On Monday, November 19th, the federal district court granted Bayou City Waterkeeper the right to intervene in the lawsuit filed by the EPA and the State of Texas! Their lawsuit, filed on the eve of our own citizen suit regarding the City of Houston’s years-long sewage violations, addresses the City’s longstanding failure to resolve the deficiencies in its wastewater treatment systems.
Bayou City Currents
In support of the 2015 Clean Water Rule, Bayou City Waterkeeper filed an amicus brief in support of upholding the rule and its protections for Texas coastal prairie wetlands. These wetlands give communities across the region a range of irreplaceable benefits valued at billions of dollars: stormwater detention, coastal protection from storm surges, and water filtration for regional bayou networks and Galveston Bay, as well as environments for local wildlife, sport, and recreation.
Bayou City Waterkeeper filed suit against the City of Houston for over 9,300 potential Clean Water Act violations on Friday, 21 September 2018. For at least the last five years, the City has failed to comply with its permits by allowing raw or partially treated sewage to be discharged from its wastewater treatment and collection systems into our public waterways throughout the Houston area.
Eight months after Hurricane Harvey, City Council approved a new ordinance, proposed by Mayor Turner to increase elevation requirements for new buildings. Beginning in September 2018, new construction must be built two feet above ground, elevating homes and commercial buildings out of the 500-year floodplain
While discussions of how to protect our coastal communities on the upper Texas coast is nothing new, the hurricane season of 2017 has strengthened the need and rhetoric around providing protection from ever-increasing storms and its surge impacts. For years, the silver bullet coastal barrier option has centered around the coastal spine — commonly known as the Ike Dike — and what could be one of the costliest public infrastructure projects in U.S. history.
The Texas Coast is home to a multitude of wetland varieties, which play an important role in the health of our ecosystem and supports our economy. In a recent report by the Dogwood Alliance, “Treasures of the South: The True Value of Wetland Forests,” it’s estimated that Texas’s wetland forests are worth approximately $53.9 billion […]
While discussions of how to protect our coastal communities on the Upper Texas Coast is nothing new, the Hurricane Season of 2017 has strengthened the need and rhetoric around providing protection from ever-increasing storms and its surge impacts. For years, the silver bullet coastal barrier option has centered around the coastal spine – commonly known as the Ike Dike – and what could be one of the costliest public infrastructure projects in U.S. history.
Were the impacts of Harvey in Houston a result of no zoning in the city of no limits? Zoning and the lack of zoning have colored discussions about how Houston develops for over a hundred years. Zoning is a veritable lightning rod for animated discussions about development in our city. Zoning has detractors from various sides. There are those who decry any kind of controls on development, and to them zoning would be the absolute worst kind of regulation. On the other hand, zoning has its detractors amongst the new urban cognoscenti, who consider zoning as an impediment to the mixed-use walkability that defines livable cities.
Nick Anderson, Pulitzer Prize winning political cartoonist, illustrated a great feature on the importance of wetlands in the face of natural disasters like Harvey — featuring our own John Jacob, Board Chair of Bayou City Waterkeeper!
Hurricane Harvey has hit the Greater Houston area, and the Galveston Bay Watershed, hard. As the waters recede, thousands of people remain evacuated, homes are left destroyed, and at least 50 lives were lost. All this destruction due to the “new normal” – more frequent historic flooding in coastal Texas. We are working to assess the damage the record-breaking storm has brought to the Lower Galveston Bay watershed, supporting local communities, as well as developing a long-term clean-up and water monitoring plan.