Texas Matters: Hurricane Harvey Pollution & The Future Of The Rio Grande | Texas Public Radio

Texas Matters: Hurricane Harvey Pollution & The Future Of The Rio Grande

Aug 17, 2018

Hurricane Harvey was followed by a massive release of highly toxic chemicals in the coastal area. Ilan Levin, Texas Director of the Environmental Integrity Project, joins us to discuss how better to prepare for future disasters.

Then, Texas Observer environment reporter Naveena Sadasivam (14:46) will talk about a nine-part series called "Shallow Watters," which looks at the impact of global warming on the Rio Grande River.


Hurricane Harvey Pollution

Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast Aug. 25, causing over $125 billion in damage. But this natural disaster was compounded by the manmade disaster that came afterward: a massive release of highly toxic chemicals in the coastal area.

Some petrochemical plants managed to minimize their pollution releases by shutting down as Harvey approached, while others did not. The result was 1.3 million pounds of air pollution, according to a report released this week by the Environmental Integrity Project.

The report, “Preparing for the Next Storm,” details the toxic impact of Harvey and provides recommendations on how to prepare for future weather events.

Future Of The Rio Grande

Much of the line that divides Mexico and the U.S. is the Rio Grande. And millions of people depend on it for drinking water and for farm irrigation.

But the challenges to the river are stacking, including the impact of global warming on water levels.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org or on Twitter @DavidMartinDavi