After a series of storms in March 2012, John Bonta is sorting through the wreckage on his Highlands ranch, 20 miles west of Houston. He's just gotten home from work when his wife, Pam, asks him to help her pick up a portion of the fence that had fallen during the night. He doesn't wait for her, thin ... More >>
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has never exactly been on point when it comes to, you know, protecting the environment (this is Texas after all, land where the only good environmental regulation is a nonexistent one) but the state agency came out with a doozy this week. See, the feder ... More >>
After nearly four years of public outcry, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has finally agreed clean up abandoned industrial waste left behind by CES Environmental Services in southeast Houston. For years neighbors had complained about CES' Griggs Road facility, where the company cleaned ta ... More >>
The past several years of Greg Abbott's political career have been one long, drawn-out pissing match with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. For an avowed tort-reformer, our Attorney General-turned GOP candidate for governor sure loves a good lawsuit when the feds are in the crosshairs, famou ... More >>
Once upon a time (about four years ago) it seemed like British Petroleum's oil spilling sins in the Gulf of Mexico would never be forgiven. First the Deepwater Horizon became a fireball in the Gulf of Mexico. Then countless barrels of oil gushed from the ocean floor for weeks before the well was fi ... More >>
You'd be hard pressed to find anything Texas officials love more than taking whatever the federal Environmental Protection Agency is trying to do and fighting against it. They've gotten a lot of mileage out of fighting against anything the EPA tries to do when it comes to air quality in recent year ... More >>
New Jersey traffic retribution scandal tough for Houstonians to understand.
Once upon a time -- and we're talking like three years ago -- the Environmental Protection Agency was a force to be reckoned with. EPA regulators were throwing their weight around and pushing the issue on things like biofuels, air quality and the effect of fracking on water quality. They had the Whi ... More >>
Will the Next Hurricane Unleash the Dioxin-filled San Jacinto Superfund Site?
Houston wasn't hit by a hurricane this season, but there are questions about what will happen to the San Jacinto Waste Pit superfund site the next time a hurricane roars through town. The highly toxic Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site has been sitting in the middle of the San Jacinto R ... More >>
It must be a tricky thing being the Environmental Protection Agency, especially when it comes to the political minefield that is fracking. Hydraulic fracturing - the process of shooting sand, water and chemicals into an oil well to get the oil and natural gas trapped in the formation flowing - is a ... More >>
Have you ever been strolling by the San Antonio River Walk and thought you smelled something a little, you know, funky? Turns out it may not have all been in your head, or nose. The San Antonio Water System was supposed to be taking care of the raw sewage coming into the plant but from 2006 to 2012 ... More >>
Houston is a city known for many good things, but one of the bad things this town is known for is the air - there's a lot of air pollution around here, and we've got the Ozone watch days to prove it. So you wouldn't think a little extra air pollution would get noticed by the Environmental Protectio ... More >>
West sues fertilizer company while Senate cries phooey on EPA, wants changes.
It's been more than two months since the explosion at the West, Texas fertilizer factory left the little town looking like a nuclear bomb had been dropped on it. Since then, the hits have kept on coming. The townspeople have gone about trying to rebuild their home without the help of disaster reli ... More >>
The Supreme Court is all finished with the rulings for this session, but the high court is already looking ahead to the next session, and they're about to take a look at air, as in air pollution. In July 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, requir ... More >>
When Steve Lipsky blamed fracking for turning his water well into a flamethrower, he set off an epic battle between the EPA and Texas.
Fracking is supposed to be an energy godsend, a cheap way to get lots of natural gas. But property owners are finding it brings along with it such problems as flames coming out of their water hoses and wells, and poisonous chemicals in their drinking water. There's a big fight going on nationwide, ... More >>
The federal Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its bounds when it rejected a Texas clean-air plan it thought was too lax, an appellate court has ruled. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says the EPA was limited to reviewing whether Texas's controversial plan met the absolute minimums o ... More >>
Breath of fresh airIt's a rarity: Good air-pollution news in Texas that doesn't involve the Obama administration forcing state officials to do their job. The Environmental Protection Agency announced today that 156 Texas companies who have received the notoriously loose "flexible" permits ha ... More >>
Feds up the ante in battle against TCEQ, PerryThe Environmental Protection Agency announced stricter rules on air pollution, rules that will especially affect Texas, whose politicians have been fighting tenaciously to avoid federal regulation of the state's many pollution producers. The EPA ... More >>
Greg Abbott leads a mostly southern uprisingTexas Attorney General Greg Abbott wants everyone to know that he is doing everything he can to stop the federal Environmental Protection Agency from trying to implement greenhouse-gas limits on cars and trucks. In the latest of a series of lawsuit ... More >>
Texas goes to courtAs expected, Texas state officials are not just going to roll over and accept the Obama administration's taking away their right to rubber-stamp every application to let companies pour greenhouses gases into the air. Texas AG Greg Abbott went to court today, filing a petit ... More >>
TCEQ step aside, feds sayIs an agency a "watchdog" when it doesn't watch? Apparently the feds don't think so. In a bold move today, the Environmental Protection Agency announced it was taking over the job of issuing greenhouse-gas permits in Texas because the Texas Council on Environmental ... More >>
Dollars for clean-air initiativesThe Environmental Protection Agency has just announced it's giving a $423,000 grant to Houston to help the city boost its electric-car program.The city already has about two dozen charging stations downtown for the vehicles, and now can add more and also improve b ... More >>
TCEQ: Honeymoon with the feds is definitely overThe EPA took yet another bite out of the Texas air-pollution regulatory system on Tuesday when it decreed that some of state's rules violate federal clean air law.At issue is what's called the New Source Review Program. It deals with the permitting ... More >>
Dumb bureaucrats........The Texas regulations on clean air, such as they are, have done a marvelous job for years, and we don't need the feds messing with our pristine environment, Texas attorney general Greg Abbott said today in a suit filed against the Obama administration.Texas' (notorious) Fl ... More >>
The Environmental Protection Agency is getting hit from both ends for its actions in Texas.The EPA has threatened to take over the permitting process from the Texas Commissin on Environmental Quality if the TCEQ doesn't get tougher on polluters.Governor Rick Perry was in Deer Park yesterday, once a ... More >>
Feds come to the same conclusion we didThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency smacked the hell out of Texas environmental regulators earlier this week, announcing that the feds will begin taking control over the issuance of operating permits to chemical plants and refineries because the s ... More >>
Houston's air may be a national joke, but we do score the occasional surprise good showing in environmental matters.The Environmental Protection Agency today put out its list of the Top 25 cities with the highest number of energy-efficient buildings, and Houston came in a solid sixth.The EPA coun ... More >>
The Environmental Protection Agency is in the midst of deciding exactly how low it is going to decrease the national smog pollution limit, otherwise known as ozone, and clean-air advocates want you to do your part to help ensure a cleaner, healthier Houston.All day today, the EPA is hosting a pub ... More >>
Oil and gas make the world go 'round, but refining the stuff can be deadly business. And according to a new report, the cancer-causing chemical known as benzene is on the rise.Earlier today, the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Environmental Integrity Project released a study showing that benzene ... More >>
Clean-air advocates in Texas had such high hopes for the EPA under the Obama administration. After all, the federal environmental agency has said that, as early as today, it will significantly lower the national ozone limit and has essentially stated that some of Texas' pro-business industrial pe ... More >>
The EPA may giveth, but it can also taketh away -- the agency is toughening guidelines in the fight against smog pollution, lowering the national ozone limit for the eight-hour standard.A federal Environmental Protection Agency spokesman says the agency will announce today that it is lowering the ... More >>
Flexible permits offer a loophole big enough to drive an oil tanker through.
Illustration courtesy drinktap.orgA little more than a year ago, the Houston Press brought you a story about a growing movement aimed at ditching those store-bought plastic bottles of water for the stuff that flows from the tap. After all, advocates claimed, tap water is safe, cheap and environm ... More >>
Oh, crap. The Environmental Protection Agency has put out another list.This can't be good for Houston.But.....it is?Yes, apparently so: Houston is the top city in Texas -- and the third in the entire country, behind two frou-frou California cities -- when it comes to the number of "green" buildings. ... More >>
Good news and bad news for Texas City: The good news is that BP will be spending $167 million to reduce pollution in its plant there.The bad news is that they were polluting the area so bad it's going to take $167 million to do something about it.The Environmental Protection Agency announced today t ... More >>
The good news is that the Environmental Protection Agency has issued its list of counties that don't meet the agency's standards for fine-particle air pollution, and Harris County is not on that list.The bad news is that the American Lung Association thinks it damn well should be on the list.The EPA ... More >>
Sludge, spread across the land, makes some people vomit and others very rich
Milby's cleanup cost Houston $10 million. Now HCC says the site is still contaminated.
The city doesn't seem to care that a Houston developer's plans for high-density apartments and a supermarket rest atop abandoned oil fields and possible contamination
A Heights mother tries to get the lead out
It's called "Motorist's Choice." But the new emissions testing program for Houston may not offer much of a choice after all. And it won't do much for cleaning the city's air, either.
Tom DeLay, the bug man from Sugar Land, has always despised environmental regulation. Now, as House majority whip, he's in a position to do something about it.
Sell your jalopy, help an industry breathe easier
Diane Wilson asked only that her home bay be allowed to live. She says she was told no. So she went to war.
To a world worried about waste, Houston may offer an answer -- or at least a place for the garbage to go