COASTAL BEND GROUP SIERRA CLUB
P.O. Box 3512, Corpus Christi, TX 78404
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"When we try to pick out anything
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COASTAL BEND South Texas Uranium News
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER NEWS 2007
OUR NEXT COASTAL BEND GROUP SIERRA CLUB MEETING
Tues., Jan.. 15, 2008
Place: Central Library, Corpus Christi
COASTAL BEND GROUP
P.O. BOX 3512
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX 78404
DECEMBER 2007 NEWSLETTER
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 email@example.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 (firstname.lastname@example.org). She also does the labels for the newsletter so you do not want to miss these.
COASTAL BEND SIERRA CLUB - November 2007 Meeting MinutesThe 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 Treasurers report. In the absence of Teresa Carrillo, Treasurer, Lois Huff distributed a written report from Teresa. We have three CDs 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 groups 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 EPAs Ten Principles of Smart Growth. Additionally, Lois reminded us of CBBFs 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 TAMUs 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 TRRCs 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
P.O. BOX 3512
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX 78404
November 21, 2007
Surface mining: Director Melvin Hodgkiss
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.
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.
Pat Suter, Chair
P.O. Box 3512
Corpus Christi, TX 78404
STATE LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES 2007 SESSION TENTATIVE (Adopted 7/2006)
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
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
COASTAL BEND GROUP
Pat Suter 852-7938 Chairman email@example.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
852-7938 Political Hal Suter 852-7938 Walks Hal Suter
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
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
District 3 Pricilla Leal District 4 Mike McCutchon
Home: 853-1748 Business: 883-6211
Mobile:537-1746 Mobile: 853-4745
email: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com
At Large: Melody Cooper
At Large: Mike Hummell
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.
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
P.O. Box 13087
Austin, TX 78711
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The White House
Coastal Bend Sierra Club E-Mail
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