Tribpedia: Environmental Problems And Policies

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 ...

States' Plan to Save Rare Bird Stirs Debate in Texas

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.

Environmental officials in five states, including Texas, say surging 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. Energy companies, developers and landowners say such a designation could threaten economic development in West Texas and the Panhandle.

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.

 

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

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.

Construction finishing on a two million gallon water tank in a 13,000-acre water well field owned by the Colorado River Municipal Water District near Wickett, Texas. The land and existing infrastructure, purchased from Luminant Generation using state funds, as well as newly constructed water wells and pipeline, can pump up to 30 million gallons of water out of the field a day.
Construction finishing on a two million gallon water tank in a 13,000-acre water well field owned by the Colorado River Municipal Water District near Wickett, Texas. The land and existing infrastructure, purchased from Luminant Generation using state funds, as well as newly constructed water wells and pipeline, can pump up to 30 million gallons of water out of the field a day.

Texas Bills Would Dedicate $2 Billion for Water

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State Rep. Allan Ritter, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, filed two bills on Thursday that would allocate $2 billion from Texas' Rainy Day Fund to create a fund for water-supply projects. It's the largest amount proposed to date.