Friday, November 11, 2011

$480,000 EPA Grant to N. Central Texas Council of Gov'ts

EPA Awards North Central Texas Council of Governments Over $480,000 in Climate Showcase Communities Grant
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) is receiving $486,767 in Climate Showcase Communities grant funding to establish a Freight Efficiency Outreach Center in North Central Texas. This center will support NCTCOG’s current role as an affiliate of the EPA SmartWay Transport Partnership, which focuses on increasing
efficiency and reducing emissions from the freight sector.
The Climate Showcase Communities Program consists of 50 local and tribal governments

that received $20 million in EPA grant funding in 2009 and 2010 to pilot innovative, cost-effective and replicable community-based greenhouse gas reduction projects. These projects will help their communities increase energy efficiency and save consumers money with new practices involving waste management, energy production and land use management.

These Climate Showcase Communities are showing their commitment to combat climate change by contributing matching funds as well as sharing lessons learned to help other communities replicate successful projects. Communities selected for the Climate Showcase funds were required to show their ability to track, measure and show progress toward achieving ongoing greenhouse gas reductions.

The pilot communities estimate that by 2014 the projects will avoid more than 350,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year. This is equivalent to the annual emissions from almost 70,000 passenger vehicles or the energy used by 30,000 homes and would save nearly $19 million per year in energy costs. The projects will improve public health and quality of life by improving indoor and outdoor air quality,
increasing walkability and reducing household energy bills.

In North Texas, greenhouse gas emissions are expected to be reduced by about 2,540 metric tons per year, and the freight industry is projected to save 277,102 gallons of diesel fuel per year.

The Climate Showcase Communities Grant Program is administered by the EPA, providing technical assistance, tools and guidance to help state, local and tribal governments implement policies and programs to mitigate climate change.

More information of the grants and grant recipients

More about activities in EPA Region 6

EPA Audio File

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Happy World Vegetarian Day!

There are a lot of exciting things going on this month. In fact, one of those things includes a daily diary of small, but significant things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint, become vegetarian and be nicer to the planet!

Stay tuned!

Get Active. Go Green! with delmetria millener, a freelance writer based in Texas. Contact her at

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Greenpeace Needs a Facilities Assistant




Office Appearance and Functionality:

• Maintain a clean and productive office environment
• Keep storage area neat with an up to date inventory
• Regular walk through and pickup of common areas including the three kitchens
• Respond to staff facilities requests in a prompt and pleasant manner
• Perform basic maintenance needs
• Assist in facility maintenance including escorting vendors working in the building
• Assist Facilities Manager with internal office moves

Meeting Preparation:

• Prepare meeting rooms for all staff-requested meetings, including equipment, food and beverage service

• Break down meeting rooms following all meetings

New Employee Duties:

• Set up work areas for new employees
• Assign phone extension and reset voice mail
• Train new staff on organizational facilities policies including security procedures, phone and voice mail system, and all other office equipment
• Document and maintain phone extension locations

Mail Room:

• Responsible for the daily posting of all outgoing mail, including management of the weekly international and domestic inter-office packages
• Distribute all incoming mail, packages and large shipping deliveries daily
• Work with other departments to prepare, produce and send large mailing and copying projects

Office Supplies and Equipment:

• Place service calls on copiers and other office equipment
• Order and track usage of office supplies
• Keep all printers and copiers supplied with paper
• Compile monthly printer logs
• Must be able to lift 40 lb


• Book reservations of the organization’s DC apartment for out of town staff
• Respond to Facilities support ticket requests from staff
• Maintain the Facilities team’s Google docs
• Maintain documentation and filing system for the facilities department
• Assist with Facilities’ spreadsheets tracking phone and facilities costs by department
• Prepare invoices for Facilities Manager’s approval
• Other duties as assigned by the Facilities Manager



• High School Diploma or equivalent


• Strong organizational skills
• Basic computer skills
• Good attention to detail
• Solid communication skills
• Ability to work well as part of a team and individually
• Good self-starter
• Ability to effectively manage projects and time
• A sense of humor
• Commitment to the mission of Greenpeace
• Customer service oriented


• Experience in a mailroom or administrative assistant position
• Proven ability to manage multiple tasks


Please send cover letter, including where you heard of this position, and resume to  by September 19, 2011.

Andrea Cimino, Recruitment Fellow
Greenpeace USA, Washington DC

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wildfires Devastate Texas

Wildfires burning across Texas destroyed hundreds of homes and killed at least two people.  Texas Governor Rick Perry (R), who is running for president, canceled his appearance at a candidate roundtable in South Carolina Monday to return to Austin.

More than 3.6 million acres in Texas have been scorched by wildfires since November, fed by a continuing drought that has caused more than $5 billion in damage to the state’s agricultural industry. (Wash Post, 9/6/2011)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Entergy Announces Intent to Join MISO

Integration Would Create Country's Largest RTO

Entergy Corporation announced today its intent to join the MISO (Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator) as a fully integrated transmission owning member. Entergy’s integration, if approved by regulators, would expand the MISO footprint to Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. The Entergy region will add about 15,000 miles of transmission lines and 30,000 megawatts of generation capacity to the MISO footprint. The new MISO footprint will extend from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

Independent analysis, as well as analysis completed by MISO, show that the Entergy region will benefit from joining MISO. These benefits flow from improved transmission reliability, more efficient use of existing electric system assets and a reduced need for future generation assets.

The combined footprint also will benefit from increased electrical generation diversity. The MISO will feature an improved mix of generation assets, including coal, natural gas, nuclear, wind, biomass and other sources. The addition of Entergy’s generation portfolio will bring more options to the region for the commitment and dispatch of energy.

The move will need to be approved by elected officials and regulators in each of Entergy’s jurisdictions. The Entergy operating companies are Entergy Arkansas, Inc., Entergy Gulf States Louisiana, L.L.C., Entergy Louisiana, LLC, Entergy Mississippi, Inc., Entergy New Orleans, Inc. and Entergy Texas, Inc. The integration has a targeted implementation date of December 2013. (MISO Press Release)

About MISO

The Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator ensures reliable operation of, and equal access to, interconnected, high-voltage power lines in 13 U.S. states and the Canadian province of Manitoba. The Midwest ISO manages one of the world's largest energy markets, clearing more than $27 billion in energy transactions in 2010. The Midwest ISO was approved as the nation's first regional transmission organization in 2001. The non-profit 501(C)(4) organization is governed by an independent Board of Directors, and is headquartered in Carmel, IN with operations centers in Carmel and St. Paul, MN. Membership in the organization is voluntary.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

AAEA Texas Launches New Website

Delmetria Millener & Norris McDonald
AAEA Texas just launched a new website.  It looks great and is packed with interesting information about our activities in the Lone Star state.

AAEA Texas Director Delmetria Millener is busy greening Texas.

Friday, April 22, 2011

AAEA Texas Director Speaks at Black Chemists Conference

AAEA Texas Office Director Delmetria Millener described the chapter's goals at the 38th Annual Technology Conference sponsored by the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers.  Millener gave her presentation on April 19, 2011 at ehe Hilton-Americas Hotel in Houston, Texas.

Friday, January 28, 2011

EPA Administrator's Latino Texas EJ Tour

EPA Administrator Jackson and Representatives from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Wrap Up Texas Visit with Focus on Environmental Justice

Two-day visit highlights EPA efforts to protect human health and facilitate clean energy innovation

Today U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson and representatives from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus wrapped up a two-day trip to El Paso and San Antonio, Texas. The trip is a part of the administrator’s ongoing effort to highlight the benefits of clean energy innovation for all Americans and draw attention to environmental pollution’s disproportionate health impacts on poor and minority communities.

Administrator Jackson discussed the agency’s work safeguarding Americans from health threats like toxic air and water pollution and observed clean energy innovation in action. The administrator kicked off the trip on Thursday in El Paso, where she was joined by representatives from Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) member U.S. Representative Silvestre Reyes’ office. (Congressman Reyes was unable to attend after bad weather in Washington, D.C. grounded his flight)

The administrator started the visit with an on-site briefing on the cleanup of the former ASARCO smelting plant. After that she met with local leaders to talk specifically about water quality and access concerns. The administrator also hosted a forum on environmental justice issues at El Paso Community College on Thursday where she listened to and spoke with citizens about their environmental concerns and addressed the health and economic benefits of clean air and water for communities. Administrator Jackson also visited the El Paso Water Utilities Desalination Plant and Tech H2O Center, which is expanding El Paso’s access to clean water and creating jobs in the region. Today, the administrator was joined by CHC chair U.S.

Representative Charles Gonzalez in San Antonio for meetings with local community members, business leaders and students. She and Gonzalez toured St. Philips College, where they got a first-hand look at the college’s green jobs training program and sustainable power infrastructure efforts. Later, Administrator Jackson hosted a round table discussion on environmental justice issues with community members. She finished the Texas tour at St. Mary’s University where she hosted a student forum and answered questions about winning the future through investment in green job innovation and other major environmental issues.

Over the past several months, Administrator Jackson has visited a number of impacted communities across the country and met with local leaders and community members to discuss EPA’s work to address these environmental concerns. More information about EPA’s environmental justice efforts. (EPA)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Court Blocks EPA From Controlling Texas GHG Regulations

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has blocked until Friday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) plan to seize control of greenhouse gas permits from Texas.

The first federal rules on emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases took effect Sunday. Texas is the only state to refuse to implement the new rules — a position that prompted the EPA's intervention.  In its petition, the state accuses the EPA of abusing its powers by taking control of the permitting program without proper notice. The agency, in response, criticized Texas officials for filing suit instead of working with it to protect public health.

The federal rules require new controls for reducing emissions from power plants, oil refineries and other large industrial facilities. Such rules would have a profound impact on Texas, which pumps more carbon dioxide into the air than any other state. The EPA has said that 167 facilities in Texas would be subject to the new permitting requirements. (Chron, 1/4/2010)

Texas To Import Low-Level Nuclear Waste From 36 States

The Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission, which manages the state's radioactive-waste dump, voted 5-2 to approve rules governing the process for accepting importation of low-level radioactive-waste from 36 other states.

The waste will be stored at the 1,338-acre site in concrete-reinforced underground units. The site will permanently store low-level radioactive waste—contaminated materials and equipment from nuclear plants, research laboratories and hospitals. The material includes everything from parts from dismantled nuclear-energy plants to booties worn by scientists working in labs where radioactive materials are present. More highly contaminated waste, such as spent fuel from power plants, wouldn't be stored at the site. Waste Control Specialists LLC is the site owner.  In the Oct. 14, 2009 photo at left, canisters filled with uranium byproduct waste are placed into a burial pit at at Waste Control Specialists near Andrews, Texas. The 1,340-acre site is the nation’s only dump licensed to take all three categories of low-level waste, which come from nuclear power plants, hospitals, universities and research labs, but not nuclear fuel or weapons material. (AP)

States are responsible for handling low-level radioactive waste produced within their own borders, but space for it is limited. And the three disposal sites for it in the U.S. don't take all kinds of materials within the low-level category or can only take waste from certain states. That leaves 36 states without a permanent storage place.

Controversy had surrounded the proposal in part because the dump, set to open by year's end, was conceived and built to take waste from only two states—Texas and Vermont. Opponents also note that the site is near the Ogallala aquifer that provides drinking water to several states. Texas regulators already deemed the site safe, and thus granted a license for the project. The state will receive a cut of disposal fees as well as a $136 million fund to help pay for any future liabilities, he added.

The commissioners agreed to reserve 20% of the space for Vermont. (WSJ, 1/5/2010)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Court Gives Texas Temporary Greenhouse Gas Reprieve

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit temporarily blocked EPA's plan to strip the state of GHG permitting authority. The court agreed to an emergency request by Texas officials to stay "pending further order of the court" EPA's plan to take over GHG permitting responsibility from the TCEQ.

According to the judges:
"The purpose of this administrative stay is to give the court sufficient opportunity to consider the merits of the emergency motion for a stay and should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits of that motion,"
They directed EPA to respond to Texas' request by Thursday and for Texas officials to file any reply to that response one day later. Just before Christmas, as it announced new GHG rules, EPA also said it planned to assume responsibility for Texas' greenhouse gas-related permitting January 2. Texas AG Greg Abbott and Gov. Rick Perry have been on an anti-EPA rampage lately, filed several lawsuits to block EPA action against Texas. The recent stay came a day after a New Orleans-based federal appeal court rejected Texas's request to stall the agency's plans. (Frank Maisano)