November 8, 2010:
Now for the Sierra Club State Legislative Workshop!
The upcoming state legislative session
will be a challenging one for environmental issues. It’s
more important than ever before for Texans concerned about
environmental protection to be informed and prepared to action
in the session. This session major environmental and/or energy agencies such as TCEQ, the Railroad Commission, the Public Utility Commission, and the Texas Water Development Board, among others are up for sunset review and must have legislation passed to continue in existence. To add to the challenges Texas is facing a multi-billion dollar revenue shortfall that potentially puts all environmental programs at risk. Citizens need to be well-versed to deal with these challenges. Fortunately
the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club has just the event
to fill the bill – the Sierra Club’s biennial State Legislative
Workshop – this year set for Saturday, November 13 in Austin. Pre-register by Thursday, and be rewarded with a reduced fee, which includes lunch and materials. ...Read the full story...
The Devils River – Flowing in a More Positive Direction
The controversy that erupted
a few weeks ago over a proposed land swap (+ $8
million) by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
led to a public outpouring of support for the
existing Devils River State Natural Area and a
number of ideas that may result in a positive
outcome. After Parks and Wildlife issued
a public announcement on October 12 that the agency
was considering transferring ownership of the State
Natural Area plus a cash payment of almost $8 million
to a private individual in return for acquisition
of the Devils River Ranch, the agency received literally
hundreds of communications in opposition to the
loss of the State Natural Area. Those communications
were augmented by public comments at the public
meetings held in Del Rio on October 20 and in San
Antonio on October 26 that were strongly in opposition.
Now it appears increasingly unlikely that Parks
and Wildlife will give up the existing State Natural
Area....Read the full story...
Environmental Flow Standards for Public Comment
The three Commissioners who
govern the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
(TCEQ) last Wednesday approved for publication
in the Texas Register proposed environmental flow
standards for the Sabine and Neches River Basins
and for the Trinity and San Jacinto River Basins
and Galveston Bay. The proposals would affect how future water rights applications and certain amendments to existing water rights would be handled to protect instream flows in the river basins and freshwater inflows to Galveston Bay. The
Commissioners revised language in the preamble
to the staff proposal to make clear that the public
could submit during the comment period any information
relevant to environmental flows (including comments
on an alternative to the staff proposal for environmental
flow standards for the Trinity and San Jacinto
Basins and Galveston Bay that was developed by
scientists and environmental and recreational
interests). The broad nature of their request for public input was intended to assure that the agency would not have to restart the process and re-propose new standards if the Commissioners decided to strengthen the original staff proposal.
...Read the full story...
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electronic update from the Lone Star
Chapter of the Sierra Club reporting
on Texas environmental policy issues
of statewide interest.
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