July 8, 2013 6:30 am
Texas Puts Luminant Mining Under Closer Financial Scrutiny
Texas may be known for oil, but it's also a coal state. And now, there's concern over what the state is doing to ensure that old "strip mines" are cleaned-up. StateImpact reporter Dave Fehling found that one Texas company in particular is now getting special scrutiny.
July 3, 2013 9:41 pm
What This Week's High Ozone Levels Mean For You
The TCEQ has issued an Ozone Action Day for the Houston area for the sixth day in a row. So what does that mean for us?
June 28, 2013 4:52 am
Senate Pushes For EPA Action On Explosive Fertilizer Chemicals
In the wake of the April fertilizer plant explosion in West, legislators are demanding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency immediately begin regulating potentially explosive fertilizer chemicals.
June 27, 2013 5:00 am
Charging Spike In 'Bogus' Oil Spill Settlement Claims, BP Takes the Offensive
BP has launched a multi-pronged campaign to head off what it says are excessive claims tied to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
June 26, 2013 6:30 am
Stopping A Hurricane's Storm Surge: Texas Considers What Will Work
Next month, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers will consider proposals to reduce flooding when hurricanes hit a critical part of the Texas Gulf Coast. It's the area that includes miles of refineries and petrochemical plants — and millions of people. But who should pay? And should everyone be protected when hurricanes hit?
June 24, 2013 1:56 pm
Supreme Court To Hear Case On Cross State Air Pollution Rule
The Supreme Court will consider reinstating a federal regulation intended to reduce power plant pollution that contributes to unhealthy air in neighboring states. Texas was one of several states that sued to block the rule, which was issued in 2011 and scheduled to take effect last year.
June 20, 2013 4:37 pm
Flash Fire Leaves Four Electrical Workers Injured, One In Critical Condition
A fire at a downtown high rise injured several electrical workers this morning. The cause of the flash fire has not yet been determined.
June 12, 2013 3:47 pm
FEMA Denies Funding To West Explosion Victims
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is still refusing to provide money to help rebuild the small Texas town where a deadly fertilizer plant explosion leveled numerous homes and schools, and killed 15 people.
June 11, 2013 6:30 am
Vehicle Inspection Fraud Task Forces Running On Empty
In Texas cities with bad air pollution, owners pay to have their vehicles inspected to make sure the engines are running cleanly. Part of that state inspection fee is supposed to go towards enforcement. But StateImpact reporter Dave Fehling tells why there's concern that even though there's a lot of inspection fraud, the efforts to catch it are getting cut.
June 8, 2013 6:59 am
West Texas Oilfield Town Runs Out Of Water
Barnhart, a small community about 50 miles southwest of San Angelo in West Texas, has run out of water after the town's only municipal water well failed. Officials say that the water demands of oil drilling are a factor.
June 5, 2013 6:30 am
The Toxic Risk When Hurricanes Hit The Texas Chemical Coast
The next hurricane that hits the Texas coast will again put some of the nation's biggest refineries and chemical plants — and the communities near them — at risk. But it won’t be the first time. Looking back at some big storms and the havoc they caused is what StateImpact reporter Dave Fehling did to find out what can go wrong.
June 1, 2013 7:39 am
In Houston, Too Much Fine Dust?
In Houston, air pollution worries usually are about ozone, but scientists are paying increasingly close attention to fine dust. It’s more dangerous than ozone, some say, and the EPA will soon decide whether Houston has too much.
May 29, 2013 6:30 am
A Gusher Of Work For Texas Oil & Gas Lawyers
In Texas, the "help wanted" sign is out for people who know about oil and gas drilling. But companies aren't hiring just rough-necks and engineers. StateImpact reporter Dave Fehling has the story of billion-dollar deals and six-figure starting salaries.
May 28, 2013 3:28 pm
Texas Lawmakers Take $2 Billion Step Toward Sustainable Water Supplies
Gov. Rick Perry signed a bill to create a new funding mechanism for water supply projects in Texas. The state faces a water shortage as the population increases while water sources dry up.
May 28, 2013 5:14 am
As Economy Improves, Labor Shortages Threaten
While much of the country is still struggling with higher-than-normal unemployment, some key sectors are facing the opposite problem — labor shortages.
May 25, 2013 7:35 am
Will Texas Lawmakers Save the Railroad Commission?
If lawmakers don't do something quickly, the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates oil and gas in the state, could disappear.
May 22, 2013 6:30 am
Deadly Chemicals And The Risk When Companies Are Accused of Cutting Corners
We've been reporting this week on how much Texas communities know about potentially deadly chemicals used by nearby industries. Officials tell us that the majority of companies play by the rules so that residents and workers know the risks. But when some companies allegedly cut corners to reduce costs, the results can be tragic.
May 22, 2013 5:03 am
Will A Stricter Sulfur Rule Drive Up Gas Prices?
The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed slashing the sulfur content of gasoline by 2017. Refiners say the rule would cost billions of dollars to implement.
May 21, 2013 11:49 am
Centerpoint Energy Sending Personnel To Oklahoma To Help Restore Utilities
Some 11,000 linemen helped Houston recover from the effects of Hurricane Ike. And Centerpoint Energy is helping Oklahoma recover from the effects of that devastating tornado.
May 21, 2013 6:30 am
Lessons In School Safety And Deadly Chemicals From Galena Park
Earlier this week, StateImpact's Dave Fehling reported how it's important for communities and schools to know their neighbors when deadly chemicals are next door at industrial plants. It’s also important for schools to prepare for an emergency.
May 20, 2013 6:34 am
Knowing Your Neighbor When Deadly Chemicals Are Next Door
When chemical fertilizer stored at a farm supply depot in the town of West exploded last month, it raised all sorts of questions about safety. Homes and a school that were within a quarter mile of the facility were heavily damaged. But it doesn't take a catastrophic explosion to put a community at risk — especially when chemicals are in the form of a gas.
May 17, 2013 10:54 am
What Sparked The Explosion In West Undetermined
State and federal officials investigating the explosion at West Fertilizer say the cause is undetermined. Fifteen died and much of a 37-block area was demolished.
May 11, 2013 7:14 am
West Plant Blast Focus of Criminal Investigation
The Texas Rangers and the McLennan County sheriff's office are launching a criminal investigation into the fertilizer plant explosion last month in West.
May 7, 2013 6:30 am
More Than Their Fair Share? Texas County Questions Frack Water Disposal Wells
It's a nice surprise: so much oil and natural gas is now being produced here in Texas and other states that our dependence on foreign sources is dropping. While what's coming out of the ground may be great for the nation, there's concern about how to put a by-product of the drilling back into the ground. StateImpact's Dave Fehling reports from South Texas.
May 6, 2013 6:53 pm
Governors Of The Gulf Coast Want State Control Of Offshore Drilling Permits
Texas Gov. Rick Perry says the federal government can do more to help stimulate offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. At the Offshore Technology Conference here in Houston, Perry along with other Gulf state governors, says offshore drilling is still slower than it used to be before the Deepwater Horizon accident.
May 6, 2013 6:30 am
As OTC Kicks Off, BP Gulf Disaster Still Sets Conference Agenda
One of the biggest energy industry gatherings kicks-off this morning in Houston: the Offshore Technology Conference — better known as OTC. It'll feature the latest equipment to drill under the ocean for oil and gas. Many sessions will focus on what has changed since the 2010 Deepwater Horizon tragedy. Industry-wide, the industry spotlight has been on land and the drilling technique called "fracking." Reporter Dave Fehling talked with the chairman of the OTC, Steve Balint.
May 2, 2013 8:34 pm
Environmental Groups Sue To Compel EPA To Recalculate VOCs Emission Formula
Community groups in Texas and Louisiana have filed a lawsuit to compel the Environmental Protection Agency to review formulas used to report the levels of toxic emissions from refineries and chemical plants.
April 30, 2013 4:28 pm
Water Plan Funding Bill Sinks In Texas House
It was possibly the most high profile piece of legislation at the capital this session. House Bill 11 was a plan to pull $2 Billion from the states rainy day fund, to fund water projects in Texas for the next 50 years. It had the backing of the governor, the state's business community, and many environmental groups. But last night it could not muster the votes to gain approval in the Texas House of Representatives.
April 28, 2013 6:43 am
Cash for Road Repair in Shale Areas Proves Elusive
Efforts by state lawmakers to find money to repair South and West Texas roads torn up amid a drilling boom appear to be stalling, according to some officials working on the matter. Officials say that vehicular accidents in these regions are on the rise and that natural gas production could be threatened if the issue isn't addressed.
April 26, 2013 8:38 am
Obama Honors Families At Memorial For West Explosion Victims
At a memorial service on Thursday, President Obama and Texas officials honored those who were injured or died in the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion. "Today our prayers are with the families of all who we've lost — the proud sons and daughters of West whose memories will live on in our hearts,” President Obama said.