Research underway to help track pollutants in the Edwards aquifer

Research underway to help track pollutants in the Edwards aquifer

  • December 29, 2018
  • News

Jessica Quintanilla, a hydrologist for the Edwards Aquifer Authority, sloshes back onto shore in her black waterproof boots from the middle of this creek just off Scenic Loop Road, south of Grey Forest. “Next, we have to set up the peristaltic pump,” she said, as she inserts the white, quarter-inch tube she dragged 15 feet back to shore from her water sensor, before flipping on a generator and starting the pump. Quintanilla and a Southwest Research Institute scientist start pumping…

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Barton Springs Pool to reopen after drilling clouds water

Barton Springs Pool to reopen after drilling clouds water

  • December 21, 2018
  • News

Barton Springs Pool will reopen Saturday. The City of Austin closed the pool Wednesday due to cloudy water. They now know that cloudiness was caused by drilling. City officials say sediment was discharging into the pool due to a well being drilled in the Barton Springs Zone of the Edwards Aquifer. Pool staff first noticed an unusual murkiness to the water Tuesday followed by a bright white substance spreading through the pool for about three hours Wednesday. “There was a…

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America’s holiday lights can be seen from space

America’s holiday lights can be seen from space

  • December 20, 2018
  • News

Forget going out to view your neighborhood’s Christmas lights this year: You can do it the 21st-century way, bathed in the pallid glow of a monitor. That’s because NASA has just released a wonderful bunch of satellite images of American cities, gleaming like nebulae with all their candy-colored LEDs, sparkling icicle nets, and illuminated, blow-up Santa Clauses. Note that NASA’s tech isn’t so advanced it can tell a radiant tree-topper from a porch lamp, but it has measured a seasonal…

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Worries grow after quarry cited for discharge violations

Worries grow after quarry cited for discharge violations

Violations stemming from two separate discharges of sedimentary debris into Onion Creek in 2016 and 2017 led to citations for the Hays Quarry Rock Crushing Plant, according to a Barton Publications investigation. The investigation came after video and photo evidence of the discharge was submitted to the Hays Free Press and News-Dispatch, sparking outcry from local residents. The quarry, located south of RM 967 and west of the Ruby Ranch subdivision, was found to be in violation of sediment discharge…

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San Antonio getting first sanctioned outdoor rock climbing area in 2020

San Antonio getting first sanctioned outdoor rock climbing area in 2020

  • December 20, 2018
  • News

Medicine Wall, a roughly 80-foot limestone bluff in northern San Antonio, will become the city’s first officially sanctioned outdoor rock climbing area when access to the site opens in 2020. After roughly two years of negotiations with landowners and developers, the nonprofit climbing group Texas Climbers Coalition, formerly known as Central Texas Mountaineers, took ownership of the property last Friday, the organization’s President Adam Mitchell said. Medicine Wall is the first property Texas Climbers Coalition has owned outright, said Mitchell, who…

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Natural gas pipeline planned  to run through Hays County

Natural gas pipeline planned to run through Hays County

More than 80 Hays County landowners—and hundreds more across the Hill Country—either have already or will soon be contacted by Kinder Morgan, Inc., one of the largest energy infrastructure companies on the continent, asking for permission to survey their property to build a natural gas pipeline. But the company only sort of has to ask. Infographic taken from Community Impact Newspaper.  “They have the right to come onto your land,” said Bill Johnson, who received one of these phone calls…

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First of 55,000 current by GE streetlights installed in innovative regional program spanning 11 Southern California cities

First of 55,000 current by GE streetlights installed in innovative regional program spanning 11 Southern California cities

  • December 19, 2018
  • News

The City of Murrieta, California earlier this month became the first of 11 Riverside County cities to obtain ownership of thousands of streetlights that will be retrofit with LED fixtures to minimize light pollution, enhance public safety and save approximately $60 million in reduced energy and maintenance costs over a 20-year period. The Western Riverside Council of Governments (WRCOG) is working on behalf of the 11 local jurisdictions to facilitate the purchase of streetlights from Southern California Edison (SCE) and…

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Is Texas’ overcrowded, underfunded state parks system being loved to death?

Is Texas’ overcrowded, underfunded state parks system being loved to death?

More people are enjoying Texas’ 95 state parks than ever. In the 2017 fiscal year, there were 10 million visitors, a 20 percent increase over 2012. Visitation at some destinations has skyrocketed. For example, the number of visitors to McKinney Falls, a small park on Onion Creek in far southeast Austin, nearly doubled in the last decade, jumping from 128,000 in 2008 to 319,000 in 2017. “State parks are the No. 1 tourist attraction in Texas,” said John Crompton, a…

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Reserve a big part of local dark sky efforts

Reserve a big part of local dark sky efforts

  • December 13, 2018
  • News

The stars at night are big and bright … for now. But encroaching development and lights are making our views of the nightly heavens less heavenly. But several communities and individuals are working to see that this part of the Hill Country can still focus upward for inspiration and awe at night and see the Milky Way in all its glory. A Dark Sky Reserve area is being planned with Enchanted Rock State Natural Area serving as its center. The…

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TCEQ grants hearing on Vulcan quarry project

TCEQ grants hearing on Vulcan quarry project

  • December 13, 2018
  • News

As expected, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on Wednesday granted numerous requests for a contested hearing on an application by Vulcan Construction Materials for an air permit to operate a limestone quarry in Comal County. If approved, the project would be developed on a 1,500-acre site at the intersection of Texas 46 and FM 3009. It could be operational for 80 years. The commission also designated 12 people and two organizations as “affected parties,” giving them standing to have…

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