October Banner       
October 2015
In This Issue
H-GAC Accepting Solid Waste Grant Applications
CWI to Look at Galveston Bay Report Card
Save the Date for the Environmental Enforcement Roundtable
Entries Sought in Trash Bash® T-Shirt Contest
H-GAC to Release Third Quarter Regional Growth Forecast
Bacteria Implementation Group to Meet November 2
Registration Now Open for Keeping Us Moving Workshop
Focus On - PlanSource
Save the Date for 2015 Fall Planning Workshop
Be a Part of the 23rd Annual River, Lakes, Bays 'N Bayous Trash Bash®
Pedestrian-Bicyclist Counters Available
Camera-Sharing Program to Help Combat Illegal Dumping
Disaster Debris Clearance and Removal Contracts Save Time, Money
Bayou Preservation Association Symposium Set for October 9
SSPEED Center Releases 2015 Report on Houston-Galveston Area Protection System
APA Texas Conference Set for October 7-9 in Galveston
Save the Date for the 10th Annual State of the Bay Symposium January 13-14, 2016
Houston Bike Plan Update
Houston Bike Challenge Encourages Residents to Get Out and Ride
Free Data Review for Public Sector Clients
Texas Water Resources Institute Schedule Watershed Planning Short Course
City of Houston, Rice University Team Up for MetroLab Network
Smart Growth America Offers Free Technical Assistance Workshops
Schools Can Compete in Annual Recycle Bowl
Register Your Event, Find An Event on America Recycles Day
Register for CATEE Conference Set for December 1-3 in Galveston
Funding Opportunities
Community and Environmental Planning
News and Notes
Quick Links
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Meeting Information
To visit the H-GAC website for a list of all upcoming meetings click here.

To get a list of other environmentally related meetings and events in our region click here.

Disability SignIn compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, H-GAC will provide for reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities attending H-GAC functions. Requests should be received 24 hours prior to the function. Call the meeting organizer to make arrangements.

As part of our commitment to Going Green, Green WorldH-GAC's Community and Environmental Planning Department encourages meeting attendees to bring their own mug or cup to all meetings.
Banner Photo

Fall in a Houston-area neighborhood.


Photo by Kathy Janhsen

Would you like for us to consider featuring your municipality, program or regional photo on the C&E Planning Update banner? Just forward your picture, along with some information about the subject and the photographer, and you might see it in a future month's newsletter. 


Forward your picture and information to Andrea Tantillo.

H-GAC Accepting Solid Waste Grant Applications

Recycling Bin H-GAC is now accepting applications for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Solid Waste Implementation Pass-Through Grants Program.


Over the next two years, H-GAC will award $1.2 million in grant funds ($600,000 per year), but will accept applications for both years only during the current grant application period.


Applications are due at noon on Thursday, October 22.


For more information, contact Erin Livingston at 832-681-2525.

CWI to Look at Galveston Bay Report Card

Clean Waters Initiative Logo The Galveston Bay Report Card will be the focus of the next Clean Waters Initiative Workshop Tuesday, October 13, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor. 


Lisa Gonzalez, Primary Researcher for the Galveston Bay Report Card, will present the methodology used to develop the grade and report findings. 

Immediately following the presentation, a panel of representatives from H-GACGalveston Bay Foundation, and Center for Houston's Future will discuss the report findings and where Galveston Bay goes from here.

The workshop is free, but online registration is required.  For more information, contact Kathy Janhsen at 713-993-2423.

Save the Date for Environmental Enforcement Roundtable

Environmental Enforcement Roundtable The next Environmental Enforcement Roundtable will be Thursday, October 22, from 10 a.m. to noon at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.

H-GAC hosts quarterly Environmental  Enforcement Roundtables to provide a forum for discussing illegal dumping issues within the H-GAC region. The group includes peace officers, county prosecutors, city officials, and personnel from TCEQ's Region 12 office.


For more information and to be included in the invitation list for these roundtables, contact Erin Livingston at 832-681-2525.

Entries Sought in Trash Bash® T-Shirt Contest
Trash Bash T Shirt ContestStudent artists in grades 1-8 are invited to submit designs for the 2016 River, Lakes, Bays 'N Bayous Trash Bash® T-shirt contest.

For the third year, student art will decorate the front of the T-shirts worn by nearly 5,000 volunteers at the largest single-day waterway cleanup in Texas.

Entries must be postmarked by 5 p.m. on Friday, October 23, to be eligible. Winners will be notified in January 2016.

Download the T-shirt contest entry submission form and learn more about volunteering at Trash Bash®.

For information, call 281-486-9500 or email WaterResources@H-GAC.com.

H-GAC to Release Third Quarter Regional Growth Forecast

GIS Globes H-GAC will release its 2015 third quarter regional growth forecast estimates in mid-October. The 2015 Q3 release will include population and employment data down to the Transportation Analysis Zone (TAZ) and Census Tract level. The data, including maps and tables, will be available for download.


More information is available online.

Bacteria Implementation Group to Meet November 2

BIG logo The Bacteria Implementation Group (BIG) will meet Monday, November 2, from 1 to 3 p.m. at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.

During this annual fall meeting, the BIG will discuss tracking implementation in calendar year 2015.


For more information, contact Steven Johnston at 832-681-2579.

Registration Now Open for Keeping Us Moving Workshop

Keeping Us Moving Logo Online registration for Keeping Us Moving: Great Places--More Choices is now open.


This half-day workshop will be Friday, November 13, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Norris Conference Center, City Centre, 816 Town and Country Blvd., Houston. The event offers a collaborative forum around topics related to the Livable Centers and Pedestrian/Bicyclist programs at H-GAC.


The program will include a luncheon with keynote speaker Adam Thies, former Director of Planning and Development Initiatives for the City of Indianapolis.


The workshop includes two afternoon breakout sessions: Emerging Trends, highlighting technical and policy considerations in transportation planning; and Back to Basics, touching on planning, funding, and H-GAC tools.


Registration for this event is $45 and must be paid in advance.

FocusOnFocus On -  PlanSource

  Focus on PlanSource

Local governments looking for an efficient method for procuring planning services can turn to PlanSource.


PlanSource, a cooperative procurement program of H-GAC, gives local governments access to top planning firms and expedites the procurement process.  


The goal of PlanSource is to help local governments streamline the procurement process by giving users the opportunity to obtain planning services through a simple purchase order. Qualified firms have already undergone a rigorous RFP process, and contracts have been awarded through a competitive public procurement process compliant with State of Texas statutes.  


Contracts are in place with 35 planning firms with extensive national and international experience. Services offered include comprehensive planning, land use and transportation planning, parks and trails planning, development codes, economic development, urban design, visioning, and public  engagement. 


Using PlanSource is Easy

  1. Users find the service they need at www.theplansource.org.
  2. Submit a scope of work.
  3. Choose a PlanSource consultant.
  4. Receive a PlanSource order confirmation.
  5. Issue a purchase order.
  6. Move forward with the project.

(H-GAC charges an administrative fee of 2% based on the final project cost.) 


Local governments can join more than 2,300 agencies from 37 states already eligible to participate in PlanSource by executing an interlocal contract with H-GAC

Save the Date for 2015 Fall Planning Workshop


Save the date for the next Fall Planning Workshop on Friday, December 4, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor. At this half-day event, hear how communities are marketing themselves, engaging stakeholders, and quickly implementing on-the-ground projects to create a vibrant place to live, work, and play.

Each year, H-GAC presents a fall planning workshop for local governments featuring presentations on best planning practices for communities. There is no cost to attend this workshop.


Registration will open soon. More information will be available online.

Be a Part of the 23rd Annual River, Lakes, Bays 'N Bayous Trash Bash®

Trash Bash 2015 The 23rd River, Lakes, Bays 'N Bayous Trash Bash® is Saturday, April 2, 2016


Become a sponsor. Trash Bash® is made possible through generous contributions and support by sponsors. Check out Sponsorship Levels and Benefits to see how your organization can benefit as a Trash Bash® partner while making a significant positive impact on local waterways. 


Volunteers Needed. Since its inception, more than 98,000 volunteers have collected nearly 2,100 tons of trash, 1.3 tons of recyclable materials, and 9,600 tires. Learn how to volunteer to help clean up and promote a healthy Galveston Bay watershed.

Pedestrian-Bicyclist Counters Available

Walking in a cross walk H-GAC promotes walking and bicycling by helping determine the demand for pedestrian-bicyclist facilities. H-GAC has temporary pedestrian-bicyclist counters available for use by local governments to count the number of people using sidewalks and/or trails, giving implementing entities and H-GAC a better understanding of the demand and use of these facilities.


For information about borrowing the counters, contact Andrew Pompei at 832-681-2598.

Camera-Sharing Program Helps to Combat Illegal Dumping

CameraTo help track and reduce illegal dumping, H-GAC  offers surveillance cameras and accompanying accessories through a sharing program. The cameras can capture clear videos day or night, including license plates of cars traveling up to 50 mph.


Participation in the program is for local governments within the 13-county H-GAC region and involves specific agreements, including a commitment to use the cameras for solid waste purposes 100 percent of the time and report results to H-GAC.


To allow easier access to local governments, ownership of the cameras has been transferred to Fort Bend, Galveston, and Walker counties. To access the cameras, borrow them from one of those three counties. 


For more information, contact Erin Livingston at 832-681-2525.

Disaster Debris Clearance and Removal Contracts Save Time, Money

IKE Recognizing the need for communities to perform efficient and timely cleanup of debris generated by natural disasters, H-GAC has developed the Disaster Debris Clearance and Removal Services Program. By having debris hauler contracts in place prior to events, cleanup can be quicker and less costly.

Procuring reputable and experienced firms can be challenging. H-GAC has already handled many of the procurement issues for local governments. The Disaster Debris Clearance and Removal Services Program offers access to a pool of the most qualified debris removal contractors, saves time and money associated with the procurement process, and helps maximize eligible FEMA reimbursement.

To learn how to participate in the program, contact Cheryl Mergo at 713-993-4520.

As a reminder, hurricane evacuation maps, including zip zone evacuation, surge zone, and evacuation routes, can be found on the H-GAC website.

Bayou Preservation Association Symposium Set for October 9

BPA logoThe Bayou Preservation Association is hosting its 12th annual symposium on Friday, October 9. Trash, Plastic, and Automobiles: Gross Pollutants in Our Watersheds will be from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the United Way Community Resources Center, 50 Waugh Drive, Houston.

The keynote speaker for the event is Chard Pregracke, founder of Living Lands & Waters and 2013 CNN Hero of the Year for his efforts removing debris from the nation's largest rivers.


Registration is $65 per person and $35 for students and Bayou HEROns.

SSPEED Center Releases 2015 Report on Houston-Galveston Area Protection System

The Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters (SSPEED) Center at Rice University recently released its 2015 Annual Report on the Houston-Galveston Area Protection System (H-GAPS).

Past discussions of hurricane protection options for the Houston-Galveston region have focused on constructing a floodgate at the mouth of either Galveston Bay or the Houston Ship Channel. In its latest analysis of options that federal, state,and local officials might consider, Rice University experts offer a third alternative: a mid-bay gate halfway between the previously discussed sites.

APA Texas Conference Set for October 7-9 in Galveston

APA 2015 Galveston LogoThe American Planning Association (APA) Texas Chapter State Planning Conference and Short Course for Appointed and Elected Officials will be October 7-9 in Galveston.

The conference will include topic-based sessions, mobile workshops, luncheon speakers, and social events. The short course offers training for planning commissioners and elected officials.  


Planning Award recipients will be recognized during an awards luncheon on Friday, October 9. 


AICP members have the opportunity to receive up to 12.5 hours of Certification Maintenance credits during the conference.


Registration details are available online.

Save the Date for the 10th Annual State of the Bay Symposium, January 13-14, 2016

back the bay logo


The Galveston Bay Estuary Program will present the 10th Annual State of the Bay Symposium: 20 Years of Successfully Preserving Galveston Bay on January 13-14, 2016, at the Moody Gardens Hotel and Convention Center, Galveston.


More information will be available online.

Houston Bike Plan Update

Houston Bike Plan LogoThe Houston Bike Plan team reviewed public feedback and worked with the Bicycle Advisory Committee to develop a draft vision and goals for the Plan. The vision states, "By 2026, the City of Houston will be a Safer, More Accessible, Gold Level Bike-Friendly City."  The League of American Bicyclists awarded the City of Houston a bronze level Bike-Friendly City designation in 2013, and the City is setting its sights on gold level in the next 10 years.

The Plan identifies four goals based on improving safety, increasing access, increasing ridership, and developing and maintaining facilities. The City is currently developing a draft plan to achieve the visions and goals, including identifying programs, policies, and projects.   


At the end of this year, a draft plan will be available online for public review and feedback, and the Houston Bike Plan team will be asking if they got it right or if there is something they missed.

Houston Bike Challenge Encourages Residents to Get Out and Ride

Love to Ride Logo

Bike Houston, the Energy Corridor District, and Love to Ride are promoting the Houston Bike Challenge. This is a fun, free competition to encourage people to experience the joys and benefits of riding a bike.

Participating Houston businesses will compete against each other to see who can get the most staff to ride a bike during the Challenge from Sunday, November 1, through Monday, November 30.


Prizes include movie and restaurant vouchers, bike gear, and more. Registration is free.


More information, including how the competition works and how to register, is available online.

Free Data Review for Public Sector Clients

January Advisors, a Houston-based consulting firm, is offering a 30-minute free data review for public sector clients.

During this review, January Advisors will look at one dataset and brainstorm ways to communicate/visualize/interact with it.

Texas Water Resources Institute Schedules Watershed Planning Short Course

Texas Water Resources Institute Logo

The Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI) Watershed Planning Short Course will be October 19-22 at the Mayan Dude Ranch, Bandera, Texas. This course provides training and promotes sustainable proactive approaches to managing water quality throughout the state. This weeklong course provides participants with guidance on stakeholder coordination, education, and outreach; meeting the EPA's nine key elements of a watershed protection plan; data collection and analysis; and the tools available for plan development. This information is presented through lectures and case studies.


The cost of the course is $400. The Mayan is all-inclusive and will charge the special rate of $122/night that includes room and board (three meals and snacks). Mention the TWRI Watershed training when making room reservations.

City of Houston, Rice University Team Up for MetroLab Network

The Smart Cities Initiative will invest more than $160 million in federal research and leverage more than 25 new technology collaborations to help local communities tackle key challenges such as reducing traffic congestion, fighting crime, fostering economic growth, managing the effects of a changing climate, and improving delivery of city services.

One of the programs focuses on the MetroLab Network, a city/university collaboration where university expertise can be leveraged to help address city challenges. Through a $1 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation, 60 projects will be undertaken this year, including the City of  Houston with Rice University.

Smart Growth America Offers Free Technical Assistance Workshops

Smart Growth America Logo

Smart Growth America's technical assistance workshops can help communities interested in creating vibrant, walkable neighborhoods. Each year Smart Growth America offers a limited number of technical assistance workshops at no charge, and applications are now open for the 2016 workshops.

All applications are due by Wednesday, October 21. More information about the program and the application process is available online.

Schools Can Compete in Annual Recycle Bowl

Recycle Bowl Logo Keep America Beautiful presents Recycle Bowl, a national K-12 competition between schools to invigorate student participation in recycling efforts. 


The competition runs from October 20 to November 15, but registration is open now. There are both competitive and non-competitive divisions for this program.

Register Your Event, Find An Event on America Recycles Day

For almost two decades, communities have come together on November 15 to celebrate America Recycles Day


Do you have plans for hosting a special event on that day? Are you looking for an event to participate in?

Register your event or check out an interactive map of events scheduled around the country. More events will be posted as they are submitted.

Register for CATEE Conference Set for December 1-3 in Galveston
CATEE Banner - 2015
Registration continues for the Clean Air Through Energy Efficiency (CATEE) 2015 Conference, December 1-3, at the Hotel Galvez & Spa in Galveston. 

CATEE 2015 is a premier educational conference and energy-related business expo aimed at local governments, business and civic leaders, and the development community. Its purpose is to facilitate implementation of energy efficiency in the built environment by sharing effective policies, new technologies, best practices, and local successes. 

For more information, contact Tammy Persky at 979-458-3437.
fundingFunding Opportunities
Tree with $ Money EPA Training and Technical Assistance to Small Public Water Systems
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is taking applications to provide training and technical assistance to improve water quality and enable small public water systems to provide safe drinking water. The deadline to apply is Monday, October 26.

Urban Waters Small Grants Program
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Urban Waters Small Grants Program is seeking proposals for projects that will advance EPA's water quality and environmental justice goals. Proposed projects will address urban runoff pollution through diverse partnerships that produce multiple community benefits, with emphasis on underserved communities. The proposed project activities must take place entirely within one of the Eligible Geographic Areas. The deadline to apply is Friday, November 20. 

TCEQ Clean School Bus Program Grants
The TCEQ's Texas Clean School Bus Program is accepting grant applications from schools to retrofit eligible diesel-powered school buses with emissions-reduction technology. This grant opportunity is open to all public and charter schools in Texas that operate one or more diesel-powered school buses. While a school district may apply for any amount of funding, the TCEQ has limited funds and will review applications on a first-come, first-served basis. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, December 2.

FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program
The president declared a major disaster for the State of Texas following the dangerous flooding earlier this year. Funding for FEMA-4223-DR is now available statewide through the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. Funding priority will be given to projects including flood control, demolition, and individual and community safe rooms. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, December 15.

Recreational Trail Grants
Texas Parks and Wildlife is accepting applications for the Recreational Trail Program. This is a reimbursable grant program to cover up to 80 percent of project cost with a maximum of $200,000 for non-motorized trail grants and $400,000 for motorized off-highway vehicle grants. Funds can be spent on both motorized and non-motorized recreational trail projects that are open and accessible to the general public, such as the construction of new recreational trails, improving existing trails, to developing trailheads or trailside facilities, and acquiring trail corridors. The deadline to apply is Monday, February 1, 2016.

TCEQ Light-Duty Purchase or Lease Incentive Program
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is offering up to $7.7 million in incentives toward the purchase or lease of eligible new vehicles powered by compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied petroleum gas (propane), or electric drives. Visit the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) website for more information, including deadlines.

Advocacy Advance Rapid Response Grants
Advocacy Advance Rapid Response Grants help state and local organizations take advantage of unexpected opportunities to win, increase, or preserve funding for biking and walking. Detailed guidelines, criteria, and application requirements are available onlineRapid Response Grant applications will be accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year.
All content, including links to other websites, is for informational purposes only. Users of this content are responsible for checking its accuracy, currency, and suitability.

If you know of a funding opportunity, forward it to Andrea Tantillo.
Community and Environmental Planning

Loan Programs 

H-GAC's Community and Environmental Planning Department currently manages three loan programs------the Small Business Administration 504 Loan Program, the Business Loan Fund, and the Government Loan Fund.


HGALDCThe SBA 504 Loan Program provides long-term business expansion financing for real estate, construction and equipment purchases.Gulf Coast Economic Developmetn District Logo 


The Business Loan Fund assists small businesses in the Houston-Galveston region.

The Government Loan Fund assists local governments and school districts in the Houston-Galveston region. 

Anyone interested in applying for a loan or getting more information should contact loans@h-gac.com.


Mapping Applications and GIS Data

GIS GlobesIf you are looking for maps, mapping applications, or GIS data related to the H-GAC Community and Environmental Planning Department, visit www.h-gac.com/go/cegis to see the latest information, including Census, Regional Forecast, and more. Map Book provides maps in several formats for printing. Mobile applications are available.



find us on facebookH-GAC has a Facebook page where information about current and upcoming events is posted. Please visit and like H-GAC's page. While there, visit other H-GAC pages on Facebook, including Recycling, Trash Bash, Bacteria Implementation Group (BIG), and Cedar Bayou Watershed Partnership.



Twitter LogoFind the latest information about activities around the region at H-GAC's Twitter Feed @hgaccog. H-GAC's water resources department program also offers Twitter updates on water quality issues in the region, including fish consumption advisories @HGACwater.

News and Notes

Andrea Tantillo, Communications Specialist
Houston-Galveston Area Council
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