Environment

Environmental Impact
6:11 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Commissioners Approve Controversial Century Oaks Development

Residents of Hidden Oaks off Evans Road say there's little space between their large-lot properties and a densely-designed Gordon Hartman subdivision going in over the aquifer recharge zone
Eileen Pace TPR

Residents are opposed to the densely-designed neighborhood, saying it would adversely affect the water supply and endangered species. Last year, County Commissioners postponed their approval to do further research and to put pressure on the developers to address the concerns of the surrounding property owners.

Residents and water conservationists had expressed concern that the property over the Edwards Aquifer had a high impervious cover ratio that would cause harm to the water supply.

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Environment
11:05 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Laura Bush Encouraging Environmental Literacy Programs In Texas

Former First Lady, Laura Bush, after speaking at the Texas Natural Resources/Environmental Literacy Summit in San Antonio.
Eileen Pace TPR

Former First Lady Laura Bush was in San Antonio Friday to meet with educators at the Texas Natural Resource and Environmental Literacy Summit. Bush is working with a coalition to restore Texas natural lands and promote environmental literacy.

Environmental literacy is more than teaching kids to appreciate nature. Research shows kids who play in nature are more creative, stronger leaders, and have better physical and mental health.

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Environmental Protection
5:37 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Is $29 Million Too Much To Protect Texas Salamander Habitat?

U.S. Fish and Wildlife

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is asking for public comment about granting federal protection for new salamander species in Central Texas.

Protecting these little guys it’s going to cost about $29 million in economic impact over the next 23 years.

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Environment Texas
2:36 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Texas Ranks Tenth in U.S. for Sustainable Building

University of Texas at Austin

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 12:52 pm

Texas ranks tenth in the country in Leadership Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. That's according to a report issued by the U.S. Green Building Council, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit that issues LEED certification.

The LEED 100-point scale rates the design, construction, and operation of buildings, neighborhoods, and homes to promote sustainable infrastructure. It looks at factors such as sustainability, water and energy efficiency, materials, indoor environmental quality, as well as design and innovation to issue one of four different levels of certification: Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

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11:55 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Tracing The Culprit When Fracking Pollutes Water Supplies

Lead in text: 
Several research teams have developed techniques like adding tiny fragments of rust (iron oxide) or synthetic DNA to the drilling fluid to make it easier to identify what drilling rig is responsible for contamination. This practice could help produce hard evidence in cases that are brought to court over natural gas drilling practices.
Scientists are developing ways to add non-toxic tracers to drilling fluid so if groundwater is contaminated, investigators would be able to pinpoint if an oil or gas drilling operation was to blame.
Fire Warning
2:27 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Red Flag Warning Issued For Areas Of South Texas - Fire Danger High

The area in pink is under a Red Flag warning for fire danger until 7 p.m.
National Weather Service

The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag warning for the western part of South Texas due to "critical" fire conditions. The warning is in effect from noon to 7 p.m. due to a dry cold front that will drop temperatures across the state.

Winds of 15 to 20 mph are expected and may reach up to 30 mph in some places. These gusty winds make the danger of wildfires especially high when paired with low humidity and very dry air. Outdoor burning is not recommended, and any fires that do start will likely spread rapidly.

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Construction Impact
9:47 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Decision Postponed On Century Oaks Development

Bexar County

Bexar County Commissioners have postponed a decision on whether a local developer can build hundreds of small-lot homes in far north Bexar County. Commissioners are asking developer Gordon Hartman to meet with attorneys and area homeowners who oppose the subdivision.

Residents of Hidden Oaks near Cibolo Creek fear the development of Century Oaks will cause harm to the environment; specifically, the Golden-Cheeked Warbler, the large oaks trees that are already being cut down, and the water. The land is over the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone.

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Solar Power
11:56 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Council Approves Solar Facility Deal For Brooks City Base

City of San Antonio

In exchange for creating hundreds of jobs, the city has agreed to a business deal with solar manufacturing company Nexolon America.

Nexolon will build a manufacturing plant at Brooks with ordinances to create a reinvestment zone at the base including: A 10-year 100 percent tax abatement, $400,000 in grant money to create 400 jobs, and $12 million for future infrastructure improvements.

Mayor Julián Castro believes the project contributes to the vision of SA2020 to create a highly skilled workforce.

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Winter Weather
5:16 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Get Ready For Cold Weather: Protect Your Pipes

Though temperatures rarely get low enough to freeze and burst water pipes in San Antonio, these kinds of things do sometimes happen, so it is good to know some simple ways to prepare your house for the freezing weather.

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Wildlife
9:30 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Increasing Number Of Black Bears Spotted In South Texas

Texas Parks and Wildlife

Counties along the Texas-Mexico border are reporting higher numbers of hungry invaders from Mexico -- bears -- and wildlife biologists are trying to quickly educate border residents about the dos and don’ts of living with the big mammals.

Black bears are native to most of the Southwest, but in Texas, human development, hunting and trapping drove the ursine wildlife out of most of South Texas and the Hill Country decades ago.

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