COASTAL BEND GROUP SIERRA CLUB
P.O. Box 3512, Corpus Christi, TX 78404
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COASTAL BEND SIERRA CLUB November 2010 Meeting Minutes
The Coastal Bend Sierra Club (CBSC) met on Tuesday, November 16 from 11:30 am until 1:25 pm at the Central Library, 805 Comanche Street. Chairperson Pat Suter welcomed members and reminded them that the meeting minutes are posted on the CBSC website.
Treasurer Teresa Carrillo could not be present, but sent her report by Pat Suter who noted that the checking account balance is approximately $1,100 and that the three CDs total $7,680.42.
Lone Star Sierra Club President Hal Suter reported on the legislative workshop and the ExCom meeting in Austin on November 13-14. More than twenty environmentally friendly Texas House members lost their seats in the general election. The count now stands at ninety-nine Republicans and fifty-one Democrats. Representative Donna Howard is ahead in her southwest Austin district by only sixteen votes and a recount is pending. The new senate will have nineteen Republicans and twelve Democrats.
Hal stated that Texass more than $20-billion shortfall may prevent meaningful changes from occurring at TCEQ under Sunset Review. There was some discussion about the ramifications if the process of contested case hearings is eliminated so that contested case matters would be referred directly to district court.
In addition, Hal reminded members of two important dates: The Annual Awards Banquet in Austin, with Teresa Carrillo in charge of arrangements will occur on April 9, 2011, and the summer meeting of the ExCom, which will be held at Port Aransas on July 16, 2011, with CBSC as host.
Linda Price-May reported on a long-line meeting held at TAMU-CC on Wednesday November 10. Pew Charitable Trust representative Cameron Jaggard spoke on the extreme problem of by-catch with long-liningespecially affecting sea turtles and Blue Fin tuna. The Trust is in the process of soliciting funds for a buyout of long-liners.
Pat Suter, Joyce Jarmon, Edith Cosgrove, and Brian Burke reported on their attendance at a recent Industrial Advisory Committee meeting Representatives of industry reported that they think perhaps some recent benzene spikes may have been the results of seals which are wearing out. They also learned that oil/gas directional drilling is occurring near Nueces Bay and that hydraulic fracking at Whites Point is taking place.
Venice Scheurich said that she and Mina Williams participated in the November 4 EPA meeting on changes in uranium industry technologies and possible revisions in EPA drinking and groundwater protection. CBSC members Mark Walsh of Kleberg County and Sister Elizabeth Riebschlaeger of Dewitt County attended and made comments as did Goliad County Commissioner Ted Long. The complete CBSC report is being forwarded to a group at EPA Headquarters in the Office of Water, which is studying aquifer exemption activities within EPA regions.
Venice also reported that the Goliad County Groundwater Conservation District passed a resolution which will be sent to EPA asking that Uranium Energy Corporations request for an exempt aquifer in Goliad County be denied.
Brian Burke and Hal and Pat Suter led a discussion on the current status of the Las Brisas application. Las Brisas has agreed to lower its mercury emissions by over half and to lower its emissions for particulate matter by approximately 24%. The Administrative Law judges will file their Proposal for Decision (PFD) on the remanded issues by December 10. After that, TCEQ commissioners will schedule another public hearing on the PFD. Thereafter (no date yet set) the TCEQ commissioners will make their decision to accept or reject the judges PFD.
Brian Burke has drafted extensive comments for submittal to the TCEQ Sunset Review Commission. Prior to the meeting, he circulated his four-page draft by e-mail so that members would be prepared to comment. Several members had questions or offered comments and thanked Brian for his detailed listing of areas in which TCEQs procedures need improvement.
Pat Suter reminded members of the CBBF awards dinner on Thursday, November 18, at the Texas State Aquarium. Doors will open at 6:30 pm. Prices of tickets begin at $50 and they may be purchased at the door. For more specifics on the silent auction and the dinner, go to:www.baysfoundation.org.
Submitted by Venice Scheurich, Nov. 16, 2010***********************************************************************************
COASTAL BEND GROUP
This page was last updated on 12/26/10.