Environment

As part of Texas Public Radio's on-going focus on the environment, we are proud to bring the public and our members special events, stories and initiatives to help improve and draw attention to the city's health and environment.

Flickr user TexasEagle / cc

A new study by Harvard University explains a little more about colony collapse disorder (CCD), the name given to the sudden and widespread die-off of the honeybees that our food supply depends on for pollination.

The findings may also explain why Texas bee hives are doing better than those in other parts of the country.

Scientists have suspected for some time that a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids is responsible for CCD.

EPA

Newly proposed Environmental Protection Agency rules for existing coal-fired power plants have several state and federal officials up in arms over the possible economic impact for Texas businesses.

This year the EPA plans to implement rules on existing coal-fired power plants, which will have three years to fix and update their facilities or face hefty fines.

Ryan E. Poppe / TPR News

In the last five years the number of olive trees in Texas has increased rapidly, but even with tremendous growth several farmers say it’s not enough to call it the next oil boom.

Jim Henry, a pioneer in farming olives and founder of the Texas Olive Oil Council, said in the mid-1990s there were only a handful of trees, but in 2010 that number jumped to over 800,000. Today, Henry said, there are just over a million olive trees in Texas, which in 2013 produced an estimated 30,000-40,000 gallons of oil.

Eileen Pace / TPR News

The San Antonio River Authority has begun a process to clean up trash and debris that end up in Olmos Basin. Officials are working on a project to remove much of the trash dumped in far northwest Bexar County before it winds up in the San Antonio River.

Local residents offered their input at a recent SARA event, pointing out hotspots where they’ve seen trash collecting along tributaries that run into Olmos Basin.

Flickr user Daniel Foster / cc

The North Texas city of Denton sits atop one of the largest natural gas reserves and could become the first Texas city to ban hydraulic fracturing.

Opponents worry the process of extracting oil and gas is hazardous to residents' health and call it a violation of property rights.

Denton has had a temporary ban on fracking since 2012 but will consider permanently banning it in the next two months. Denton City council has the next 60 days to vote on the issue.

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