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.
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.
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.
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.