COASTAL BEND GROUP SIERRA CLUB
P.O. Box 3512, Corpus Christi, TX 78404
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COASTAL BEND SIERRA CLUB September 2010 Meeting Minutes
The Coastal Bend Sierra Club (CBSC) met on Tuesday, September 21 from 11:30 am until 1:15 pm at the Central Library, 805 Comanche Street. After welcoming members and noting that meeting minutes are posted on the CBSC website, Chairperson Pat Suter called for Treasurer Teresa Carrillos report. That report showed a checking account balance of $1,561.26 and a total CD amount of $7,680.42. Teresa also reported that the silent auction and donations from the May 13 membership party held at the home of Jean Adams brought in $666.56, and she thanked all members who helped and attended the party.
Pat Suter announced that Lone Star Sierras annual celebration will occur at Lake Buchanan during the weekend of October 9.
Hal Suter, President of the Lone Star Sierra Club, was asked to summarize events in which he participated this summerThe Lone Star Executive Committee (ExCom) meeting at Fort Davis , the EPA sponsored Coal Ash Hearing in Dallas, and the Apollo Alliance meeting in Austin. He stated that the ExCom members were briefed on a number of environmental law suits, including Las Brisas, in which Sierra is involved. He reminded members that the Apollo Alliance is working toward making a transition to a greener and sustainable economy in which businesses, organized labor, and the environment all benefit. Texas is the first Apollo chapter in the South to have its application approved by the National Board.
In a related item, Hal stated that Lone Star Sierras Conservation Chair, Cyrus Reed, has asked that CBSC help plan and conduct a local forum on Green Jobs in the Economy at TAMUCC . Danny Lucio and Lois Huff will work with Hal to plan the forum which will occur on Friday, October 8.
Regarding the Coal Ash Hearing, Hal reported that its purpose was for EPA to receive comments on a proposal to reclassify coal ash waste from Subtitle D to Subtitle C in Federal regulations. This would allow more environmentally sound handling and disposal of such waste. The comment period is open until November 19. Members are asked to search under "EPA Coal Ash" on the web to find a place to submit comments. Also, he plans to e-mail more information on this to CBSC members.
The Sunset Review Commission has begun receiving public comments on the TCEQ Sunset Review, and many Texas cities are now holding Sunset Commission Forums. The purpose of these forums is to give citizens information on effective ways to participate in the Sunset Review process. One of these forums will be held in Victoria on Monday, September 27, and another will be held in Corpus Christi on Thursday, October 7. The Victoria forum will be held at the Victoria College Student Center, 2200 E. Red River, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm, and will feature Senator Glenn Hegar, Chair of the Sunset Review Commission. The Corpus Christi forum will be held at the Del Mar College Center for Economic Development, S Staples & Kostoryz, from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. Richard Gill, who helped plan the Victoria forum, and Hal will give more details on KEDT FM 90.3 at 12 noon on Thursday, September 23.
Mina Williams, CBSC Vice-chair, and Venice Scheurich, Conservation Chair, reported that they have written and posted on our website CBSC recommendations for improving TRRC and TCEQ. These have been submitted by CBSC to the Sunset Review Staff with a request that they be included in the staff report to the Sunset Review Commission. These comments and recommendations evolved from four years of work with in situ uranium mining regulations and practices in South Texas.
Mina and Venice have also written documents related to the Sea Turtle Science and Recovery Project at Padre Island National Seashore (PAIS). The first, which was submitted in June on behalf of Lone Star Sierra at the request of Executive Director Ken Kramer, addressed the Kemps Ridley Sea Turtle Bi-National Recovery Plan. The second, which was submitted on behalf of CBSC in August, was a position statement for the scoping phase of an Environmental Assessment (EA) by the National Park Service (NPS) re vehicular speed limits on PAIS beaches. Both of these are posted on the CBSC website. Two more documentsone for Lone Star Sierra and one for CBSCon the EA for expansion of PAIS sea turtle facilities are now in draft form and are being circulated among the individuals involved in this issue. These documents, too, will be posted on the CBSC website as soon as they are submitted.
Joyce Jarmon, member of the communitys Long-Term Health Group, reported that the group met recently for the first time in three months. Members were informed that several high spikes in benzene emissions were detected by monitors in June, several more in July, and one more in August. Industry officials investigating this reported that they have not been able to identify sources of the spikes. Even though harmful benzene emissions are down considerably from the 1990s, this summers spikes indicate an unfortunate slippage in what had been a positive trend.
Brian Burke reported on his ongoing search of TCEQs permit applications and other permit data. He has also used this data together with that from some industrial sources in the area to calculate summary numbers on pollutants in the regions waste water and air. Some of these results are cause for concern. Brian circulated his suggestions for increasing public participation in TCEQ permit reviews. He is also an active member of the Clean Economy Coalition (CEC) and has also provided his report to them.
Hal Suter, who is on the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge board, informed members that the law suit against whooping crane deaths will move forward in federal court. The suit, filed in March by the Aransas Project against four TCEQ officials, claims the agencys mismanagement of the water system illegally harmed the birds. The case is now in pre-trial examinations leading up to the March 2 trial.
Submitted by Venice Scheurich, September 21, 2010
COASTAL BEND GROUP
This page was last updated on 10/20/10.