Houston Matters

An Update on the San Jacinto Waste Pits Superfund Site

Posted on · In 2005, Texas Parks and Wildlife discovered what became known as the San Jacinto Waste Pits in Pasadena, where Champion Paper Mill had once contracted with a company to dispose of industrial waste. That company chose to place that waste in pits along the San Jacinto river. In 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency declared the […]

Houston Matters

Why Houston Might Struggle Living Up to the EPA’s New Smog Rules

Posted on · They’ve been part of the Houston landscape for decades: giant flares that burn off explosive gases from refineries and petrochemical plants. But the pollution they emit, as well as exhaust from many thousands of vehicles, has been reduced in Houston. The amount of ozone that’s created by pollution when hit with sunlight used to exceed federal standards […]

Houston Matters

Understanding the President’s Clean Power Plan — and Reactions To It

Posted on · Last week, President Obama, flanked by EPA Chief Gina McCarthy, presented a revised “Clean Power Plan” setting standards to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. That’s 9 percent more than the administration’s previously proposed rules. The plan requires states to submit plans to meet that goal. Reaction here in Texas and across the […]

Houston Matters

Understanding and Combating Houston’s Ozone and Air Pollution Problems

Posted on · The American Lung Association recently released it’s annual “State of the Air” report, which studied air quality data from 2011 through 2013. While Houston isn’t among the worst U.S. cities for some types of pollution, the report ranks Houston/The Woodlands among the top ten when it comes to ozone pollution (smog). The report comes a […]

Houston Matters

What Should Be Done with the San Jacinto Waste Pits?

Posted on · The San Jacinto Waste Pits are an area on the eastern edge of Houston near the San Jacinto River where chemical waste was deposited decades ago. The Environmental Protection Agency has deemed the waste pits a Superfund site, a federally designated hazardous waste site. Some residents of neighboring communities believe chemicals from the site are […]

Houston Matters

The Pros and Cons of the EPA’s Plan to Cut Power Plant Emissions

Posted on · The Texas Public Policy Foundation recently released a study about the federal government’s proposed Clean Power Plan, which aims to regulate carbon emissions from power plants. Their assessment: doom and gloom, lost jobs, and rolling blackouts throughout the state. But others say the plan is positive, forward-thinking and the criticisms are overblown. We look at arguments for and […]

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Clean Power Plan & Property Taxes: Wednesday’s Show (April 1, 2015)

Posted on · The Texas Public Policy Foundation recently released a study about the federal government’s proposed Clean Power Plan, which aims to regulate carbon emissions from power plants. Their assessment: doom and gloom, lost jobs, and rolling blackouts throughout the state. But others say the plan is positive, forward-thinking and the criticisms are overblown. On this edition of Houston Matters, […]

Houston Matters

Should Refineries Face Tighter Regulation?

Posted on · The Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday held a public hearing in Galena Park, where residents called for the federal agency to adopt stricter emissions standards for oil refineries, to reduce exposure to benzene, a cancer-causing chemical. The meeting was the second and final public hearing over the new rules, which would require oil refineries to invest in better equipment to reduce such […]

Houston Matters

Texas Power Plants Must Reduce Emissions by 39 Percent by 2030

Posted on · The Obama Administration has unveiled a new plan to reduce carbon emissions, which includes mandating that Texas power plants reduce their emissions by 39 percent by 2030. Houston Public Media’s energy and environment reporter Dave Fehling joins us to discuss what this mandate means and how the state’s power plants will hit that target over […]

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EPA Emissions Plan, Better Work Spaces & Texas Lighthouses: Houston Matters for Wed., June 4, 2014

Posted on · The Obama Administration this week announced new mandates for cutting carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel power plants and said that plants in Texas must cut their carbon emissions by 39 percent by 2030. Today on Houston Matters, we learn about the proposal from the EPA and what it would take for Texas to meet that […]

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Houston Matters for Tues., Oct. 29, 2013

Posted on · The state of Texas believes the Environmental Protection Agency does not have legal authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from factories and power plants. Such disputes over carbon emissions have pitted environmental regulators against industry for years. Now, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments over this question – and the state of […]