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Stories by Mose Buchele

Thursday, October 18, 2018 by Mose Buchele

Here’s what to expect when eight floodgates open on the Mansfield Dam

It’s never happened before, but the Lower Colorado River Authority will likely open eight floodgates on the Mansfield Dam above Lake Austin by noon Thursday.So, what can you expect if you live in Austin? Flooding On Some Streets When eight…

Tuesday, October 9, 2018 by Mose Buchele

Prop J initiative exposes rift among Austin environmentalists

Environmentalists in Austin worry about methane emissions from Texas oilfields, plastic pollution clogging up creeks and rivers or nuclear waste being shipped through the state. But one thing they rarely worry about is each other – at least until recently,…

Wednesday, September 26, 2018 by Mose Buchele

Austin spent millions taking them out of the flood plain. A new map puts them back in.

A massive update to Austin’s flood plain map shows about 3,000 properties are at higher risk of flooding than previously thought. But a review of the map shows the new threat is most concentrated in some neighborhoods where the city…

Friday, September 21, 2018 by Mose Buchele

A massive change in Austin’s flood map says thousands more homes are at high risk

Around 3,000 more Austin properties will find themselves in high-risk flood-plains thanks to a new National Weather Service study called Atlas 14. Those new flood designations could impact everything from what you pay for insurance to how you build your…

Wednesday, September 19, 2018 by Mose Buchele

Zebra mussels found in Austin Water intake pipes

Divers have found large amounts of invasive zebra mussels at intake pipes that feed Austin’s water supply, opening up a costly new challenge for the city’s water utility.Austin Water had seen evidence of the small, rectangular mussels in water samples…

Thursday, August 30, 2018 by Mose Buchele

Council will try a new tactic to rid Austin of plastic bags. Asking nicely.

City Council is taking up a resolution Thursday encouraging local stores to keep honoring the city’s “bag ban.” It’s the latest response to a state Supreme Court ruling this year that found Texas cities and towns could not enforce regulations…

Tuesday, July 31, 2018 by Mose Buchele

It’s been a bad year for Texas wildfires. It will probably get worse.

Four large wildfires have broken out in Central Texas in about the last week. It’s part of a bad year for Texas fires, and climate researchers say the uptick in fires bears the fingerprints of global warming.Statewide, it started early…

Wednesday, July 11, 2018 by Mose Buchele

Will Austin stores restock single-use plastic bags now that the city’s ban is lifted?

The city of Austin says it will end a ban on free single-use plastic bags at stores and restaurants. It’s a response to a state Supreme Court ruling against a similar ban in Laredo. But repealing the ordinance, commonly known…

Thursday, May 31, 2018 by Mose Buchele

New data show lead in drinking water at five more Austin schools

Lead has been found in the drinking water of five Austin public schools, new data obtained by Environment Texas from the Austin Independent School District shows. It’s the second time in the past year the toxic metal has been discovered…

Tuesday, May 8, 2018 by Mose Buchele

Section of Shoal Creek Hike and Bike Trail suffers massive storm damage

Jessica Zarowitz was in for a surprise while walking her dog, Lady Bird, along the Shoal Creek Hike and Bike Trail on Monday: The trail that had been there for years suddenly wasn’t. Trees had fallen over it, and the…

Monday, May 7, 2018 by Mose Buchele

Are electric scooters eco-friendly? It depends on what they’re replacing

When electric scooters flooded into Austin, the companies that rent them touted their environmental benefits: “Riders were able to prevent 445,334 pounds of carbon emissions,” a press release from Bird said. The startup LimeBike estimated its scooters reduced 8,500 pounds…

Friday, April 13, 2018 by Mose Buchele

Milk sludge and garbage caves: Here’s a look at Austin’s annual environmental report

Every year, the city of Austin comes out with an environmental assessment to keep officials up to date on air quality and the condition of the city’s waterways. Beyond those big issues, you can also find some stranger stories about…

Wednesday, April 11, 2018 by Mose Buchele

Community solar farm and batteries test power of Austin’s electric grid

One of the remarkable things about the La Loma community solar farm is where it’s located. Just east of Airport Boulevard, and a short drive to downtown, it’s the type of place you’d expect to see new homes going up.“There’s…

Friday, March 23, 2018 by Mose Buchele

Council members call for Manley to be made permanent police chief after Austin bombings

Members of City Council want to formally appoint Interim Police Chief Brian Manley as the city’s permanent chief. If a resolution is approved, City Manager Spencer Cronk would need to make the final hiring decision.Shortly after the announcement yesterday of…

Friday, March 2, 2018 by Mose Buchele

New flood warning website should give Central Texans a closer look at risks

A website that warns Central Texans about road flooding is getting an overhaul this month. The designers of the new site say the changes should give visitors more detail about flooding near them.ATXfloods.com is basically a map that shows which…

Tuesday, February 6, 2018 by Mose Buchele

Austin revamps solar rebate program as White House levies new tariffs on panels

At a new 28-home development in East Austin, workers for Lighthouse Solar pull solar panels from the back of a trailer, haul them to a ladder, and then carry them 30 feet up to the recently shingled rooftops where they’ll…

Thursday, August 17, 2017 by Mose Buchele

How zebra mussels will change Austin lakes (and maybe Barton Springs) forever

The invasive zebra mussel has been moving south for years, leaving destruction in its wake. Now, it’s in Lake Travis, and it will soon make its way downstream, changing the look, feel and maybe even the taste of Austin’s lakes…

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 by Mose Buchele

City of Austin welcomes Texas AG opinion on local tree rules

In Austin, and in about 60 other Texas cities, you need to get a permit before you cut down some large or historic trees. Opponents of those tree preservation rules – including Gov. Greg Abbott – call them a violation…

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 by Mose Buchele

How climate change could impact the road ahead for infrastructure in Austin

As greenhouse gasses heat the atmosphere, we can expect more severe floods and droughts. That could be trouble for critical infrastructure like bridges and roads in many cities, including here in Central Texas.Take Southeast Austin, where a creek runs under…

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 by Mose Buchele

Tree protection programs may not have the impact on property owners many believe

When lawmakers meet in Austin later this summer for a special legislative session, Gov. Greg Abbott wants them to curb Texas towns’ ability to protect local trees.He’s framed his directive as part of a larger effort to end “micro-managing” from…

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