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.

Texas Scientists Find Antibiotic Resistance Blowing in Wind

Mar 30, 2015
Eva Hershaw / The Texas Tribune

COTTON CENTER — After years spent studying the dust that blows across the southern Great Plains, Phil Smith no longer looks at the dark haboobs that routinely rise over Lubbock without a healthy dose of apprehension. 

In a study slated for publication next month, he and Texas Tech University colleague Greg Mayer may have made their biggest discovery yet: DNA from antibiotic-resistant bacteria in cattle feedlots is airborne.   

For years, scientists have known that humans can contract antibiotic-resistant bacteria by consuming contaminated meat or water. The findings by Smith and Mayer indicate that humans could also be exposed to so-called “super bugs” or “super bacteria” traveling through the air. 

White House Tightens Rules On Chemical Disclosure In Fracking

Mar 20, 2015

WASHINGTON  — The Obama administration is requiring companies that drill for oil and natural gas on federal lands to disclose chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing operations.

A final rule released Friday also updates requirements for well construction and disposal of water and other fluids used in fracking, a drilling method that has prompted an ongoing boom in natural gas production.

National Weather Service

The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for the entire San Antonio area and the Hill Country from 1 p.m. Friday to 7 p.m. Saturday.

There is the possibility of widespread 2 to 4 inches of rainfall with isolated totals of 6 to 7 inches from slow moving and training thunderstorms.

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

GEORGETOWN — A Central Texas city will be among the first in the U.S. to get its electricity exclusively from solar and wind energy.

SunEdison, which makes solar panels and develops power plants, said Wednesday that it is building a 150-megawatt solar farm in West Texas to serve the municipal utility of Georgetown, about 30 miles north of Austin. That’s enough to supply about half the city’s residents, and the rest of the electricity will come from wind.

EPA

FORT WORTH — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has requested that the Environmental Protection Agency scrap plans to tighten national emission limits on smog-forming pollution linked to asthma and respiratory illness, arguing the change would be bad for the economy.

The new regulations on ground-level ozone, proposed last November, would “stifle economic growth and job creation,” Abbott said in a statement Monday, announcing a letter sent to EPA director Gina McCarthy.

In the letter, sent a day before the EPA's public comment period on the proposal ends and signed by Abbott and the governors of 10 other states, the agency is urged to maintain the current standard at 75 parts per billion.

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