in our "Hell and High Water" project, done in collaboration with ProPublica.

Hurricane Ike water lines marked on building in The Strand area of Galveston Feb. 14, 2016.
Hurricane Ike water lines marked on building in The Strand area of Galveston Feb. 14, 2016.

Reveal Radio: A Monster Storm in the Making

What could happen if a major storm hit the Houston region in just the right spot? This episode of Reveal looks at that worst-case scenario. This program is done in collaboration with The Texas Tribune and ProPublica, which co-produced the "Hell and High Water" multimedia project.

Flooding along the Blanco River in Wimberley in May 2015.
Flooding along the Blanco River in Wimberley in May 2015.

Flood Experts Call for Better Warning Systems

As the Blanco River rose rapidly in the early hours of May 24th, phones around Wimberley — most of which had 512 area codes — received urgent text alerts: danger, flooding, seek shelter. Laura McComb, who had a 361 area code, did not receive any such text.

The Fayette coal plant outside Austin is a major contributor of greenhouse gases.  In August, President Obama announced the Clean Power Plan, which targeted the nation's more than 600 coal-burning power plants. This is his most determined effort yet to tackle the effects of global warming by reshaping the nation’s power sector.
The Fayette coal plant outside Austin is a major contributor of greenhouse gases. In August, President Obama announced the Clean Power Plan, which targeted the nation's more than 600 coal-burning power plants. This is his most determined effort yet to tackle the effects of global warming by reshaping the nation’s power sector.

In Paris, Negotiators Ink Historic Climate Accord

Negotiators from nearly 200 nations, including the United States, struck an unprecedented climate agreement on Saturday that could have big implications for Texas — and also face big pushback from state leaders.

 

Physicist Paul Chu, head of the University of Houston's Center for Superconductivity, speaks at a research summit organized by the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas on Nov. 13, 2015.
Physicist Paul Chu, head of the University of Houston's Center for Superconductivity, speaks at a research summit organized by the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas on Nov. 13, 2015.

Texas Scientist Aims to Revolutionize Electricity Grid

Paul Chu, founding director and chief scientist at the University of Houston’s Texas Center for Superconductivity, discusses how energy storage could revolutionize the grid, and how Texas plays a role in advancing the technology. 

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst accepted the microphone from Texas landowner Tommy Henderson on April 28, 2014, during a gathering of politicians, landowners, law enforcement officials and news outlets on Red River land northeast of Byers, Texas. Dewhurst expressed support for ranchers in their fight with the BLM over land they say they own.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst accepted the microphone from Texas landowner Tommy Henderson on April 28, 2014, during a gathering of politicians, landowners, law enforcement officials and news outlets on Red River land northeast of Byers, Texas. Dewhurst expressed support for ranchers in their fight with the BLM over land they say they own.

House Clears Bill Aimed At Red River Confusion

Legislation aimed at resolving a dispute over who owns land along the Texas side of the Red River has cleared the U.S. House. But the White House has threatened to veto it. 

 

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller testifies during a hearing of the state Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs on Dec. 8, 2015. He defended a proposal to hike fees on services and licenses his agency provides.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller testifies during a hearing of the state Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs on Dec. 8, 2015. He defended a proposal to hike fees on services and licenses his agency provides.

Lawmakers Grill Miller on Ag Fee Hikes

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller faced pointed questions from lawmakers Tuesday over his plan to dramatically hike fees on a host of licenses, registrations and services that his agency provides.

 

An Acadian Flycatcher with larval neotropical ticks around its eyes.
An Acadian Flycatcher with larval neotropical ticks around its eyes.

Songbirds Bring Exotic Strain of Ticks to Texas

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In her disease ecology lab in College Station, Sarah Hamer is studying how an exotic tick from Central and South America made its way to Texas and whether it has the potential to transport tick-borne diseases.