Katie Watkins, Houston Public Media

Katie Watkins

Houston Public Media

Houston, TX, United States

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Past articles by Katie:

Fifth Ward residents tired of waiting for action after soil samples confirm presence of toxic dioxin near contaminated railyard

Fifth Ward residents have been fighting for years to get contamination in their neighborhood cleaned up. → Read More

“It just keeps coming:” Piles of trash continue to plague Houston’s bayous

When trash gets in the waterways, it can worsen water quality, harm plants and wildlife, and create health issues. → Read More

Severe storms in Houston: Is air pollution to blame?

Scientists from across the country are in Houston this summer to study whether tiny particles like soot and dust are making storms more intense. → Read More

8 dead, more than a dozen injured at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival

Those who died ranged in age from 14 to 27, officials said. The Houston Police Department is conducting a criminal investigation into what caused the sold-out crowd to surge toward the stage, causing a panic. → Read More

Galveston Bay researchers are fishing for data about chemical runoff — literally

Industrial facilities along Houston’s Ship Channel are increasingly at risk of flooding as climate change accelerates rising sea levels and strengthens storms. Now, local researchers are examining how pollution runoff during these flood events is impacting the bay’s ecosystem -- and how to mitigate it. → Read More

Lubrizol Says Organic Sulfur Material Caused Pungent Smell Coming From Its Deer Park Facility

The smell was reported across Greater Houston, and led to shelter-in-place orders from both La Porte and Seabrook. → Read More

Harris County Officials Trying To Track Down Smell That Has Been Plaguing Galena Park For Days

For the past two days, residents have been reporting a strong, garlic-like chemical smell in Galena Park, with many saying they've been feeling nauseous and having headaches. → Read More

FEMA Is Changing Its Flood Insurance Program. Here’s How It Will Impact Texans

Under the restructuring, some 89% of policyholders in Harris County could see their premiums go up in the first year of the program. → Read More

Houston Solar Energy Growth Surges In Recent Years, Despite Lagging Other Big Cities

In the past two years, installed solar capacity in Houston has more than quadrupled, as more homeowners are going solar. → Read More

A Key Tool In Houston’s Research On COVID-19 Variants? Your Poop

Last year, health officials in Houston started using the city’s sewage system to help detect where the coronavirus was spreading. Now, they've fine-tuned the process, zeroing-in on specific buildings and monitoring for the emergence of new variants. → Read More

Houston’s ‘Father of Environmental Justice’ On Where He Sees The Movement Headed

TSU professor Dr. Robert Bullard is often referred to as the “father of environmental justice.” We spoke with him about the origins of the movement and what he hopes to see accomplished during the Biden administration. → Read More

Harris County To Get 12,000 Doses Of The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine This Week

The doses will go to the FEMA vaccination site at NRG Park, starting Tuesday. → Read More

UPDATE: Amid Electric Grid Woes, Lina Hidalgo Warns Harris County To ‘Assume The Worst’ In Coming Days

Millions of Texans woke up still without power Tuesday, as an arctic blast continues to bring freezing temperatures across the state. → Read More

Annual Houston ‘Super Feast’ Offers Thanksgiving To Go To Prevent COVID-19 Spread

As people try to navigate the holidays during the pandemic, an annual meal program at the George R. Brown Convention Center is changing its distribution methods to fit COVID-19 safety regulations. → Read More

5 Election Takeways From The Houston Area

Democrats across Texas didn't make the gains they hoped they would, and that was the case in the Houston area as well. → Read More

With Tom Ramsey Win, Harris County Dems Fail To Gain Commissioners Court Supermajority

With a 4-1 Democratic supermajority on Commissioners Court, it becomes much harder for Republicans to oppose tax increases or budgetary moves they disagree with. → Read More

Harris County Amps Up Air, Water Quality Monitoring For Tropical Storm Beta

It's part of an initiative to bring real-time data to residents during storms and industrial disasters. → Read More

120 Goats Will Be Mowing The Grass At The Houston Arboretum

The goats are part of a pilot-program to test out a more eco-friendly solution to conservation management. → Read More

After 6-Month Pause, Arkema Criminal Trial Set To Restart At NRG

The trial stems from a fire that erupted at a Crosby chemical plant during Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Its outcome could have implications for how industry is held responsible for preparing for natural disasters. → Read More

Report: Houston’s Water Conservation Efforts Lag Other Texas Cities

Houston’s aging pipelines took the spotlight in February when a burst water main flooded part of the East Loop and left some communities with little or no water. A new report shows Houston has a ways to go when it comes to addressing water conservation. → Read More