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Reserve Pits, Houston’s Health, Indie Bookstores & Birding: Houston Matters for Wed., April 2, 2014

On this edition of Houston Matters, we talk with Dave Fehling, Houston Public Media’s State Impact reporter for energy and the environment, about concerns related to what are known as “reserve pits” on drilling sites. These pits are dug on the site of a drilling rig and filled with waste that comes out of oil wells […]

On this edition of Houston Matters, we talk with Dave Fehling, Houston Public Media’s State Impact reporter for energy and the environment, about concerns related to what are known as “reserve pits” on drilling sites.

These pits are dug on the site of a drilling rig and filled with waste that comes out of oil wells during the drilling process. This muddy, oily mix of saltwater, sand and drilling fluids can also include a variety of chemicals and even diesel fuel.

Some worry this mix will find its way into the water supply.

We discuss that possibility, how other states have addressed this issue, and whether the use of such reserve pits is common here in Greater Houston.

Also: Later this month, Rice Sociologist Stephen Klineberg will join us to share the findings from the annual Kinder Institute Houston Area Survey. For 33 years now, the survey has measured Greater Houston’s economic and demographic changes, but also how residents respond to them. It’s a research program unlike any other for a major metro area. But it’s not the only report Dr. Klineberg and his associates at Rice compile. This hour, we’ll offer a sort of appetizer to the Area Survey, as we talk with Stephen Klineberg about Rice’s Houston Area Health Survey, which examines the connection between health insurance and perceived wellness, and the role factors ranging from income to age to education to ethnicity to even the neighborhood you live in may have on your health and well-being.

Plus: This weekend, Houston’s Brazos Bookstore celebrates its 40th anniversary with a slate of events. As more of us turn to e-books and online booksellers, traditional bricks-and-mortar bookstores have had to adapt. We discuss how indie bookstores in Houston are re-inventing themselves as essentially community centers for readers.

And: As millions of birds fly through Texas as part of their spring migration, they’re being watched by Houston’s birders. Houston Matters’ Maggie Martin goes birding with one such enthusiast to learn more about birdwatching in and around H-Town.

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