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


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                 
August 2, 2017   
Contact: Chad Wilbanks

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 ·

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.