Texas Conducts Large-Scale Hurricane Exercise

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Residents Reminded to Prepare for Hurricane Season Now

AUSTIN –The Texas Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Texas Division of Emergency Management today hosted representatives from approximately 30 agencies at the Texas State Operations Center in Austin for a large-scale hurricane exercise, dubbed Hurricane Charlie. The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), along with the state agencies and partner organizations with the Texas Emergency Management Council, are conducting the week-long hurricane exercise with various local officials and federal partners to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season, which began June 1 and continues through November 30. DPS is also reminding Texans to make plans now to protect themselves and their families before a storm develops.

„This week, our local, state and federal emergency management leaders are conducting a large-scale hurricane exercise to bolster our preparedness efforts for this year’s hurricane season,” said TDEM Chief Nim Kidd. „Early preparation is critical to saving lives when a hurricane or severe weather occurs, so we are asking the public to do just that – get ready now.”

The Hurricane Charlie exercise enables local, state, federal and private sector emergency management partners to practice evacuation, sheltering and continuity of operations plans. The mock Category 3 hurricane will create a 20-foot storm surge and take aim at the Texas coast, ultimately making landfall just west of Galveston – and accordingly, numerous local agencies in the area are also participating in this exercise.

All Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas are subject to hurricanes or tropical storms. It is possible for a storm to severely impact our state, even prior to or without making direct landfall in Texas. Additionally, the rain bands associated with a tropical system have an extremely wide reach, so monitoring changing weather conditions during hurricane season is critically important for all Texans.

Here are several measures residents can take now to prepare for potential storms:

  • Assemble an emergency kit that includes essential documents, supplies and provisions.
  • Review hurricane evacuation maps, and select a route for you and your family.
  • Plan how all family members and pets will evacuate safely.
  • Consider any special needs for individuals with disabilities or the elderly.
  • Stay informed about changing weather conditions in and around your area.

If you or someone you know might need assistance during a disaster, please register for the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry (STEAR), a free registry that provides local emergency planners and responders with additional information about needs in their communities. To register, contact 2-1-1 Texas, the state’s free 24-hour helpline. No matter where you live in Texas, you can dial 2-1-1 or (877) 541-7905 for community resources.

Residents are encouraged to review their property’s flood risk and current insurance coverage, and to consider whether a separate flood policy should be part of their home protection plan. For more information, visit http://www.tdi.texas.gov/takefive/flood-insurance.html.

For more information about hurricanes and how to prepare for the 2017 hurricane season, visit www.dps.texas.gov/dem/ThreatAwareness/hurricaneAwareness.htm and www.texasprepares.org.

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Texas Conducts Large-Scale Hurricane Exercise

Texas Department of Public Safety's picture

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Residents Reminded to Prepare for Hurricane Season Now

AUSTIN –The Texas Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Texas Division of Emergency Management today hosted representatives from approximately 30 agencies at the Texas State Operations Center in Austin for a large-scale hurricane exercise, dubbed Hurricane Charlie. The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), along with the state agencies and partner organizations with the Texas Emergency Management Council, are conducting the week-long hurricane exercise with various local officials and federal partners to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season, which began June 1 and continues through November 30. DPS is also reminding Texans to make plans now to protect themselves and their families before a storm develops.

„This week, our local, state and federal emergency management leaders are conducting a large-scale hurricane exercise to bolster our preparedness efforts for this year’s hurricane season,” said TDEM Chief Nim Kidd. „Early preparation is critical to saving lives when a hurricane or severe weather occurs, so we are asking the public to do just that – get ready now.”

The Hurricane Charlie exercise enables local, state, federal and private sector emergency management partners to practice evacuation, sheltering and continuity of operations plans. The mock Category 3 hurricane will create a 20-foot storm surge and take aim at the Texas coast, ultimately making landfall just west of Galveston – and accordingly, numerous local agencies in the area are also participating in this exercise.

All Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas are subject to hurricanes or tropical storms. It is possible for a storm to severely impact our state, even prior to or without making direct landfall in Texas. Additionally, the rain bands associated with a tropical system have an extremely wide reach, so monitoring changing weather conditions during hurricane season is critically important for all Texans.

Here are several measures residents can take now to prepare for potential storms:

  • Assemble an emergency kit that includes essential documents, supplies and provisions.
  • Review hurricane evacuation maps, and select a route for you and your family.
  • Plan how all family members and pets will evacuate safely.
  • Consider any special needs for individuals with disabilities or the elderly.
  • Stay informed about changing weather conditions in and around your area.

If you or someone you know might need assistance during a disaster, please register for the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry (STEAR), a free registry that provides local emergency planners and responders with additional information about needs in their communities. To register, contact 2-1-1 Texas, the state’s free 24-hour helpline. No matter where you live in Texas, you can dial 2-1-1 or (877) 541-7905 for community resources.

Residents are encouraged to review their property’s flood risk and current insurance coverage, and to consider whether a separate flood policy should be part of their home protection plan. For more information, visit http://www.tdi.texas.gov/takefive/flood-insurance.html.

For more information about hurricanes and how to prepare for the 2017 hurricane season, visit www.dps.texas.gov/dem/ThreatAwareness/hurricaneAwareness.htm and www.texasprepares.org.

Copy this html code to your website/blog to embed this press release.

Texas Conducts Large-Scale Hurricane Exercise

Texas Department of Public Safety's picture

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Residents Reminded to Prepare for Hurricane Season Now

AUSTIN –The Texas Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Texas Division of Emergency Management today hosted representatives from approximately 30 agencies at the Texas State Operations Center in Austin for a large-scale hurricane exercise, dubbed Hurricane Charlie. The Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM), along with the state agencies and partner organizations with the Texas Emergency Management Council, are conducting the week-long hurricane exercise with various local officials and federal partners to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season, which began June 1 and continues through November 30. DPS is also reminding Texans to make plans now to protect themselves and their families before a storm develops.

„This week, our local, state and federal emergency management leaders are conducting a large-scale hurricane exercise to bolster our preparedness efforts for this year’s hurricane season,” said TDEM Chief Nim Kidd. „Early preparation is critical to saving lives when a hurricane or severe weather occurs, so we are asking the public to do just that – get ready now.”

The Hurricane Charlie exercise enables local, state, federal and private sector emergency management partners to practice evacuation, sheltering and continuity of operations plans. The mock Category 3 hurricane will create a 20-foot storm surge and take aim at the Texas coast, ultimately making landfall just west of Galveston – and accordingly, numerous local agencies in the area are also participating in this exercise.

All Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas are subject to hurricanes or tropical storms. It is possible for a storm to severely impact our state, even prior to or without making direct landfall in Texas. Additionally, the rain bands associated with a tropical system have an extremely wide reach, so monitoring changing weather conditions during hurricane season is critically important for all Texans.

Here are several measures residents can take now to prepare for potential storms:

  • Assemble an emergency kit that includes essential documents, supplies and provisions.
  • Review hurricane evacuation maps, and select a route for you and your family.
  • Plan how all family members and pets will evacuate safely.
  • Consider any special needs for individuals with disabilities or the elderly.
  • Stay informed about changing weather conditions in and around your area.

If you or someone you know might need assistance during a disaster, please register for the State of Texas Emergency Assistance Registry (STEAR), a free registry that provides local emergency planners and responders with additional information about needs in their communities. To register, contact 2-1-1 Texas, the state’s free 24-hour helpline. No matter where you live in Texas, you can dial 2-1-1 or (877) 541-7905 for community resources.

Residents are encouraged to review their property’s flood risk and current insurance coverage, and to consider whether a separate flood policy should be part of their home protection plan. For more information, visit http://www.tdi.texas.gov/takefive/flood-insurance.html.

For more information about hurricanes and how to prepare for the 2017 hurricane season, visit www.dps.texas.gov/dem/ThreatAwareness/hurricaneAwareness.htm and www.texasprepares.org.

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CBP Finds Fruit, Vegetable Medley In Luggage

HOUSTON — U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists working at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport discovered a medley of prohibited agriculture items over a two-day period.

This medley of fruits and vegetables are prohibited
from entering the U.S. because they are potential
carriers of harmful pests and plant diseases.

The first discovery occurred Tuesday when a couple from Vietnam was selected for a baggage exam.

During the exam, CBP agriculture specialists discovered 49 pounds of prohibited agriculture items packed inside the couple’s luggage. The items included a variety of fruits, vegetables, plant cuttings and seeds. Some of the items contained an unknown type of plant disease and insect eggs that were sent to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for further identification.

These animal bladders are from an un-
known species.

The second discovery occurred Wednesday when two different agriculture K9 teams alerted to a passenger’s luggage. The passenger was asked whether she had any agriculture items. After the passenger provided a negative declaration, CBP agriculture specialists conducted a baggage examination and found mangoes, durian, nursery stock, three different types of propagative seeds, pork and four unknown animal bladders.

CBP agriculture specialists work tirelessly to protect American agriculture from the spread of harmful pests and plant disease,” said CBP Port Director Charles G. Perez. “These interceptions are indicative of the work they do day in and day out.”

In both instances, the prohibited items were seized and then destroyed using steam sterilization. U.S. Fish and Wildlife detained the animal bladders for species identification.

Travelers are encouraged to visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service or CBP’s websites for information about bringing food and agriculture items into the United States.

On a typical day in 2016, CBP agriculture specialists discovered 4638 materials that required quarantine or destruction including plant, meat, animal byproduct and soil.

Woody Biomass Boiler Market Capacity, Production, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin, Industry Analysis & Forecast by 2022

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Queensland Governments commitment to gas is smart policy

The natural gas industry has welcomed the Queensland Government’s commitment to energy policy settings that recognise the important role that natural gas has and will continue to play in the future.

APPEA Queensland Director Rhys Turner said the Queensland Government’s Powering Queensland Plan, which outlines plans to restart Stanwell Corporation’s 385 megawatt (MW) Swanbank E gas-fired power station, clearly shows the state’s commitment to gas-fired generation.

Australia has an abundant supply of accessible natural gas; it is a cleaner and proven alternative to other energy generation methods; it is therefore only right that gas should play a key role in our energy mix,” Mr Turner said.

Mr Turner said that while Queensland embraced gas generation and gas exploration and production, which themselves provide a significant benefit to the broader community, other states continues to drag the chain.

“Governments in the south-eastern states continue to have their heads in the sand when it comes to looking at new ways to increase the country’s gas supply,” Mr Turner said.

“They still prevent local projects yet expect the industry to supply their markets.

“In contrast to this, in Queensland we recently saw Arrow Energy announce it would undertake front-end engineering design work for a proposed major expansion of its Tipton gas project in the Surat Basin, a project that may involve up to 90 wells in the initial phase and up to another 180 wells over the next 25 years.

“The Arrow initiative – coupled with the recent announcement by QGC, a Shell joint venture, that it will soon start drilling up to 161 additional wells as part of Project Ruby – shows the industry in Queensland is getting on with the job, while some other states dither.”

However, while welcoming the Queensland Government’s commitment to gas, Mr Turner warned that any increase in the state’s regulatory costs could derail future projects, and work directly against the Government’s stated intention of bringing more gas to market.

“The industry welcomes the consultation on the Queensland Government’s Gas Action Plan, but any increase in the cost of production, particularly regulatory costs, compromises the industry’s ability to help the government meet this policy goal,” Mr Turner said.

Samsung’s Commitment to the Environment Around the World

Protecting the environment has never been as important to safeguarding our future, and the World Environment Day on June 5 is a day when citizens around the world celebrate the preservation of the earth that we all share. For its part, Samsung Electronics has been making concerted efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its array of world-class products which we shared about here. In addition, Samsung employees around the world are also engaged in various environmental initiatives, and in celebration of World Environment day, we provide a snapshot in this article:

Switzerland: Nature Heroes

The Jura National Park is an area of beauty in Switzerland and maintains a diversity of native plant and animals. Despite its beauty, the local farmers struggle to find an affordable workforce, which has implications on local wildlife as well as affecting the local economy. Samsung Electronics in Switzerland leant a hand as part of the Nature Heroes campaign. Volunteers ditched their usual workplace for a day to help in hedge-cutting, apple-picking and cider-making, making a large impact in a short space of time.

Taiwan: Employees and customers dig in for a greener land

In Taiwan, a hundred Samsung employees and prestige customers travelled to the Sanshing township where they volunteered in the local rice fields. The group planted seeds that come harvest time will produce 2,398 kilograms of organic, pesticide-free rice. It’s all part of an environmentally friendly farming model.

Russia: Eco Day 

Some 250 volunteers descended on the picturesque Terletskiy Park in Moscow as part of Samsung Russia’s activities. During a special Eco Day, they cleared 1.8 tons of garbage, made and installed 31 bird boxes, and set 250 cornelian cherry bushes forming a long beautiful bush alley in the park. All this was accompanied by educational activities and team competitions.

Chile: Recycling

Samsung Electronics Chile operated recycling initiatives including the Trade in Your Best Return campaign. As part of this, mobile phones that were brought to Samsung stores for recycling were donated to the Samsung Apps Club, which teaches young people how to code. Consumers are also encouraged to recycle their phones using the Galaxy Studio Phone Recycling program, in which they also have a chance to win a Samsung Galaxy S8.

Argentina: Creating a vegetable garden

A team of Samsung volunteers in Argentina worked together to create a vegetable garden by planting and transplanting seasonal seedlings at Cottolengo Don Orione, a public residence for people with disabilities. The project, carried out in partnership with Huerta Niño Foundation and the National Institute of Agriculture Technology, serves a dual purpose. Not only does it function as a sustainable food source, it also works for therapeutic purposes for the residents of Cottolengo.

Kenya: Planting trees

Samsung Electronics East Africa partnered with the Friends of Karura Forest and the Kenya Forest Service to plant 10,000 trees in Nairobi to help boost forest coverage in Nairobi and improve the environmental sustainability of the area.

UK: Beach cleaning day

Samsung Electronics UK organized a clean-up of their own as part of the Marine Conservation Society’s “Great British Beach Clean.” Working with both the Marine Conservation Society and National Trust, Samsung volunteers were among the hundreds who descended on West Wittering beach on the English south coast. To highlight the issue of ocean plastic that was flagged by the Marine Society, the group cleared much of the dangerous material from the 100m coastline stretch.

US: Gardening with Grow NYC

Samsung Electronics America offices nationwide closed for the day so that all employees could participate in the bi-annual Day of Service. Nearly 4,000 employees donated 16,000 hours of service to health, education and sustainability organizations.

Canada: Environmental volunteer projects

Samsung conducted a number of projects in Canada over the past year. This includes the work it carried out as part of Samsung Canada’s Day of Giving. The company partnered with YMCA Cedar Glen to help restore a local camp for young people. Volunteers chipped in to relocate trees, removing invasive plant species, as well as perform maintenance on hiking trails and farms.

Germany: Cleaning day

An autumn cleaning day displayed the enthusiasm for the environment in Germany. Last October, a group of Samsung volunteers came together to organize a day of collecting rubbish and raising awareness of environmental issues. Such was the success of the activity in the town of Schwalbach that the environment minister in the state of Hessen recognized the effort. Dr. Beatrix Tappeser invited the volunteers to a reception in the Schwalbach market square to thank them.

Study: Urban Air Pollution Varies from Block to Block

(June 5, 2017) An article published today in the journal Environmental Science and Technology demonstrates how a new approach to measuring air quality reveals pollution patterns at far greater detail than ever before. This scalable method could address major air quality monitoring gaps worldwide.

Researchers from Environmental Defense Fund and the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin joined forces with Google Earth Outreach and deployed Google Street View mapping cars equipped by Aclima to measure and chart air pollution in Oakland, CA, with unprecedented, highly localized precision, providing a detailed picture of where people are at greatest risk of breathing unhealthy air at 100-feet intervals.

The cars made three million unique measurements while driving more than 14,000 miles, creating one of the largest, most spatially precise datasets of mobile air pollution measurements ever assembled.

EDF and partners revealed the data in new, interactive maps that allow regulators and residents alike to see where elevated concentrations of dangerous air pollutants including black carbon, nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide are located in certain sections of West and East Oakland. Studies have linked exposure to higher concentrations of these contaminants, typically a result of vehicle emissions, with heart disease, stroke and asthma.

Air pollution is largely an invisible threat, one that poses especially disproportionate risks in lower-income areas like West Oakland. This new method allows us to visualize the data so communities and policymakers can identify the sources of harmful pollution and take action to improve safety and health,” Steven Hamburg, EDF Chief Scientist, said.

Conventional assessments of urban pollution rely on data from a relative handful of fixed air quality monitors, emission inventories and computer models to characterize air pollution in a city. In Oakland, an area of 78-square miles, three stationary, regulatory-grade air quality monitors measure urban background pollution levels. Data from these monitors combined with modeling help local and regional policy makers get a general sense of air quality and potential health risks. However, uncertainties remain about the variation in pollution levels in the areas between the monitors, making it difficult to know precisely where dirty air comes from or who is suffering the most.

“The new mobile technology allows us to measure air pollution levels where people actually breathe the air—at street level,” said Joshua Apte, assistant professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering at UT Austin, and lead author of the study. “By allowing us to understand how air pollution varies between and even within city blocks, this technique will help policymakers and the public make smarter choices about how to reduce pollution and improve public health.”

This project is the latest phase of EDF’s partnership with Google, who have been working together since 2012 to map and measure a growing list of health and environmental risks, including hidden methane leaks from local natural gas systems.

“Google likes big challenges,” said Karin Tuxen-Bettman, Program Manager for Google Earth Outreach and lead for the air quality project at Google, “the mapping of air pollution, raising awareness of the problem, and enabling action to solve it — that’s a big challenge and we’re excited to play a part.”

For this study, EDF used two Google Street View mapping cars deployed by Aclima with a measurement system of fast-response air quality instrumentation. Engineers from UT Austin designed daily driving plans to ensure they captured data from each neighborhood at various times of the day, week and year. The cars drove about 435 miles of roadways an average of 30 times between May 2015 and May 2016.

In addition to technical partners, EDF collaborated with West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project (WOEIP), a community-based environmental justice organization in West Oakland, which served as a liaison and expert in the field of citizen science and applications of air quality data in Oakland.

“We know that it really matters where you live,” said Brian Beveridge, co-director of WOEIP. “This revolution in data gathering technology is proving what our neighbors have known for generations; it’s unhealthy to live near to freeways, truck routes, factories and ports.  The time is long overdue for policy makers to protect residents from industrial pollution.”

“Our findings validated community concerns about poor air quality near the port and major freeways,” Hamburg said. “But it’s also shocking to see how close homes and playgrounds have been built—and are continuing to be placed—near major pollution sources. This data can inform decisions about zoning and planning and result in concrete health benefits for communities.”

This work builds the foundational science that can be used in mapping cities around the world. 

EDF’s Air Quality Mapping project is a collaborative effort that includes: Environmental Defense Fund, whichplanned the project and convened the partners; Google Earth Outreach, whichprovided Street View vehicles and mapping technology; Aclima, which outfitted the cars with its platform to deliver dnvironmental intelligence through sensor networks; The University of Texas at Austin, which collaborated with EDF on the scientific elements of the study and developed the analytical approach to produce the map data; West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project (WOEIP) which provided the perspective of residents who live with diesel pollution; and Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), which provided data on regulatory-grade monitors, co-location services, and air quality expertise.

Common sense wins over coal – Australian taxpayer loan to South African coal mine on ice

Following pressure from Australian civil society organisations, Australia’s export credit agency, Efic, has shelved plans to lend Australian taxpayers’ money to the Boikarabelo coal project in Limpopo Province, South Africa.

While Efic has not ruled out future funding of this project and other overseas coal mines, Senate Estimates were told last week that Efic does not have ‘sufficient material to conduct due diligence’ and is not currently conducting any work on the Boikarabelo project.

The proposal for Australian funding of a coal project that would contribute to climate change and pose a significant risk to the human rights of  affected local communities, has been strongly opposed by civil society groups Jubilee Australia, Action Aid and The Australia Institute.

“Given Efic’s disastrous record of funding projects with major environmental and social impacts, it is a relief to hear that they are not currently progressing this loan application,” said Luke Fletcher, Director of Jubilee Australia.

“Efic have supported projects such as Rio Tinto’s mine on Bougainville that caused the civil war there, BHP’s Ok Tedi mine which is synonymous with environmental disaster and most recently the PNG LNG project which is exacerbating civil conflict in the PNG Southern Highlands. Our fear is that Boikarabelo will be the next Efic disaster.”

Michelle Higelin, ActionAid’s Interim Executive Director said “This is a victory for the women of the Limpopo province in South Africa who bravely took on the mining company Resgen to demand their rights be respected.  They will be thrilled that EFIC has ruled out funding the Boikarabelo coal mine. The mine had already begun causing hardship for their community.

“The Boikarabelo case has exposed Efic’s lack of accountability and transparency. It is time for the Government to introduce standards, criteria and transparency so taxpayer money is being wisely invested.”

Australia Institute Research Director Rod Campbell said “the Australian coal industry should join with civil society in celebrating Efic’s decision. The economic madness of funding a coal mine that competes with our own potential exports to India has been averted temporarily.”

“Efic and the Australian Government need to rule out any further taxpayer support for this project and any other new coal mines.”

Common sense wins over coal – Australian taxpayer loan to South African coal mine on ice

Following pressure from Australian civil society organisations, Australia’s export credit agency, Efic, has shelved plans to lend Australian taxpayers’ money to the Boikarabelo coal project in Limpopo Province, South Africa.

While Efic has not ruled out future funding of this project and other overseas coal mines, Senate Estimates were told last week that Efic does not have ‘sufficient material to conduct due diligence’ and is not currently conducting any work on the Boikarabelo project.

The proposal for Australian funding of a coal project that would contribute to climate change and pose a significant risk to the human rights of  affected local communities, has been strongly opposed by civil society groups Jubilee Australia, Action Aid and The Australia Institute.

“Given Efic’s disastrous record of funding projects with major environmental and social impacts, it is a relief to hear that they are not currently progressing this loan application,” said Luke Fletcher, Director of Jubilee Australia.

“Efic have supported projects such as Rio Tinto’s mine on Bougainville that caused the civil war there, BHP’s Ok Tedi mine which is synonymous with environmental disaster and most recently the PNG LNG project which is exacerbating civil conflict in the PNG Southern Highlands. Our fear is that Boikarabelo will be the next Efic disaster.”

Michelle Higelin, ActionAid’s Interim Executive Director said “This is a victory for the women of the Limpopo province in South Africa who bravely took on the mining company Resgen to demand their rights be respected.  They will be thrilled that EFIC has ruled out funding the Boikarabelo coal mine. The mine had already begun causing hardship for their community.

“The Boikarabelo case has exposed Efic’s lack of accountability and transparency. It is time for the Government to introduce standards, criteria and transparency so taxpayer money is being wisely invested.”

Australia Institute Research Director Rod Campbell said “the Australian coal industry should join with civil society in celebrating Efic’s decision. The economic madness of funding a coal mine that competes with our own potential exports to India has been averted temporarily.”

“Efic and the Australian Government need to rule out any further taxpayer support for this project and any other new coal mines.”