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Environment

New water-saving requirements take effect Dec. 1

Starting Dec. 1, eligible new developments in Austin will need to include water-conservation measures. The new requirements are in response to City Council actions and subsequent code amendments adopted in recent months. Once the new terms take effect, developments submitting…

Austin Energy's REACH program falls behind its carbon emissions goals

Austin Energy announced last week that it is significantly behind its goals for reducing carbon emissions this year, citing operational and market factors. While the utility hopes to make up some of the gap between now and the end of the…

Multifamily project with ‘sensitive environmental features’ earns water service extension

At last Wednesday’s meeting of the Environmental Commission, the Watershed Protection Department requested a water service extension for a 280-unit, multifamily project on a parcel nearly 70 acres in size, at 8921 U.S. Highway 290 West. The property was originally…

Consumer advocate angry about elimination of hearing

Paul Robbins, a longtime advocate for energy conservation and a critic of various utility providers, including Texas Gas Service, had been planning for months to testify before City Council in a Nov. 18 hearing on the company’s conservation program. So…

Austin will keep running Fayette coal power plant, missing key climate goal

Austin Energy will not retire its stake in the Fayette coal power plant next year, the publicly owned electric utility announced Monday. Shutting down its portion of the plant by 2022 had been a key part of the city’s climate…

Travis County presents local climate strategies at U.N. climate conference

Travis County Commissioner Brigid Shea is one of five elected officials selected by Local Governments for Sustainability USA, or ICLEI, to attend the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 26th Conference of the Parties, commonly known as COP26. The U.N.…

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Planning Commission denies alcohol sales at Zilker Cafe

The Planning Commission Tuesday rejected the latest request to sell alcohol at Zilker Cafe amidst concerns about safety and unruly behavior at nearby Barton Springs Pool. The decision throws into doubt beer and wine sales at the recently renovated concession…

Council puts Trail Foundation in charge of hike-and-bike trail

On Thursday, Austin City Council gave the Trail Foundation authority over the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Town Lake Metropolitan Park. Specifically, Council authorized the Trail Foundation to “negotiate and execute” both the operations and the maintenance of…

Environmental, neighborhood groups call for 'rewilding' Zilker Park

One of the city’s main environmental groups hopes to increase biodiversity and reduce the impact of visitors to Zilker Park by pushing for more natural growth of trees and other plant life in the popular central city park. The Save Our…

In the wake of Uri, solar battery sales soar

Seven months after Winter Storm Uri caused the deaths of more than 200 people around Texas and left millions without power, demand for solar power and home battery systems has skyrocketed. Austin Energy has received more requests for solar panel…

Fire season may be winding down but officials urge Austinites to stay wary of wildfire

A winter freeze and a wet spring may not conjure concerns of wildfires, but fire officials say the combination of those events and forecasted weather patterns create an environment ripe for more significant blazes, including in residential areas not normally…

Waterloo Park gets permission to sell alcohol

Vendors will now be able to serve alcohol at Waterloo Park on a day-to-day basis following a decision Tuesday by the Planning Commission to approve a conditional use alcohol sales permit.  “Waterloo Greenway looks forward to hosting many Austin community…

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