COASTAL BEND GROUP SIERRA CLUB
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                            P.O. Box 3512, Corpus Christi, TX 78404
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                                     "When we try to pick out anything
                                                by itself, we find it
                                                hitched to everything else
                                                in the universe."

                                              
                               -John Muir


                            COASTAL BEND      South Texas Uranium News

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER NEWS 2007

OUR NEXT COASTAL BEND GROUP SIERRA CLUB MEETING
Tues., Jan.. 15,  2008
Time: 11:30-1:00pm
Place: Central Library, Corpus Christi

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COASTAL BEND GROUP

SIERRA CLUB

P.O. BOX 3512

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX 78404

DECEMBER 2007 NEWSLETTER

COMING EVENTS

MONDAY, DECEMBER 10 5:30 pm. Coastal Issues Forum, WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY & NATURE TOURISM. Michelle Horine, Coastal Wildlife Photo Contest and Keith Arnold, Corpus Christi, CVB. Come hear about Nature Tourism plans and their impacts on Padre and Mustang Islands and other natural areas.

5:30 pm Social, 6 pm Program. Room 1003 Natural Resource Center at TAMUCC

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18, 5:30 TO 8 PM. COASTAL BEND HOLIDAY CELEBRATION. (See below.)

……………………

COASTAL BEND SIERRA CLUB HOLIDAY CELEBRATION

COME JOIN IN THE CELEBRATION OF THE COASTAL BEND SIERRA CLUB ACTIVITIES DURING THE YEAR 2007.

The celebration will highlight the areas in which Sierrans have been active this past year. There will be PRIZES and something for every one. The club will supply drinks (wine, soft drinks, and GLUVINE).

Members are asked to bring themselves, a friend, and a snack to share. It is a come-and-go affair. The drawings for the prizes will be held off and on during the celebration.

THE CELEBRATION WILL BE AT THE NATURE CONSERVANCY NATURE CENTER, 205 N Carrizzo. The location is across from Blucher Park and behind the Central Library.

This will be the last newsletter until February. Other communication will be via e-mail.

Are you on our e-mail list. If you wish to be included in the Updates and other e-mail communications from national or state, e-mail me at phsuter@stx.rr.com

ELECTIONS WILL BE IN JANUARY AT THE REGULAR TUESDAY LUNCHEON MEETING. VOLUNTEERS FOR ALL OFFICES (CHAIR, VICE-CHAIR, SECRETARY AND TREASURER) ARE NEEDED. PLEASE DO NOT REFUSE IF CALLED. BUT MUCH BETTER IS TO VOLUNTEER.

Also, please send any changes in your mailing address to our membership chairman, Kathy Griffith (grifkm@sbcglobal.net). She also does the labels for the newsletter so you do not want to miss these.
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COASTAL BEND SIERRA CLUB - November 2007 Meeting Minutes

The Coastal Bend Sierra Club met on Tuesday, November 20 from 11:30 am until 1:00 pm at the Central Library, 805 Comanche Street. After calling the meeting to order and welcoming members, Chairperson Pat Suter called for the Treasurer’s report. In the absence of Teresa Carrillo, Treasurer, Lois Huff distributed a written report from Teresa. We have three CD’s of which two will mature in February 2008. The checking account contains approximately $680 and expenses since October were $74.

Hal Suter, our Coastal Bend representative on the Lone Star Executive Committee, reported on his attendance at the ExCom meeting in Austin on November 9 through 11. There was extensive discussion on nuclear power plant construction plans and on the related topic of uranium exploration and mining permit applications in South Texas. There is currently much uranium activity in Duval County, but so far Senator Judith Zaffirini is the only individual who has shown a willingness to ask for a hearing on a permit. Hal mentioned that State Representative Juan Escobar, who did good work in the last session to get language in SB 1604, which would continue to allow contested case hearings re Production Area Authorizations, was officially honored by Lone Star Sierra for his leadership on conservation.

Hal also reported that the ExCom agreed to allot $1 per member to each group within the Lone Star Chapter next yea, and additionally, groups with fewer than 1000 members will receive $250.

Edith Cosgrove, Joyce Jarmon, and Pat Suter are our representatives on the Community Advisory Council and on the Long-Term Health Care Committee. They reported that refineries are still having troublesome spikes of toxic emissions which the companies cannot explain. However, overall, they are bringing down the levels of benzene and other toxins in the air. Pat recently spoke to 200 industry and community leaders on the history of local efforts to lower air pollution.

Lois Huff, Executive Director of the CBBF, reported on that group’s annual awards banquet and stated that Coastal Bend Sierrans Pat Suter and Senator Carlos Truan received special awards for their successful efforts to organize the Coastal Bend Bays Foundation more than ten years ago. Both were present at our meeting Tuesday and received our congratulations.

Lois also reported that some local citizens are meeting every other Friday to study smart growth. Their current emphasis is on EPA’s Ten Principles of Smart Growth. Additionally, Lois reminded us of CBBF’s next public forum on December 10 at which Michelle Horine will present a slide show on the Annual Wildlife Photo Contest. Following her presentation, Keith Arnold will speak on eco-tourism. The meeting will begin with a social at 5:30 at TAMU’s Natural Resources Center.

Mina Williams and Venice Scheurich had just returned from attending a meeting of the Goliad County Commissioners’ Court and the Court-appointed Uranium Research Advisory Committee. They reported that the TRRC is currently drafting rules for HB 3837, which governs permit granting and monitoring of uranium exploration activities. They brought with them language for the rules which the Goliad groups are proposing as changes to the TRRC’s draft rules, and they urged members to write letters or e-mails supporting the Goliad language. Candice Mottet offered to prepare a PDF file from the Goliad handout, which Pat Suter offered to send immediately to everyone on her Sierra e-mail list urging them to get comments to TRRC by the November 26 deadline.

Also, Candice Mottet moved, with a second by Edith Cosgrove, that Mina and Venice draft a letter for Coastal Bend Sierra to send to TRRC supporting the rule changes recommended by Goliad County leaders. (see the outcome of the motion below)

In final announcements, Pat Suter reminded members that the local Audubon group is collecting glass for recycling at Ropes Park from 4:00 to 7:00 pm for the next two Sundays. Pat also stated that our holiday party will be held on Tuesday, December 18, and she needs volunteers for decorating and setting up table displays at 2:00 pm that day. The party will be from 5:30 until 7:30 pm at the Blucher Nature Center, which is headquarters for the local staff of the local Nature Conservancy.

Submitted by Venice Scheurich


Outcome of the motion by Edith Cosgrove, seconded by Candice Mottet, and passed unanimously by the group on the 20th.

COASTAL BEND GROUP

SIERRA CLUB

P.O. BOX 3512

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX 78404

 

November 21, 2007

Surface mining: Director Melvin Hodgkiss
Rules Coordinator
Railroad Commission of Texas
P.O. Drawer 12967
Austin, Texas 78711-2967

Dear Mr. Hodgkiss:

We commend you for your efforts to improve the rules in HB 3837. However, there are several areas in which we feel the TRRC rules need improvement. Our suggestions follow.

11.23 CONFIDENTIALITY

Please add "the actual physical location of the boundaries of a proposed or issued exploratory uranium mining permit can not be determined to be confidential."

The right of landowners to knowledge of permitted areas before exploratory drilling begins should supersede the rights of uranium companies to keep secret the area to be explored.

11.25 APPLICATION FOR URANIUM EXPLORATION ACTIVITY

Please add in (7) (B) the bolded, italicized words: the number of exploration holes anticipated to be drilled during the permit term: as well as their location.

Knowing the precise location of the drilling site would assure the integrity of the inspection process.

11:27 URANIUM EXPLORATION RECLAMATION AND PLUGGING REQUIREMENTS

Please add the following bolded, italicized language:

Exploration bore holes should be drilled no closer than 500 horizontal feet to an existing water well without the written consent of the well owner. The existing water well must be tested before drilling exploration boreholes showing the concentration of chloride, nitrite/nitrate, sulfate, pH, temperature, conductivity, arsenic, iron, selenium, uranium, gross alpha, radium 226, radon 222 and total dissolved solids.

The distance of 500 feet would assure a safer buffer and this kind of detailed analysis of the water beforehand is necessary to determine the quality of the water before it is disturbed by exploration boreholes.

11.32 URANIUM EXPLORATION PERMIT APPLICATION NOTIFICATION BY THE COMMISSION

Please add the bolded, italicized words:

The Commission shall provide written notice of receipt of an exploration permit application and the issuance of an exploration permit, permit transfer, permit amendment or permit renewal . . .

The same notification rule that applies to the receipt of an exploration permit application and the issuance of an exploration permit or permit renewal should apply to permit transfers and permit amendments.

11.33 INFORMATION PROVIDED TO GROUNDWATER CONSERVATION DISTRICTS

Please add the bolded, italicized words: The information or data provided by a permittee to a groundwater conservation district in accordance with requirements of the Texas Natural Resources Code 131.354 (d) and 131.357 (a) and (c) shall also be provided to the Commission. The water quality information required under Texas Natural Resources Code 131.357 (a) shall include the concentration of chloride, nitrite/nitrate, sulfate, pH, temperature, conductivity, arsenic, iron, selenium, uranium, gross alpha, radium 226, radon 222 and total dissolved solids.

Without this kind of specificity, the true status of the water prior to exploration drilling would be unknown.

11.153 TIME AND PROCEDURES FOR INSPECTION

Please add the bolded, italicized words:

(d) For an exploration permit, the Commission shall inspect the area covered by the permit at least

once a month during the term of the permit.

Monthly inspections will encourage permittees to comply with the regulations agreed to when their permit was granted.

 

11.154 VIOLATIONS CREATING IMMINENT DANGER OR CAUSING IMMINENT HARM

Please add the following bolded, italicized sentence at the end of (a): If the situation warrants, the Commission may order a cessation of exploration or surface mining operations of the entire operation.

Some violations could be so severe that they would warrant shutting down the entire operation and this additional wording would authorize the Commission to do so.

 

11.155 VIOLATIONS NOT CREATING IMMINENT DANGER OR CAUSING IMMINENT HARM

Please add the following bolded, italicized words at the end of the first sentence in (b): . . .on the portion of the area relevant to the violation or the entire operation if warranted.

If a permittee is a habitual violator, this addition would allow the Commission, if it chooses to do so, to shut down the entire operation.

 

11.156 CONTINUOUS VIOLATIONS

Please add the bolded, italicized words within (a) as follows: . . . or that the violations are willfully caused by the permittee, the Commission may promptly temporarily suspend, or revoke the permit, or, alternatively, or shall issue an order to the permittee to show cause as to why the permit should not be suspended or revoked.

If there are continuous violations, this addition would allow the Commission, if it chooses to do so, to
Promptly suspend or revoke a permit if warranted.

Thank you for your consideration of our suggestions.

Yours sincerely,

 

Pat Suter, Chair
P.O. Box 3512
Corpus Christi, TX 78404
Phsuter@stx.rr.com
Ph. 361-852-7938

 

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STATE LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES – 2007 SESSION – TENTATIVE (Adopted 7/2006)

Clean Air


Reduction of toxic and other harmful emissions from industrial plants and electric power
generating plants and prevention of air quality teterioration by a proliferation of new
coal-fired power plants.


* through enactment of legislation to tighten the review and regulation of the health impacts
   of air pollution sources and to respond more effectively to the continuing problem of
   "upset" air emissions; and
* through a moratorium on permitting of new coal-fired power plants in Texas to allow
   a thorough review of the proposed plant technologies and the cumulative air quality
   impacts of those plants


Environmental Flow Protection

Preservation and provision of instream flows and freshwater inflows to bays and
estuaries necessary to maintain healthy fish and wildlife populations.

*
through enactment of legislation establishing a process to determine and to meet
  environmental flow needs necessary to maintain a sound ecological environment
   in Texas coastal bays & associated river basins


Smart Energy Solutions

More efficient use of energy and increased reliance on renewable energy sources

* through standards for greater energy efficiency for appliances sold in Texas and new buildings
   and homes built in Texas; and
* an increase in the renewable standard portfolio of electric power utility providers

State & Local Parks Funding

A dependable source of funding for acquisition, maintenance, and management of
Texas state & local parks to meet growing habitat preservation and outdoor recreation needs


*
through raising or eliminating the cap on the revenue from the sporting goods tax that is
   allocated to state & local parks, supplementing sporting goods tax revenue with other
   fee revenue, and/or pursuing voter approval of bonds adequate to meet park repair and
   acquisition needs over the next decade

Water Conservation


More efficient use of water by Texas consumers, agricultural producers, businesses,
and institutions through conservation

*
through enactment of the legislative recommendations of the Texas Water Conservation
   Implementation Task Force, including expansion of existing conservation planning
   requirements to a larger number or retail water suppliers


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                          COASTAL BEND GROUP

                       EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Pat Suter 852-7938 Chairman
phsuter@stx.rr.com    
Mina Williams 882-1179 V.Chairman
Teresa Carrillo 361-672-4703 Treasurer
Venice Scheurich  241-4289 Secretary
Hal Suter 852-7938 Lone Star Ch. Rep.
COMMITTEE CHAIRS    
Recycling 993-3737 Kenn Jobe
Venice Scheurich  241-4289 Conservation
Bill Alling 289-9090 Air Quality
Kathy Griffith 578-5291 Membership/Publicity
Hal Suter and Mina
Williams
852-7938 Political
Hal Suter 852-7938 Walks
Hal Suter
Teresa Carrillo
852-7938 Rep. to Lone Star Ch.
Kathy Griffith 578-5291 Field Trips
Teresa Carrillo 882-3439 Field Trips
Cheryl McGrath   Webmaster



  Cheryl McGrath      Webmaster
 
csmcgrath@earthlink.net
             

..........................................................................................................................  

      Addresses:

  • Texas State Legislature Online

    CORPUS CHRISTI MAYOR & CITY COUNCIL

    Mayor Henry Garrett                                           District 1 Bill Kelly
    Business: 826-3100                                               Business: 888-6600
    Mobile: 850-3113                                                  Mobile: 815-7314
    email: Lindale@cctexas.com                               email: BILL@BILLKELLYONLINE.COM

    District 2 John Marez
    Business:
    Mobile:
    email: JOHNMAREZDISTRICT2@YAHOO.COM

    District 3 Pricilla Leal                                         District 4 Mike McCutchon
    Home: 853-1748                                                  Business: 883-6211
    Mobile:537-1746                                                 Mobile: 853-4745
    email: pricillalealatdistrict3@yahoo.com           email: MMCUTCH@STX.RR.COM

District 5 Larry Elizondo                                    At Large: Nelda Martinez
Home: 844-5259                                                  Business: 779-7938
Mobile: 991-2680                                                Mobile (city) 826-3105
email: LRElizondoSr@Hotmail.com                   email: nelda@neldamartinez.com

At Large: Melody Cooper
Business: 887-8014
Mobile: 74-4170
email: JOE@MELODYCOOPERLAW.COM

At Large: Mike Hummell
Business: 883-3563
Home: 906-0782
email: mhummell@HDHLawFirm.com

       
         
STATE  ELECTED OFFICIALS ADDRESSES

Hon. Solomon Ortiz                         State Rep. ____
House Office Bldg.                           P.O. Box 2910  
Washington, D.C. 20515-4315       Austin, TX 78768-2910
                                                                Solomon Ortiz, Jr.
                                                                Abel Herrero
                                                                Juan Garcia


Hon. Kay Bailey Hutchison            Sen. John Cornyn
 Senate Office Building                   Senate Office Building
 Washington, D.C. 20510                Washington, D.C. 20510

        Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa    Commissioner Jerry Patterson
        P.O. Box 12068                            GLO 1700 Congress Ave.
        Austin, TX 78711-2068                 Austin, Texas 78701

         Commissioner (Chairman)                                          
         TCEQ                                       
         P.O. Box 13087                      
         Austin, TX 78711        

        FEDERAL

        President George Bush
        The White House
        Washington, DC
        president@white-house.gov
                                             
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Coastal Bend Sierra Club E-Mail

This page was last updated on 01/15/08.

 Protect America's Environment.
For our families, for our future.

       
A Philosophy of Stewardship               
The Sierra Club's statement of Purpose is:  To explore, enjoy and protect the wild places of the earth; to practice and promote the responsible use of the earth's ecosystems and resources; to educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.

As a grassroots-based organization, we rely on individuals for our resources, talent, and energy.  Our members are our most important assets.   


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