State Fair says no to selfie sticks

State officials on Tuesday announced that visitors will not be allowed to have the device, which attaches to most smartphones and cameras and allows users to photograph themselves at a variety of angles.

The extended arm can be obtrusive in crowded a…

State Fair says no to selfie sticks

State officials on Tuesday announced that visitors will not be allowed to have the device, which attaches to most smartphones and cameras and allows users to photograph themselves at a variety of angles.

The extended arm can be obtrusive in crowded a…

Billboard highlights captive journalist’s plight

Marc and Debra Tice stood under a towering billboard by a highway in Humble on Wednesday morning and made the same plea they have made for the last three years: help find our son. Their son, Austin Tice, was kidnapped in Syria in August 2012. The Hous…

Oil & Gas Drilling Allowed On Wetlands Mitigation Banks In Texas

Greens Bayou Wetlands Mitigation Bank makes up 1,400 acres of protected marshland and hardwood forest that lies just inside Houston’s beltway.
Two decades ago, this land was a mix of cattle pasture, some clumps of trees and swamp. Harris County acquired the land in the early 90s, and worked with the Army Corps of Engineers to designate it as a “mitigation bank.”
It works like this: the federal government says wetlands are so important to our environment that there can be no net loss. So when developers or agencies build something on a wetland, they can purchase credits from a wetlands mitigation bank to offset the loss. The bank then preserves the wetlands in perpetuity.
The program is run by the Army Corps of Engineers. Part of the process of establishing a bank involves a careful study of the land: not just what’s on it, but also, what lies beneath – like oil or gas.
Jonathan Holley is with the Harris County Flood Control District, the agency that oversees Greens WetBank.
“On this particular mitigation bank, there is no active oil and gas exploration and there’s no mineral rights that would lead to future oil and gas exploration,” Holley said.
But by reviewing maps and state oil and gas data, the Chronicle found six of 49 Texas mitigation banks with producing natural gas or oil wells.

Oil & Gas Drilling Allowed On Wetlands Mitigation Banks In Texas

Greens Bayou Wetlands Mitigation Bank makes up 1,400 acres of protected marshland and hardwood forest that lies just inside Houston’s beltway.
Two decades ago, this land was a mix of cattle pasture, some clumps of trees and swamp. Harris County acquired the land in the early 90s, and worked with the Army Corps of Engineers to designate it as a “mitigation bank.”
It works like this: the federal government says wetlands are so important to our environment that there can be no net loss. So when developers or agencies build something on a wetland, they can purchase credits from a wetlands mitigation bank to offset the loss. The bank then preserves the wetlands in perpetuity.
The program is run by the Army Corps of Engineers. Part of the process of establishing a bank involves a careful study of the land: not just what’s on it, but also, what lies beneath – like oil or gas.
Jonathan Holley is with the Harris County Flood Control District, the agency that oversees Greens WetBank.
“On this particular mitigation bank, there is no active oil and gas exploration and there’s no mineral rights that would lead to future oil and gas exploration,” Holley said.
But by reviewing maps and state oil and gas data, the Chronicle found six of 49 Texas mitigation banks with producing natural gas or oil wells.