Environment

StateImpact Texas
11:05 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Garbage Gas: Is Methane Going To Waste In Texas?

New Braunfels trash trucks unloading at Mesquite Creek Landfill.
Dave Fehling StateImpact Texas

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are 27 landfills in Texas that are producing enough methane gas to make electricity or provide fuel to power industrial equipment. The agency says another 57 landfills are candidates for such projects.

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Environment
2:18 am
Fri November 23, 2012

An Arbor Embolism? Why Trees Die In Drought

A forest near Trieste, Italy, is largely dead owing to drought stress during the summer of 2012.
Andrea Nardini Nature

Originally published on Fri November 23, 2012 12:53 pm

Scientists who study forests say they've discovered something disturbing about the way prolonged drought affects trees.

It has to do with the way trees drink. They don't do it the way we do — they suck water up from the ground all the way to their leaves, through a bundle of channels in a part of the trunk called the xylem. The bundles are like blood vessels.

When drought dries out the soil, a tree has to suck harder. And that can actually be dangerous, because sucking harder increases the risk of drawing air bubbles into the tree's plumbing.

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The Two-Way
1:22 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

BP Settlement Of Little Comfort To Some, A 'Down Payment' To Others

June 2010: A boom floats in the water as contract workers from BP use skimmers to clean oil from a marsh near Venice, La.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 5:36 pm

There's mixed reaction this afternoon to the news that BP has agreed to a deal with federal authorities to pay $4.5 billion in criminal and civil penalties related to the 2010 Gulf Oil spill.

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EPA Regulations
12:58 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

EPA Pushing Compliance With Clean Water Act - SAWS May Increase Rates

SAWS

San Antonio Water System customers could be facing a rate increase of nearly 10 percent in 2013. An aging infrastructure is one reason, but another is pressure from the Environmental Protection Agency.

SAWS spokesperson Anne Hayden said each year the EPA targets cities to reduce sewage overflows. San Antonio treats more than 250 million gallons of sewage each day. Hayden said 99.9 percent of that sewage never escapes the system, but the EPA wants even better numbers for compliance with the Clean Water Act.

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The Two-Way
7:20 am
Thu November 15, 2012

BP Pleads Guilty, Will Pay $4 Billion In Criminal Penalties For Gulf Oil Spill

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig burned on April 21, 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 5:32 pm

Update at 11:30 a.m. ET: Oil giant BP has agreed to plead guilty to criminal misconduct related to the 2010 Gulf Oil spill and will pay a record $4 billion in criminal penalties, the company just confirmed. And it will pay $525 million in civil penalties in a resolution with the Securities and Exchanges Commission. BP will make the payments over six years.

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Environmental Protection
11:35 am
Fri November 9, 2012

Homeowners And Conservationists File Notice Of Intent To Sue City, SAWS, Developer

From left to right: Attorney Brad Rockwell, Annalisa Peace of the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance and Tom Tobin representing homeowners, give their 60-day notice of intent.
Eileen Pace Texas Public Radio

A Golden-cheeked Warbler and caves over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone are the subjects of a lawsuit pending against the City of San Antonio, SAWS, and a local developer. 

Members of The Cibolo Creek Conservation Society say they’ve been trying to get the attention of the City of San Antonio, SAWS, or the developer of the new Century Oaks subdivision off Evans Road, but so far haven’t had any luck. They’re concerned about the density of the housing area nestled along Cibolo Creek, the removal of trees, and the endangered species that call the area home.

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Flood Control
9:51 am
Thu November 1, 2012

First part of Sixmile Creek Drainage Improvements Nearing Completion

Area marked off for Sixmile Creek drainage improvements for the S. Flores bridge..
Bexar County Flood Control

South Side residents got some relief from flooding and from some of the related construction as officials announced the completion of the first section of the Sixmile Creek Flood Control Project.

The project is part of Bexar County’s $500 million capital improvement campaign, and the first section to open cost $2.7 million.

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Mission Reach Expansion
12:22 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

New Portion of Mission Reach Open - More Trees on the Way

A cyclist rides on the new portion of the Mission Reach near Theo Ave. The next phase of the Reach is scheduled to open in April.
Joey Palacios Texas Public Radio

It’s still nearly a year before the Mission Reach is completed, but a new stretch is now open to the public. The San Antonio River Authority and Bexar County have added an additional 1.5 mile loop near Theo Avenue and a hike and bike bridge over Concepciόn Creek.

SARA General Manager Suzanne Scott said the $3.5 million restoration of this section of the river will include the planting of new trees.

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San Antonio Recycling
9:29 am
Wed October 24, 2012

CPS Gets Award as One of Texas' Most Prolific Recyclers

CPS Energy

The State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) said CPS demonstrated a strong commitment to the environment by recycling 92 percent of its disposable materials in 2011. The alliance is honoring the utility with a leadership award for Outstanding Construction and Demolition Programs.

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San Antonio Water System
1:13 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

SAWS Forced to Adjust Water Management Plan Ahead of Schedule

SAWS website

San Antonio’s Water Plan was last updated in 2009, but changes in demographics and population have made it necessary to update the plan now instead of waiting the usual five years.

The San Antonio Water System is planning for a 1.2 percent annual population growth; an increase of 20,000 people a year. Vice President Greg Flores said SAWS has begun its investment in a new desalination plant for Bexar County’s future.

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