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Posts published in “Day: November 4, 2021

64th ANNUAL HIGHLANDS EVENT: Spooktacular Jamboree has chills, thrills

Participants in the 2021 Children’s Pageant categories of Little Mister and Little Miss pose for a group photo with their trophies, after the pageant.

HIGHLANDS – After taking a year off for the COVID Pandemic, the town came to life last Saturday and celebrated a combination of Halloween and the 64th Annual Jamboree.

The Theme for the Parade was “Spooktacular” and some of the units and their occupants were decorated in scary costumes.

The Jamboree was somewhat scaled down this year, but nevertheless 25 units were in the parade, including the Parade Marshal, Goose Creek’s Superintendent Randal O’Brien, who was also the Highlands Chamber’s Terry Davis Award winner this year.

Also in the parade were Highlands Fire Department fire equipment, Constable Eagleton’s cars and deputies, Miss Highlands and Jr. Miss Highlands, Pct. 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia’s staff, Chamber of Commerce lead car, First Baptist Church, GCM Dazzlers and Charms, Highlands softball and little league teams, Childrens’ Pageant contestants, Shriners, modified race cars, HJS Cheerleaders and Marching Band, a 4-H float with the Sweetheart & Beau, and even a lawnmower!

LyondellBasell Agrees to Reduce Harmful Air Pollution

LyondellBasell Plant in Channelview, with the San Jacinto River and Highlands in the distance.

Channelview plant cited for excessive flaring
HARRIS COUNTY – Three U.S. subsidiaries of Dutch chemical giant LyondellBasell Industries N.V. (Lyondell) have agreed to make upgrades and perform compliance measures estimated to cost $50 million to resolve allegations they violated the Clean Air Act and state air pollution control laws at six petrochemical manufacturing facilities located in Channelview, Corpus Christi, and LaPorte, Texas, and Clinton, Iowa. Lyondell will also pay a $3.4 million civil penalty. The settlement, announced today by the Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will eliminate thousands of tons of air pollution from flares.

According to the complaint, the companies failed to properly operate and monitor their industrial flares, which resulted in excess emissions of harmful air pollution at five facilities in Texas and one in Iowa. Lyondell’s subsidiaries regularly “oversteamed” the flares at their facilities and failed to comply with other key operating constraints to ensure the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants contained in the gases routed to the flares are effectively combusted.

The EPA identified potential environmental justice concerns at the two Channelview facilities for exposure to particulate matter (2.5 micron), ozone, toxic cancer risk, and respiratory hazard. The significant emissions reductions of VOCs, HAPs, and greenhouse gases that today’s settlement secures at the Channelview facilities serve to reduce exposure in the community to some of the same air pollutants that they are disproportionately exposed to.

“The Justice Department and EPA will continue to enforce the law against petrochemical plants that violate the Clean Air Act,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “In particular, we are committed to reducing harmful air pollution from unnecessary and improper flaring, especially near overburdened communities with environmental justice concerns.”

County Now Offers Vaccine Boosters

Houston – Harris County Public Health (HCPH) is now administering the COVID-19 vaccine booster for people in certain groups. Eligible residents include those who completed their two-dose mRNA vaccine series (Pfizer or Moderna) at least six months ago and anyone who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago. Eligible fully vaccinated residents can get a booster dose of the vaccine of their choice.

All COVID-19 vaccines provide strong protection for most people. A booster vaccine in an additional dose given after the protection provided by the original series has begun to decrease over time.

Free Entrance to Texas State Parks Nov. 14 in Honor of Veterans Day

AUSTIN— In honor of both active and retired military, daily entrance fees at Texas State Parks will be waived for all day-use visitors Sunday, Nov. 14.

“The dedication, sacrifice and service displayed by the women and men that serve in our country’s military is unparalleled and is a source of pride throughout the country,” said Rodney Franklin, Director of Texas State Parks. “Their commitment to service undoubtedly inspires us at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. To celebrate their service, Texas State Parks would like to once again invite everyone to spend the day at any one of our beautiful State Parks for free. I am glad that we are able to encourage families to get outside in honor of our veterans.”

Anyone planning a trip to a Texas State Park is encouraged to reserve their day passes in advance since some parks are expected to reach their capacity limit. Day passes can be reserved online though the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website or over the phone by calling (512) 389-8900.