Houston Environmental News Update October 18, 2017

Many of you may know that Hurricane Harvey delivered more than 4′ of water and almost total devastation to the new space under construction for Architecture Center Houston in the historic 1906 B.A. Riesner building in downtown Houston. The space was within 3 weeks of completion when the storm hit and flood mitigation designed specifically for this type of event was not yet fully installed. While insurance will cover some of the expenses, the American Institute of Architects Houston Chapter is hoping to raise $250,000 to cover the cost of the deductible. If you’d like to help, you can donate directly to the rebuild efforts on gofundme.com. You can also support them by participating in this weekend’s popular AIA Home Tour, or any of a number of upcoming events (such as an annual meeting, walking tours, continuing education, the ArCH Film Festival, and the Gingerbread Build Off).

Another of CEC’s member organizations with an architectural focus is celebrating a notable milestone: publication of the 100th issue of Cite: The Architecture + Design Review of Houston. Congratulations! Copies will be hitting newsstands soon. In the meantime, you can visit OffCite.com, the digital home for the magazine. In addition to archives of past issues, the sight offers an excellent blog, with many recent articles focusing on Harvey and urban planning. Like AIA, RDA offers many events, including an upcoming gala honoring Linda Sylvan on November 11, 2017. (The banner photo, of the 100th Issue, was taken by Allyn West, who edits and writes for Gray Matters at the Houston Chronicle.)

Speaking of organizations with an architectural focus… On October 26, 2017, the City of Houston’s Green Building Resource Center and the Gulf Coast chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council are hosting an educational seminar to discuss the most effective ways we can do to reverse climate change. This foodie event will feature local experts who will discuss the top four of these solutions: Refrigerant Management, Wind Turbines (onshore), Reducing Food Waste, and a Plant-Rich Diet. RSVPs are required for this seminar and space is limited, so sign up soon.

Scroll down to read notes from our member organizations and the community, or view the emailed version of the newsletter, which includes a green job listing.

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Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: October 17, 2017

Featured Articles:

  1. The river is a monster’ Brazos River takes homes, roads, bridges in ever-changing paths  (Emily Foxhall – Houston Chronicle, 10/08/17. Photo by Mark Mulligan – Houston Chronicle.)  Swollen by torrential rains, the Brazos threatened hundreds of homes — even whole towns and subdivisions — in Fort Bend and Brazoria counties, changing its path once again…. A house that had teetered on the river’s edge fell partially over the bank. Massive trees slipped down the cliffs. Bridges, roadways and rail lines took yet another beating. Harvey added at least another $1 million to the $20 million or more in repairs already designated to protect the local infrastructure. http://www.houstonchronicle.com
  2. Houston’s Curbside Recycling Could Resume in November, Turner Says (Joseph Fanelli – Houston Press, 10/12/2017. Photo from Mayor Sylvester Turner Facebook page.)
    “With more than 1 million cubic yards of debris picked up from Hurricane Harvey, Houston Solid Waste Management is eyeing November to resume curbside recycling pickup in the city, Mayor Sylvester Turner said at a press conference on Wednesday.” http://www.houstonpress.com
  3. Environmental groups denounce Trump override of climate plan (Michael Biesecker and Adam Beam- Associated Press)                                                      “A coalition of left-leaning states and environmental groups are vowing to fight the Trump administration’s move to kill an Obama-era effort to limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.Speaking Monday in the coal-mining state of Kentucky, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said he would be issuing a new set of rules overriding the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s drive to curb global climate change. “The war on coal is over,” Pruitt declared….” http://www.houstonchronicle.com

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CEC welcomes Brittany Trinh as a government relations intern

Brittany is a Junior at the University of Houston, studying Chemistry with a minor in Psychology. She is interested in environmental engineering research and policy relating to water quality.

Over the past two summers, she conducted research with Dr. Debora Rodrigues from the UH Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as part of the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship and Houston Scholars program. Her research project focused on efficient removal of chromium and nitrate from industrial wastewater using polymer gel beads and cellulose membranes.
During her sophomore year, she founded the Non-music Major Orchestra (NMO) at UH. NMO is for students who still want to continue playing music while pursuing a different field of study. At the end of each semester, the orchestra performs a free concert for the UH community. In the orchestra, she has played violin and is currently learning viola. She is also a resident advisor at UH, where she assists first year students acclimate to college life by helping them find the resources to achieve their academic, professional, and personal goals.
At CEC, Brittany will help review the City of Houston’s agenda as the Government Relations intern. She hopes to learn more about how environmental policy is implemented at the local level.