COASTAL BEND GROUP SIERRA CLUB
P.O. Box 3512, Corpus Christi, TX 78404
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COASTAL BEND SIERRA CLUB MEETING MINUTES October 2011
The Coastal Bend Sierra Club (CBSC) met from 11:30 am until 1:30 pm at the main library on Comanche Street on Tuesday, October 18. After opening the meeting, Chairperson Pat Suter reminded members that meeting minutes are posted on the CBSC website and she asked Treasurer Teresa Carrillo for her report. Teresa reported that the available checking account balance is $1,296.73 and the total current balance on the three CDs is $7,954.87.
Hal Suter, President of the Lone Stat Sierra Chapter, gave reports on two recent meetings in Austin. He was joined by Pat Suter at the September 28 public comment meeting on the proposed Keystone Pipeline. If approved, the 1700-mile pipeline would transport crude oil from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin to delivery points in Oklahoma and Texas at a rate up to 830,000 barrels per day. Environmental groups have concerns about possible negative impacts in several areas. Last week, Hal was back in Austin for a meeting with members of National Sierras Texas Team Coal for a discussion about future organizing efforts in the state.
Teresa Carrillo, who serves on the Lone Star Sierra Executive Committee (ExCom), also serves on several water planning/conservation groups. She reported that the Region N Water Planning Group has now completed its report and placed it on the Texas Water Development Boards website for public comment, and she hopes that CBSC members will read it and make comments. Deadline for comments is October 25. Region N includes eleven coastal bend counties, some of which are having water supplies affected by Eagle Ford Shale activity. Ken Kramer, Executive Director of Lone Star Sierra, recommended in a press release on October 17 that water use by oil and gas companies needs to be evaluated thoroughly and incorporated into planning in regions with heavy demands. Teresa stated that the next Eagle Ford Task Force meeting will deal with water usage for fracking. She also said that her term on Region N is expiring soon, but she hopes to be reappointed to serve another term. Pat will write a letter supporting her reappointment.
Teresa also reported on a recent meeting of the Gulf of Mexico Restoration Network in New Orleans. This group is also concerned with how hydraulic fracking in Texas will impact water supplies, and they hope to hold their next meeting somewhere in Eagle Ford Shale territory to see some of the operations there. That group is also working to obtain a large proportion of the BP restoration money to coastal areas which were severely impacted by the 2010 explosion and spill. In additional water matters, Teresa and Pat Suter will both meet with stakeholders concerned about Nueces River environmental flows.
Joyce Jarmon and Pat Suter serve on the community-wide Industrial Health Committee. Joyce brought and circulated a recent report from the group which compiles data from local air monitors. It contained several graphs which demonstrate that local refineries continue to make progress in cutting benzene emissions. She also reported that several schools in the area are partnering with the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) to teach the children about appropriate action to take if a chemical emergency should occur.
Vice-Chair Mina Williams has served as a volunteer with the Padre Island National Seashore Sea Turtle Science and Recovery Program, and she reported that this years nesting season set a new record for the most (199) Kemps ridley nests documented on the Texas Coast for a single nesting season. Most of the nesting was at the National Seashore where 31 public hatchling releases, attended by approximately 7000 visitors, were held. Mina also reminded the group of the recent editorial in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times which praised the success of the program and its positive effect on the Corpus Christi area.
Conservation Chair Venice Scheurich reported that the EPA is in the process of drafting a revised set of guidelines on the in-situ leaching (ISL) of uranium. She voiced some of CBSCs concerns about methods used to establish groundwater baseline quality and restoration standards by participating in the October 5 teleconference with the EPA Science Advisory Board, augmented by their Radiation Advisory Committee. The next working draft of these groups should be posted in the Federal Register in a few days.
Jack Pope reported on his attendance at a recent meeting of the Corpus Christi Port Commission at which there was some discussion of a pollution site on Port Avenue.
Membership Chair Lois Huff circulated lists of new members and of current members whose memberships have recently expired. She reported that recent records supplied by National Sierra
Indicate that CBSC now has 446 individual members.
Pat Suter announced that the November meeting will be on the third Tuesday, November 15. However, members should note that this will be an evening meetingspecifics to be announced later. Hal Suter stated that Dave Cortez of Austin, representing the Texas BlueGreen Apollo Alliance, will be the guest speaker and that members of the CWA, CEC, and others would be invited.
In other comments, Pat Suter announced that CBSC needs to begin seriously thinking about the future operations and direction of the club. She appointed Teresa, Lois, and Hal to begin doing this. New member Dee Dee Shields volunteered to join them. Pat also reminded members that the garage sale will be held at her place on Saturday, November 5. Help is needed that morning. Members having items to donate should bring them to her garage (already priced) at 1002 Chamberlain St. on the afternoon of Friday, November 4.
Submitted by Venice Scheurich, October 18, 2011***********************************************************************************
COASTAL BEND GROUP
This page was last updated on 11/15/11.