Water, energy, conservation, sustainability, WTP4, pollution, oil and gas, hydraulic fracturing (fracking), recycling, and other environmental issues related to Austin and the Central Texas counties of Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop and Williamson
Texas’ oil and gas industry is seeing a boom — thanks in large part to the relatively new oil-drilling method called fracking. Late last year, Texas oil helped push the country to become the largest producer of crude in the world. Around the same time, however, the boom came to an end for one town in the Hill Country.
A fight over a pipeline is never only about the pipeline. It’s about the environment, property rights, public safety and a community’s sense of itself. Just such a fight is now brewing in the Texas Hill Country, where company Kinder Morgan plans to lay a part of its 430-mile natural gas Permian Highway Pipeline.
If the oil and gas boom continues as projected, the planet could experience "catastrophic climate change" by 2050, according to an analysis released yesterday.
The report from Oil Change International, a coalition of environmental groups, says continued growth in fossil fuel extraction – much of which occurs in Texas – could derail any hope of avoiding dire effects of climate change.
A team of biologists announced this week they’d found three new species of rare salamanders in Central Texas. The discovery of any new species is big news for science, but in Texas – where the fate of salamanders and people are often linked – it could also set up a new fight over endangered species protections.
Austin has been selected as one of 25 cities to receive up to $2.5 million in funding and support as part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ American Cities Climate Challenge. The contest was established to support mayors and cities working to fight climate change, specifically in the buildings and transportation sectors.
Texas is not a state known for strong environmental protections. The fact is, many green groups head into legislative sessions more concerned about stopping bills that might do harm than supporting bills that might help.
AUSTIN — A commission convened by Gov. Greg Abbott to focus on rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey issued a report Thursday saying the state should take a series of steps to prepare for the next big storm, including hardening utilities against natural disasters, improving the debris removal processes and expanding a council devoted to emergency management.
Wastewater from Dripping Springs could flow into Austin's watershed by as soon as next year.
After years of back-and-forth, city officials say they expect the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to approve a permit from Dripping Springs to discharge wastewater into Onion Creek next month, paving the way for the City of Dripping Springs to begin diverting runoff after the new year.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration came out with an analysis this fall that found Austin and other parts of the state should expect more flooding in the future. And, as it turns out, Texas may see even more flooding than the Atlas 14 study suggests.
An overnight spike in silt in Austin's tap water triggered an official boil-water notice from state regulators.
The water briefly exceeded the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s regulatory standards for drinking water quality, surpassing a limit of 5 turbidity units. The city's earlier boil-water notice was only precautionary.
A boil water notice remains in effect for Austin Water customers, and the city of Austin is pleading for people to slash their water consumption by 15 to 20 percent. Outdoor water use is being banned as part of what officials describe as an emergency situation.
Travis County’s emergency management chief said the situation could last up to two weeks.
Austin Water officials are issuing an "urgent call" for people to reduce water usage immediately, as the utility struggles with debris, silt and mud in the water supply after historic flooding in the Highland Lakes. Lake Travis is the source of Austin's drinking water.
"Austin Water is experiencing reduced water treatment capacity," the utility said in an email. "It is taking more time to remove the higher levels of silt and debris."
The level of cloudiness in the lake water has increased by more than 100 times, according to Austin Water.
After a new study showed thousands of additional homes were at risk of flooding in Austin, the city is preparing to revamp rules on building within a floodplain.
The study, known as Atlas 14, revised the city's understanding of historical rainfall data, adding 3,000 properties to the city's 100-year floodplain – which impacts everything from what people pay for insurance to how they can build homes.