Friday, September 15, 2017

GBF Stokes Caves to Petro Chemical Industry abandons Ike Dike for Centennial gate: Cost must be considered in building storm surge barrier

Stokes: Cost must be considered in building storm surge barrier 

Since funding for an 'Ike Dike' may be problematic, it's time to look back at a more reasonably priced solution

By Bob Stokes

September 13, 2017 Updated: September 13, 2017 5:44pm 

A coastal barrier is being proposed to protect the Bolivar Peninsula, above, and Galveston and the Bay Area from a hurricane's storm surge. For much of the last decade, our area's flood control discussion centered on building some type of protection to protect people from a large storm surge that might occur if a hurricane makes landfall near Galveston Bay. The discussion was broadened after our floods that occurred in 2015 and 2016 to include how to mitigate impacts from major rain events, and that focus will be even sharper after Hurricane Harvey. 

We need to continue the discussion and planning for storm surge mitigation, but we need to do so with a new realization: Federal dollars that might have been available for our region to construct a hurricane storm surge structure may be limited as there will be even more demand for those dollars for traditional flood control. It's probably time to consider less costly options that would protect the most vulnerable parts of the Houston Ship Channel.

Over six years ago, the Rice SSPEED Center recommended a hurricane storm surge structure that would stretch across the base of the upper Ship Channel that would have theoretically protected most of the infrastructure on the Houston Ship Channel. Its cost was estimated to be $2 billion to $3 billion and it could theoretically have been designed and constructed in a matter of a few years. However, the idea gained little political support because it did not protect people who lived south of the upper ship channel. Since then, much of the local support has centered on promoting the "Ike Dike," a coastal barrier along the entirety of Galveston and Bolivar that could theoretically protect "everyone," but might cost $15 billion or more.

In addition to the capital cost of an Ike Dike, we would also need to generate local tax dollars for its operation and maintenance. One estimate is that it would cost .5 percent of the total cost of the structure to operate and maintain annually, totaling $75 million a year. To date, there has been no proposal put forward on determining who would pay those new taxes. Of note, voters in at least one Louisiana parish have voted down proposals on two separate occasions to increase taxes to maintain their storm protection levees. 

A coastal spine seems simple enough, but additional levees and gates would need to be constructed across the region to protect everyone. Even without a hurricane storm surge, there is enough water in Galveston Bay to slosh around and cause flooding as the water gets pushed across the Bay in a big storm. The coastal spine would require a backside levee around Galveston to keep the island from flooding, an additional gate in Clear Lake to keep that area from flooding, and potentially a mid-bay gate to keep the upper Ship Channel area from flooding.

Because of the proposed cost and complexity of such a structure, the Army Corps of Engineers is conducting a five-year Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Feasibility Study. The study began in November 2015 and is slated to be completed in April 2021. It is required under law before any federal dollars can be spent. The study will focus both on the proposed costs and benefits of several protection options, as well as the potential environmental impacts.

If the Corps does review the Ike Dike and determine that it is the best option for our region, it will recommend it for federal funding. But it will do no good for us if the cost of the Ike Dike makes it unlikely to ever be funded. The original motivation for constructing a storm surge barrier was to protect our area's vulnerable ship channel infrastructure, which would save Galveston Bay from an environmental catastrophe that might occur should that area be devastated by a large storm surge. 

That concept morphed over time to the Ike Dike concept of protecting "everyone." It may be time to look back at a more reasonably priced structure like the Centennial Gate or some other ship channel levee or structure to protect our most important infrastructure and which would have a greater likelihood of being built because of its lower cost. Otherwise, we may be waiting until the next hurricane disaster to generate the federal dollars required to build an Ike Dike.



Stokes is president of the Galveston Bay Foundation.


Write your comment here 


I am extremely disappointed that Mr. Bob Stokes and the GBF caved to the petro chemical industry, on a flimsy notion that the centennial gate will save Galveston Bay. by endorsing this notion when we had momentum finally going for the IKE Dike after all these years, again, i am extremely disappointed and disturbed by this. 

IF anyone thinks that the powers that be, after some 50+ inches of rain or more ever floods Houston again from rain, while 500 gallons or more of gasoline in just one spill, who knows about other spilled fuel, runoff from waste sites, lawn and agricultural fertilizers, pesticides, other pollutants from the regions many other petro chemical plants,enough raw sewage to fill up the grand canyon, that by building the centennial gate @ Fred Hartman bridge and damming up the North end of Galveston Bay and after such a horrible catastrophe such as Tropical Storm Harvey, that the powers that be would ever close those gates and keep them closed with all those poisonous cancer causing toxins up inside Houston, just to save Galveston Bay, well you are dreaming. it will never happen, and the tax payer will suffer just to build a flood gate to only protect the industry, not the people and homes around Galveston Bay. 

Houston or Galveston either one does not bat an eye when one of the sewage waste water treatment plants malfunctions and all of that waste is sent down stream into Galveston Bay. 

any Centennial Gate must be paid for by the petro chemical industry. 

say NO to the Rice Dike and the Centennial Gate. 

SAY YES TO THE IKE Dike THAT MIGHT PROTECT US ALL! 

kind regards, terry


RICE SPEED DIKE WOULD DESTROY SUNNY SAN LEON AS WE KNOW IT AS FISHERMANS PARIDISE

RICE SPEED DIKE WANTS TO BURY DOLLAR REEF AND SURROUND SUNNY SAN LEON WITH DREDGE AND GATE


Bay protection needed in addition to Ike Dike, Rice-based center says

By Harvey Rice

November 25, 2016 Updated: November 25, 2016 2:35pm

GALVESTON - As political support builds for a $6 billion storm-surge protection system to shield Texas' Gulf Coast from a future disaster, experts at Rice University are warning that the massive "Ike Dike" proposal won't be adequate to fully protect the coast from a destructive wall of water.
A hurricane with 130 mph winds could whip up a storm surge within Galveston Bay, sending a tsunami-like wave crashing into residential and industrial areas, warned Phil Bedient, the director of Rice University's Severe Storm Protection Education and Evacuation from Disasters (SSPEED) Center. Worse, a large-enough storm could push water above the 17-foot storm surge gate that would link dikes on Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula, resulting in a potentially lethal storm surge.
"There are just too many ways to overtop 17 feet," Bedient said.

The SSPEED Center says it has come up with the only plan so far to protect the vulnerable petrochemical complexes and residential areas from a surge originating from inside Galveston Bay.
The center believes the bay protection plan, known as the In-Bay System, is necessary to complement the Ike Dike, the coastal barrier recommended this year by the six-county Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District.

While he said the Ike Dike would provide adequate protection from a storm like Hurricane Ike, which made landfall on the eastern tip of Galveston Island in September 2008, it would not do so should a larger or similar storm strike from a different angle. "We just want to make sure we have multiple lines of defense," Bedient said. A storm surge sweeping into petrochemical complexes could cause between $50 billion and $90 billion in damage, he added.

SSPEED and researchers at Texas A&M Galveston, including Bill Merrell, the marine scientist who developed the Ike Dike concept, differed for years over the best approach to storm-surge protection. In 2010, SSPEED proposed several smaller projects that could be built faster and cheaper with local money, reasoning that getting federal dollars would be a long process that might not be completed before the next big storm.

The center's ideas failed to gain political traction, and the storm surge district endorsed the Ike Dike concept. SSPEED now backs the Ike Dike idea, too, but believes it's not enough. It favors building a system of offshore berms inside the bay and a surge gate across the Houston Ship Channel near San Leon. North of the gate, the berms would run along the off-shore side of the ship channel. South of the gate, the berms would run along the side of the channel closest to shore until they tied into the Texas City Levee, which would be raised. At the northern end, a berm-levee would extend east to Houston Point near Baytown and go several miles inland.

Building the In-Bay System would add about $2.5 billion to the estimated $6 billion cost of building the Ike Dike, which itself is part of a broader $11.63 billion plan for protecting Galveston, Harris, Chambers, Brazoria, Jefferson and Orange counties.

The cost of the proposed storm barrier could also be raised by an enhancement being promoted by the Center for Texas Beaches and Shores at Texas A&M Galveston, although no estimates have been made. Instead of raising the coastal highway or building a berm inland, the cheapest methods for building a storm-surge barrier to protect Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula, the center is proposing a hard barrier on the beach masked by a dune system built with sand dredged from the Gulf of Mexico. The storm-surge district decided not to include the In-Bay System in its final recommendation because of misgivings by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department about the effect on marine life.

The Texas A&M center is also skeptical about the need for the In-Bay System.

"Rice is doing great work ... but the consensus is that you want to do as little in the bay as possible," said Sam Brody, a Texas A&M marine scientist. He said buying out homeowners in hazardous areas or elevating structures are among the alternatives to the In-Bay system.

The SSPEED Center is studying how the In-Bay System would affect the environment and expects to complete its report in late 2017 or early 2018, Bedient said.

"We are looking at this very carefully," Bedient said. He said that there are already banks of dredged material rising as much as 25 feet out of the water along the ship channel. The In-Bay System would extend those banks, leaving access to the bay through a number of small boat gates.

The levees would be designed with hiking and biking trails that would allow treks several miles into the bay. Bedient said the In-Bay system's lower price means it can be built using local funds, allowing work to begin on it as part of a storm-surge system before federal money becomes available.
Congress won't consider funding the Ike Dike project until the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completes its study of what storm-surge protection measures are needed. The Corps is studying the entire coast and will make recommendations independent of the storm surge district's. The recommendation for the six-county area in the storm-surge district study is scheduled to be completed in June 2018.

The In-Bay System will be eligible for federal funding only if the Corps includes that concept in its recommendation.

Harvey Rice

Galveston Bureau Reporter, Houston Chronicle


>>> The levees would be designed with hiking and biking trails that would allow treks several miles into the bay.<<<


WHO CARES!



I remember the RICE SPEED Dike people were wanting to completely draw us off the map to make way for recreational use after the next big one. it's about the big petro chemical and the shit channel that funnels all of Houston Texas waste just about every time they flush a toilet after main breaks or over flows and heads our way. 

LEAVE GALVESTON BAY ALONE RICE SPEED, PLEASE! GO AWAY!


JUST SAY NO TO THE DAMN RICE SPEED DIKE NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU MUST DO IT! 


Tuesday, September 1, 2015
IKE DIKE 3rd PROPOSAL CALLS FOR 'MID-BAY' GATE NEAR SAN LEON ACROSS TO SMITH POINT AREA

say no to the RICE DIKE and or any Centennial Gate across the end of Galveston Bay at Fred Hartman Bridge, including the Lone Star Coastal National Recreation Area (LSCNRA, which is the RICE DIKE in disguise, don’t take the bait). ...

Thursday, November 27, 2014

IKE DIKE VS RICE DIKE PUBLIC INPUT SOUGHT PLEASE WRITE IN SUPPORT OF TAMU IKE DIKE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
 *** Ike Dike Scientist Professor William Merrell sees NO chance of compromise !

Monday, April 15, 2013

Hurricane Ike: 5 Years Later Conference Rice Dike Proposal September 24-25, 2013

Sunday, June 9, 2013

RICE DIKE AND IKE DIKE ARE RIVALS NO MORE, AND HAS BACKED OFF THE PROPOSAL OF A 20-MILE 25 FOOT LEVEE ALONG SH 146

Monday, November 18, 2013

Is your community just collateral damage? RICE DIKE VS IKE DIKE

Friday, December 6, 2013

IKE DIKE TAMU VS Rice SSPEED Dike Centennial gate from Hell

October 10, 2012

IKE DIKE PROPOSED BY RICE UNIVERSITY hangs our Bayshore communities out to dry, IN 25 FEET OF WATER, to make way for WATERFRONT RECREATION $$$

Sunday, December 9, 2012

*** RICE DIKE PROPOSAL COULD DESTROY GALVESTON BAY BAYSHORE COMMUNITIES



Sunday, June 26, 2016

GALVESTON BAY STUDY RECOMMENDS STORM SURGE PROTECTION MEASURES FOR UPPER TEXAS COAST

June 21, 2016

The recommendation takes parts of two alternatives that had been released as possible recommendations earlier this year. IT DOES NOT INCLUDE A PROPOSAL TO BUILD A LEVEE ALONG STATE HIGHWAY 146, WHICH DREW OBJECTIONS FROM SOME COUNTY RESIDENTS WHO COULD HAVE BEEN LEFT OUTSIDE THE WALL. snip...

Saturday, November 26, 2016

RICE SPEED DIKE WOULD DESTROY SUNNY SAN LEON AS WE KNOW IT AS FISHERMANS PARIDISE


http://galvestonbay.blogspot.com/2016/11/rice-speed-dikewould-destroy-sunny-san.html


http:// http://galvestonbay.blogspot.com/



Terry S. Singeltary Sr. Bacliff, Texas USA 77518 Galveston Bay, on the bottom flounder9@verizon.net

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Galveston Bay Report Card

Galveston Bay Report Card 2016

Good News

Increase in Sea Grass 1600 acres Christmas bay and West bay

Birds Populations holding steady, Brown Pelicans doing great! YES!

Water Quality A Galveston Bay

Recreation Safety Bacteria Health Risk Galveston Bay A grade Bayous and Rivers grade B.

Bad News

Decline in speckle trout Trinity Bay

Decline Shellfish in Blue Crabs

Invasive Species 100 in Houston Galveston Bay Water shed

toxins in sediment in bay starting to see some incremental improvements, Houston Ship Channel...YEA!

volume of oil spill Galveston Bay F grade.

Trash and Liter i grade, just don't know, types and sources? active network though, working on this issue.

Human Health Risk rivers and bayous D grade... overall Galveston Bay C grade. 

Coastal Change 2 ft rise in sea level in 100 years.


Galveston Bay Video Announcement this morning on Facebook...


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

TCEQ RULING PROTECT DICKINSON BAYOU Unanimously Reject Hazardous Waste Company Attempts To Avoid Toxicity Testing

Subject: NEWS RELEASE: TCEQ RULING PROTECT DICKINSON BAYOU

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                 
August 2, 2017   
Contact: Chad Wilbanks
512.423.0049                                                                                                                                            


TCEQ Commissioners Ruling Protects Dickinson Bayou

Unanimously Reject Hazardous Waste Company Attempts To Avoid Toxicity Testing


Austin, TX – The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality unanimously ruled against Clean Harbors San Leon, Inc. – subsidiary of an international corporate conglomerate – in its attempts to avoid performing toxicity testing on the 105,000 gallons of hazardous waste Clean Harbors plans to dump into a tributary of Dickinson Bayou daily. 

The Commissioners agreed with the law firm representing the San Leon Municipal Utility District – Naman Howell Smith & Lee – that TCEQ’s written policies and water quality standards must be adhered to and that the agency’s implementation procedures require that all major industrial discharges must perform a specific type of testing, known as biomonitoring or Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) testing, in order to protect the health and safety of the state’s waters. 

Joe Manchaca, president of the San Leon Municipal Utility District stated, “The ruling is a clear victory for the residents of San Leon.” He added, “TCEQ’s requirement of constant biomonitoring testing ensures protection of our waters for future generations.”

“The WET testing requirement is very important because disparate pollutants can have synergistic effects and cause harm even when each individual pollutant meets individual permit limits,” said Stephanie Potter, attorney with Naman Howell Smith & Lee.

Clean Harbors fought vigorously to oppose the biomonitoring condition despite an analysis conducted by TCEQ that showed the rating for potential toxicity from this facility far exceed the lower classification levels it sought.

TCEQ Commissioners disagreed with Clean Harbors’ arguments, and echoed protestants’ concerns of the potential unknown synergistic impacts the pollutants could have on the receiving waters without biomonitoring. Thus, they concluded that biomonitoring testing must be done as a condition of Clean Harbors’ permit.


###

PO Box 342693 Austin, TX 78734 · 512.423.0049 phone · chad@wilbanksgroup.com


In the January edition, correspondent Marsha Canright reported about efforts by Lisa Halili, vice president of Prestige Oysters, to fight Clean Harbors San Leon Inc.’s plans to dump up to 105,000 gallons a day of treated industrial wastewater from oil and petroleum into a tributary flowing into Dickinson Bayou.

To the editor:

I wish to kindly comment on “Accidental Activist,” and the Clean Harbors issue.

First, I want to thank Mrs. Halili and Prestige Oysters in San Leon for their efforts into helping stop Clean Harbors from dumping into Dickinson Bayou. Many, many thanks. It’s probably Mrs. Halili and her business that will have enough clout to stop this, if anyone can.

But others have been fighting this for a long time, and your article seemed to fail to mention this. This has not been a one-person effort. So, I would also like to kindly thank all the rest of the folks in this area, Steve Hoyland Sr. and the Seabreeze newspaper, and especially all the rest of the citizens of sunny San Leon, Bacliff and surrounding areas who have also been fighting this permit for Clean Harbors to dump into Dickinson Bayou and bay. Others have been going to hearings, taking time to write to the (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) TCEQ; some even paid for water samples of their own, and contacting state officials and such to try and stop this permit.

So, to those fine folks, my hat’s off to you. I say thank you in a big way.


– Terry S. Singeltary Sr.



WEDNESDAY, MAY 31, 2017 

Clean Harbors Neglects Chemical Toxicity Concerns, Judge Concludes TCEQ Failed To Follow Their Own Written Policy


Terry S. Singeltary Sr.


2017 Gulf dead zone is largest ever, size of New Jersey, researchers say

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 2, 2017 2017 Gulf dead zone is largest ever, size of New Jersey, researchers say Updated on August 2, 2017 at 12:51 PM Posted on August 2, 2017 at 12:50 PM Researchers measured the largest low-oxygen dead zone since 1984 during their 2017 cruise that ended Sunday (July 30), with this year's area totaling 8,776 square miles, larger than the state of New Jersey. Red on the map indicates hypoxia, where the oxygen level is less than 2 parts per million. (LSU/LUMCON) The low-oxygen dead zone along the Louisiana and Texas Gulf coast measured 8,776 square miles, the largest area since cruises began in 1985, and as large as the state of New Jersey, a team of researchers announced Wednesday (Aug. 2). The dead zone area likely was even larger, but limited monitoring time aboard their research ship during the six-day cruise that ended Sunday limited the team's ability to measure its stretch west along the Texas coast, said a news release. Scientists say this year's hypoxia zone is 4 1/2 times the size of the of the goal of about 1,900 square miles set by the federal-state Mississippi River Nutrient/Hypoxia Task Force. The task force has recommended that the dead zone size reach that goal by 2035, but in 2008, it had set the same reduction goal for 2015. Gulf's 'dead zone' is seen as 3rd largest in 32 years Gulf's 'dead zone' is seen as 3rd largest in 32 years Low-oxygen hypoxia might smother 10,000 square miles along Louisiana, Texas coasts Hypoxia, the scientific term for water containing less than 2 parts per million of oxygen, is known to kill organisms living in bottom sediments along the northern Gulf Coast, and recent research has shown that it also increases the price for some commercial fish catches, including shrimp, because the shrimp and fish stay out of the low-oxygen water, requiring fishers to travel farther to catch them. The monitoring cruise led by Louisiana State University marine scientist Nancy Rabalais found a solid band of water along the Gulf bottom with levels of less than 2 parts per million stretching from just west of the mouth of the Mississippi River in Louisiana well into the Texas coast area near Houston. LSU and Louisiana University Marine Consortium researchers actually estimated this year's cruise would show an even larger area of hypoxia -- 10,089 square miles -- based on the amount of nitrogen compounds carried by the Mississippi River in May. Nitrogen and phosphorus pollution enters the Mississippi throughout its watershed, which includes runoff from the Midwest cropland and factory livestock and chicken farms, and pollutants from sewer systems and septic tanks in other locations. About 30 percent of the Mississippi's water travels down the Atchafalaya River to the Gulf. The lighter freshwater containing the nutrients creates a layered effect when it reaches the Gulf and the nutrients trigger blooms of algae in the spring and summer. When the algae dies and sinks to the bottom, it decomposes, using up oxygen in the deeper heavy saltwater and creating dead zone conditions. Those conditions don't change until wind or weather, especially tropical storms or hurricanes, mix the freshwater at the surface into the saltier water.
http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2017/08/trump_pruitt_environment_polic.html

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Clean Harbors Neglects Chemical Toxicity Concerns, Judge Concludes TCEQ Failed To Follow Their Own Written Policy

Clean Harbors Neglects Chemical Toxicity Concerns, Judge Concludes TCEQ Failed To Follow Their Own Written Policy

WILBANKS GROUP

Judge: TCEQ Failed To Follow Their Own Written Policy

Clean Harbors Neglects Chemical Toxicity Concerns Austin, TX – The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality [TCEQ] and Clean Harbors recently tried to pull fast one on the citizens of San Leon, Texas, but were caught red-handed by the Administrative Law Judge overseeing the case. 

Clean Harbors applied for a draft permit to dump effluent containing up to 17 toxic chemicals into Dickinson Bayou and unnamed tributaries with the approval of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality with zero oversight. 

It almost succeeded until a group of San Leon residents and the local municipal utility district put up a fight. One such resident, Lisa Halili, argued that Clean Harbors did not consider “any unanticipated toxic effect” of the proposed discharge. 

On April 24, the Administrative Law Judge who oversaw the February 2017 hearing agreed, noting Clean Harbors failed to take into account the possible “synergistic effect” the 17 pollutants – including arsenic and mercury – could have on Dickinson Bayou and the unnamed tributaries, which could potentially impact the immature marine organisms and bird habitat in the area. 

Turns out, Clean Harbors neglected to include Whole Effluent Toxicity [WET] testing in their draft permit despite an analysis conducted by TCEQ that showed the rating for potential toxicity discharge far exceeded the classification sought in the draft permit. 

Under the Administrative Law Judge ruling, known within the State Office of Administrative Hearings as a Proposal For Decision [PFD], Clean Harbors would now be required to add a WET testing condition to its permit to monitor and determine if the discharge is toxic. 

“The recommendation to include WET testing is a very big win because it will require Clean Harbors to constantly monitor potential toxicity in receiving waters,” stated Joe Manchaca, President of the San Leon MUD. 

The Administrative Law Judge also concluded TCEQ failed to follow its own “written policy, which unambiguously states that WET testing is required as a condition of a permit.” 

Although the ruling by the Administrative Law Judge is not the final decision, it is a step in the right direction in requiring hazardous waste companies doing business in Galveston County to put forth due diligence in protecting Dickinson Bayou and unnamed waterways in San Leon. 

###

Chad Wilbanks Group

Public Affairs Strategy for Business and Politics 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

May 31, 2017 Contact: Chad Wilbanks 512.423.0049 What is Clean Harbors Hiding?

They are opposed to testing toxicity levels in their own hazardous waste discharges. 

Austin, TX – In a case before the State Office of Administrative Hearings where Clean Harbors San Leon has applied for a draft permit to dump effluent containing up to 17 toxic chemicals - including arsenic and mercury – into Dickinson Bayou, they continuously argue against doing whole effluent toxicity (“WET”) testing despite an analysis by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (“TCEQ”) showing the potential toxicity discharge by Clean Harbors San Leon far exceeding the classification sought in their permit. 

The Office of Public Interest Counsel and the Administrative Law Judge who heard the case in February have both stated that WET testing must be included in the permit in order to comply with the “written policy” of TCEQ. The Executive Director of TCEQ is also on record of not opposing the inclusion of a WET testing requirement. 

It was also previously noted by the Administrative Law Judge that the draft permit Clean Harbors San Leon submitted failed to take into account the possible “synergistic effect” 17 toxic chemicals being discharged could have on the environment. 

What is Clean Harbors hiding and why do they continue to refuse testing their hazardous waste discharge into Dickinson Bayou to prove there is no unanticipated toxic effect? Maybe it’s because they know the discharge is not safe. 

Call Clean Harbors San Leon at 281.339.1352 and ask them why they refuse WET testing? 

### 

PO Box 342693 Austin, TX 78734 · 512.423.0049 phone · chad@wilbanksgroup.com

=======end...tss======

State should heed judge on Clean Harbors permit 

By MICHAEL A. SMITH May 11, 2017 

 The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality should follow an administrative judge’s recommendation and require water testing by a company seeking to dump treated wastewater into a tributary flowing in Dickinson Bayou.

Clean Harbors San Leon Inc. in May 2015 applied for an amendment to its existing permit from the state environmental agency to discharge up to 105,000 gallons of treated wastewater and treated stormwater each day into a tributary on its property that flows to Dickinson Bayou. 

The proposal quickly drew opposition from neighboring property owners and residents, particularly in San Leon, who worried the company's plan will further pollute the bayou. 

A coalition of residents, including local oyster company owners and representatives of the San Leon Municipal Utility District, protested and sought a hearing from the State Office of Administrative Hearings, which considers disputes over permits. In a proposal for decision published April 24, Administrative Judge Joanne Summerhays ruled the draft permit had not required Clean Harbors to conduct whole effluent toxicity testing, or WET as it's called, on it's discharged wastewater, which is a violation of state code.

The judge recommended the amendment be accepted, but with the requirement...snip...end


Greetings Family, Friends, of Sunny San Leon, Bacliff, Bayview, Dickinson, and anybody else that wants to save Dickinson Bayou and Bay, which both are a part of Galveston Bay. 

i'm not celebrating yet folks.

Clean Harbors Neglects Chemical Toxicity Concerns, Judge: TCEQ Failed To Follow Their Own Written Policy ???

i just can't get over the fact that the Honorable Administrative Judge Joanne Summerhays found that TCEQ failed to follow their own guidelines in demanding that Clean Harbors do WET testing. plus, who in their right mind would let the wolf guard the hen house, and allow Clean Harbors to do any kind of testing on their own. This WET test and any other testing must be done by an accountable independent body, and verified by another independent body, considering now that we can't trust anymore what TCEQ with their own rules and regulations. I simply don't trust TCEQ anymore with anything now that they omitted a very important test such as the WET testing. what else has TCEQ et al conveniently overlooked for Clean Harbors? something smells very fishy here, and it's not dead fish, yet, it's TCEQ and Clean Harbors, imo...

Terry S. Singeltary Sr.

Whole Effluent Toxicity Methods 

""Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) refers to the aggregate toxic effect to aquatic organisms from all pollutants contained in a facility's wastewater (effluent). It is one way we implement the Clean Water Act's prohibition of the discharge of toxic pollutants in toxic amounts. WET tests measure wastewater's effects on specific test organisms' ability to survive, grow and reproduce.

 The WET methods listed below are specified at 40 CFR 136.3, Table I A. WET test methods consist of exposing living aquatic organisms (plants, vertebrates and invertebrates) to various concentrations of a sample of wastewater, usually from a facility's effluent stream. WET tests are used by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting authority to determine whether a facility's permit will need to include WET requirements.

 All manuals include guidelines on laboratory safety, quality assurance, facilities and equipment, dilution water, effluent sampling methods and holding times and temperatures, data analysis, report preparation, and organism culturing and handling.

 Method Guidance and Recommendations for WET Testing (July 2000) 



Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) Testing

Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) Basics - Current TCEQ Policy WET testing: The purpose of WET testing is to assess the effect that a permitted wastewater discharge may have on the aquatic organisms in the receiving waters. This is accomplished by exposing aquatic organisms to the discharge in a controlled test. The test simulates and measures the interaction of constituents in the discharge at a given distance from the point of discharge, typically at the edge of the mixing zone. Regulatory Authority: 40 Code of Federal Regulations §122.44(d)(1) 30 Texas Administrative Code §307.6(e) WET testing is applicable in the following situations Domestic wastewater dischargers with: Permitted wastewater flow of 1 MGD or greater EPA-approved pretreatment program Potential to effect toxicity in receiving waters Industrial wastewater dischargers with: EPA-classified majors Continuously-discharged process wastewater Potential to effect toxicity in receiving waters

Three Types of WET testing

24-hour acute: measures lethality to specified invertebrate/vertebrate species 48-hour acute: measures lethality to specified invertebrate/vertebrate species 7-day chronic: measures lethality and sublethality (growth/reproduction) to specified invertebrate/vertebrate species Test Organisms Used Freshwater: Chronic: Ceriodaphnia dubia (water flea) Pimephales promelas (fathead minnow) Acute: Daphnia pulex (water flea) Pimephales promelas (fathead minnow)

 Saltwater: Discussion Topics Whole Effluent Toxicity Page 2 of 2 Chronic and Acute: Mysidopsis bahia (mysid shrimp) Menidia beryllina (inland silverside)

Passing vs. Failing WET Passing: When the difference between the critical dilution (% effluent at the mixing zone) and the control is not statistically significant, the test is considered to have passed. Failing: When the difference between the critical dilution (% effluent at the mixing zone) and the control is statistically significant, the test is considered to be a failure. After a failure, TCEQ policy requires the permittee to conduct 2 additional consecutive monthly tests for LETHALITY ONLY to determine persistent toxicity. A Toxicity Reduction Evaluation (TRE) is required when persistent toxicity is demonstrated after the initial failure and when both subsequent retests fail. Toxicity Reduction Evaluation (TRE): A test method to try to determine the source of the lethal toxicity. There are three possible outcomes to a TRE: Chemical specific limit: If an actual toxicant was identified as causing the test failure, then a limit is placed in the permit for that particular toxicant. This limit is enforceable. Whole Effluent Toxicity limit (WET limit): If no single toxicant was identified, then a limit is placed in the permit for the toxicity of the entire effluent. This limit is enforceable.

Best Management Practice (BMP): Very rarely used; assessed in situations were a BMP will clearly prevent the toxicant from ever entering the wastewater treatment system. The current Implementation Procedures also indicate that persistent sublethal effects may have to be addressed by a TRE to attempt to determine a source of sublethal toxicity. Currently, there are no stipulations indicating this may lead to a sublethal WET limit.









WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2016 

CLEAN HARBORS Ruling may take more than year in bayou discharge request



Sunday, November 20, 2016 

Clean Harbors San Leon, Texas Environmental groups join fight against controversial permit application 


Wednesday, September 21, 2016 

Clean Harbors Hearing set in company’s request to discharge into Dickinson bayou 


Wednesday, May 11, 2016 

CLEAN HARBORS SAN LEON TCEQ Permit No.: WQ0004086000 Final Plea For Appeal For Hearing 


Saturday, July 18, 2015 

DICKINSON BAYOU NEEDS TO BE SAVED, NO MORE TREATED OR NON TREATED WATER DISCHARGE PERMITS 



Terry S. Singeltary Sr., Bacliff, Texas, USA, Galveston Bay

SINGELTARY SHORT SUBMISSION 

CLEAN HARBORS SAN LEON TCEQ 

RN Number: 

RN100890235 

Permit No.: WQ0004086000 


Singeltary Submission; 

Greetings TCEQ et al, 

I kindly wish to submit my strong opposition for any permit for CLEAN HARBORS SAN LEON TCEQ Permit No.: WQ0004086000, to allow any treated or non-treated waste water, or anything else, to be allowed to be discharged into the Dickinson Bayou watershed or nearby locations adjacent to Dickinson Bay, inside of Galveston bay. 

The Public needs to be able to comment on this, and should. 

The Dickinson Bayou watershed has been so strained environmentally due to many reasons over the past decades, some reasons include Livestock, Pets, faulty septic systems, agricultural activities, urban run-off and what all that contains, pesticide runoff, waste water treatment plants, just to name a few, but now we have an industrial complex that wants to grow at the mouth of Dickinson Bayou, a Bayou that already has studies that show it’s very sluggish in terms of tidal movement, and a Bayou that has consistently been in trouble, year after year after decade. 

In my opinion, I believe one of the main reasons that causes this, besides all the pollution, is the fact Dickinson Bayou needs to, should have been dredged, with a continuous dredge maintained from inside the mouth, and past the old grave yard, across those flats, on up until Dickinson Bayou gets deep, all the way to the ship channel. 

The water quality in Dickinson Bayou, has been bad for some time due to little tidal movement. Just very recently, the Houston Chronicle ran an article on a workshop (see below in reference materials) on how to improve Dickinson Bayou due to unacceptably high levels of bacteria, posing possible health and environmental risks. so why would TCEQ or anyone allow such a permit to throw more fuel to the fire? the old spillway inlet at the mouth of Dickinson Bayou, and outlet over on the Bacliff Side, is and has been dead in the water years and years, with no movement through there to help oxygenate the water, we have had numerous fish kills, with one massive flounder kill. 

why can the ship channel have a continuous life time dredge for the tanker traffic, but yet never dredge Dickinson Bayou, when the Army Corp of Eng said long ago that this needed to be done to maintain a healthy Bayou? what are we waiting on? 

Via the FOIA, I received the HL&P construction permits back in the 60’s, and the dredging that the Army Corp of engineers said would come and be maintained constantly. 

That never happened. 

This constant maintaining of a dredge was to be done all the way to the ship channel, to prevent just what has happened, and it says so in the permit. 

see permit PDF in my reference materials below. 

Until Dickinson Bayou is dredged out and all the way to the ship channel so Dickinson Bayou can breath again, anything else in my opinion will be futile. 

with no changes to the plan to address the issue of dredging Dickinson Bayou to address the tidal flow issues, and proper flushing of Dickinson Bayou, all your going to have is a toilet that does not flush properly, that our children have been playing and swimming in, and consuming the seafood there from. 

some kind of tourist attraction, welcome to the Toilet Bowl. 

I strongly protest, and strongly object, in totality, to Permit No.: WQ0004086000 for CLEAN HARBORS SAN LEON TCEQ RN Number: RN100890235, please deny this permit. ... 

 Terry S. Singeltary Sr. Bacliff, Texas 77518 

REFERENCE 

ENFORCEMENT FOR CLEAN HARBORS 

Item 35 

Docket No. 2014-1366-PWS-E. 

Consideration of an Agreed Order assessing administrative penalties and requiring certain actions of Clean Harbors San Leon, Inc. in Galveston County; RN100890235; for public drinking water violations pursuant to Tex. Health & Safety Code ch. 341 and the rules of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 



 Item 35 Docket No. 2014-1366-PWS-E. Consideration of an Agreed Order assessing administrative penalties and requiring certain actions of Clean Harbors San Leon, Inc. in Galveston County; RN100890235; for public drinking water violations pursuant to Tex. Health & Safety Code ch. 341 and the rules of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. (Jessica Schildwachter, Candy Garrett) Approve the Agreed Order. ZC/TB; all agree. 



An agreed order was entered regarding Clean Harbors San Leon, Inc., Docket No. 2014-1366-PWS-E on April 1, 2015, assessing $234 in administrative penalties with $234 deferred. 


Terry S. Singeltary Sr. previous comment 

Response to Public Comments Eight TMDLs for Indicator Bacteria in Dickinson Bayou and Three Tidal Tributaries (Segments 1103 and 1104) 

November 12, 2013 

Terry Singeltary (written) 

The TCEQ efforts to bring back quality water, instead of polluted water to the Dickinson Bayou and its Tributaries, are greatly appreciated. However, I think it all will be futile, if Dickinson Bayou is not dredged out to where the water can flow freely with the tidal movements. I believe that due to Dickinson Bayou not being dredged and maintained properly, to allow for a maximum flow, by Houston Lighting and Power Co. (HL&P) is/was a cause to a great many of our problems in Dickinson Bayou, and surrounding waters. I also believe that HL&P, the Army, or the Army Corp of Engineers should foot the total bill for the dredging. 

The TCEQ and local stakeholders in the Dickinson Bayou watershed have agreed to work together to reduce bacteria pollution in Dickinson Bayou and its tributaries, as described in the I-Plan document. At the same time, stakeholders in the watershed are continuing to explore ways to decrease the effects of pollution on Dickinson Bayou. The TCEQ does not have regulatory authority to compel private or public entities to dredge Texas waterways to improve flow. No changes were made to the I-Plan based on this comment. 


Workshop to look at efforts to protect, improve Dickinson Bayou 

By Annette Baird 

Updated 1:10 pm, Tuesday, July 14, 2015 

*** But the 100-square-mile watershed, from which water flows into Dickinson and Galveston bays, has been tested with unacceptably high levels of bacteria, posing possible health and environmental risks. *** 


High concentrations of bacteria measured in Dickinson Bayou Tidal, Segment 1103, and four of its tributaries might pose a health risk for people who swim or wade in the bayou. Bacteria from human and animal waste may indicate the presence of disease-causing microorganisms that may cause illness. 


Dickinson Bayou does not meet water quality standards for DO or pathogen indicator bacteria. 



*** Elevated bacteria (fecal coliform, Escherichia coli and Enterococcus) and depressed dissolved oxygen concentrations (often 


Dickinson Bayou Special Study

Dickinson Bayou currently does not meet state requirements for aquatic life or contact recreation


According to the 2005 Galveston Bay Indicators Project, the areas of Galveston Bay with the greatest number of TCEQ criteria-level exceedences for fecal coliform bacteria are Buffalo Bayou, the Houston Ship Channel, Clear Creek, and Dickinson Bayou (Figure 5-60).


July 2005

Public Health Issues

Clear Creek and Dickinson Bayou have levels of fecal coliform bacteria that exceed the screening levels used by TCEQ to determine which water bodies need to be listed as impaired for historical use. Both water bodies would be considered a health risk for contact recreation.


*** SEE HL&P PERMIT ABOUT MAINTAINING A CONSTANT DREDGE FOR DICKINSON BAYOU AND WHY *** 


Saturday, July 18, 2015

DICKINSON BAYOU NEEDS TO BE SAVED, NO MORE TREATED OR NON TREATED WATER DISCHARGE PERMITS



Terry S. Singeltary Sr. Bacliff, Texas USA 77518 Galveston Bay flounder9@verizon.net 

Thank you for submitting your comments on this pending permit application. Thank you for submitting your comments on this pending permit application. You will receive an e-mail confirmation of your comments that you can print for your records. 

*If you do not receive an e-mail confirmation within one hour, we HAVE NOT received your comments. If you do not receive confirmation, please be sure to contact the Office of the Chief Clerk immediately at 512-239-3300. Please note, successfully submitting your comments online does not guarantee you filed them timely. 



Sent: Monday, July 27, 2015 9:57 PM 


Subject: TCEQ Confirmation: Your public comment on Permit Number WQ0004086000 was received. 

SNIP...END...TSS 

Sunday, February 28, 2016 

Oral Comments Public Meeting Clean Harbors San Leon, Inc.[8] WQ0004086000 La Marque 14 01/25/16 Dickinson Bayou 



Wednesday, January 6, 2016 

CLEAN HARBORS, TCEQ, DICKINSON BAYOU, PUBLIC MEETING JANUARY 25, 2016 


Tuesday, January 8, 2013 

Dickinson Bayou: A TMDL Project and Use Assessment for Bacteria Troubled Waters 

Dickinson Bayou: A TMDL Project and Use Assessment for Bacteria 


Dead fish symptom of ailing bayous 

Harvey Rice Updated 2:45 pm, Monday, November 19, 2012 

Photo: Brett Coomer, Houston Chronicle 

Image 1 of 3 

Steve Hoyland Sr., co-owner of the monthly SeaBreeze News, runs his boat through Dickinson Bayou. Concerned over fish kills, he hired a lab to test the quality of the water. 

SAN LEON - Powering his small boat across Dickinson Bay, Steve Hoyland Sr. worries about fish kills near the mouth of Dickinson Bayou every summer for the last six years. 

"I've lived here my whole life, but in the last two years you can't catch (anything)," said Hoyland, 61, part owner of the monthly San Leon Seabreeze News. 

Hoyland points to the depth finder to show how silt has clogged the mouth of the bayou and prevented the tide from cleansing it with oxygenated water. "We've got a serious problem here," he said. 

Officials charged with overseeing water quality say that fish kills, where thousands of fish die for lack of oxygen in the water, are a symptom of urban encroachment on bayous like Dickinson that lace the Houston region. The urbanized area in the Dickinson Bayou watershed more than doubled between 2002 and 2008.

The 27 miles of Dickinson Bayou that snake through Galveston and Brazoria counties are plagued with low oxygen levels that occasionally kill fish. The bayou is filled with bacteria that can cause illness to swimmers and pollutants such as oil, pesticides, human waste from septic tanks and animal waste washed into the bayou through storm drains. 

Of 139 water bodies in Harris and Galveston counties, 91 have excessive bacteria levels that make them unsafe for human contact, 21 have low dissolved oxygen levels and in 33 the cancer-causing toxic contaminants dioxin and PCB have been found in fish tissue, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The bacteria levels in Buffalo Bayou, for example, are generally higher than Dickinson Bayou and pesticides are found in the tissue of fish there in addition to dioxin and PCB, the TCEQ says.

In Dickinson Bayou, E. coli and enteroccus bacteria levels are more than double the federal standard, said Todd Running, clean rivers program manager for the Houston-Galveston Area Council. The federal standard for E. coli is 126 colonies per 100 milliliters of water, Running said, but the levels in the bayou range from 247 to 1,645. The standard for enteroccus, a bacteria measured in the tidal area of the bayou because of its resistance to saltwater, is 35, he said, but bayou levels range from 373 to 8,485.

Public not aware 

State and local agencies are working on plans to reduce pollution in the bayous, but they take years to complete and rely on the cooperation of a public that is largely unaware that seemingly unimportant things like leaving pet waste in the yard contribute to the thousands of small incidents that add up to tons of pollution washed through storm drains into the bayou. The TCEQ says that the most common sources of bacteria are wastewater treatment plants, stormwater runoff, septic tank overflows and failures, and broken sewer lines. 

Runoff from residences 

"All of our urban streams have issues and it's a result of more people living in the area, more pipes that are more likely to break, plus it's runoff from our yards and our streets and our parking lots," said Charris York, stormwater projects coordinator for the Texas Coastal Watershed Program. 

Excess yard fertilizer, household chemicals, septic tank leakage and illegal discharges from wastewater treatment plants add to the load of pollutants draining from 106 square miles of Dickinson Bayou watershed. 

There are 11 wastewater treatment plants on Dickinson Bayou. The TCEQ issued its most recent violation notice to KC Utilities in August. The commission fined Meadowland utilities $132,000 in December for seven violations. 

The TCEQ estimates that there are 1,546 failing septic tanks in the Dickinson Bayou watershed. 

Hoyland published several articles calling attention to the poor water quality at the mouth of the bayou. 

He took two experts from Eastex Environmental Laboratory Inc. out on his boat to take water samples at the mouth of Dickinson Bayou and a nearby intake channel cut for the now abandoned Houston Power & Light generating plant that once pulled water from Dickinson Bay for cooling. 

"We found areas of concern with dissolved oxygen levels," said Mark Bourgeois, one of the Eastex analysts who took the samples.

Low oxygen levels are typical during the summer on the sluggishly flowing bayou, said Winston Denton, upper coast assessment team leader for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The long list of documented fish kills because of low oxygen stretches back to the 1970s when federal clean water laws first required reporting. 

Call for dredging 

Hoyland believes that dredging the mouth of the bayou would allow tidal flows to wash oxygen into the bayou mouth. TCEQ oxygen readings show that on average the bayou's tidal area, unlike the rest of the bayou, meets state oxygen level standards.

Oxygen levels fluctuate, however, and Running said that dredging has improved water quality at the mouth of other bayous, but that there is no guarantee that it would work on Dickinson Bayou. 

The TCEQ and local agencies are developing a plan to reduce the pollution to acceptable levels that likely will combine regulations with voluntary compliance. The plan is being written with the assistance of local businesses, cities and residents. "We have a lot of input from different folks who have knowledge," York said. The plan has been in the works for about two years and the draft is expected to be ready for public review early next year, she said. 

Meanwhile Hoyland continues to write about water quality problems and hopes that a plan to build a new wastewater treatment plant nearby will include dredging the mouth of Dickinson Bayou. "It would be a great thing if they do something good for the environment," he said. 


Saturday, August 11, 2012 

Galveston County BACLIFF TEXAS FLOUNDER FISH KILL MASSIVE AUGUST 11, 2012 (see video of the dead flounder floating) 


Terry Singletary and I have been sampling water from Dickinson Bayou and monitoring continuous fish kills in efforts to get someone to understand the critical condition of this waterway for the past six years. The bayou has a high concentration of fecal matter (human excrement). This is due to an occasional upset in the sewage plants that dump into the bayou, and by old and broken septic tanks along the bayou’s edge. In sampling the dissolved oxygen concentration in the water, we have discovered that the oxygen content is depleted, causing over four miles of a “dead zone” which will not sustain aquatic life. This four mile dead zone is growing at approximately a quarter of a mile every year. 




Wednesday, August 12, 2015 

GALVESTON BAY REPORT CARD 2015 


Terry S. Singeltary Sr., Bacliff, Texas, USA

on the bottom...Galveston Bay