We operate in a service territory with a rich diversity of habitats that support an abundance of wildlife, including 300 species of birds.
& Land Use
CenterPoint Energy’s biodiversity, land use, preservation and conservation initiatives include habitat restoration projects, endangered species conservation activities, and native wildlife rescue and release efforts.
- Assesses proposed locations for electric transmission facilities and pipeline routes and identifies sensitive areas, including protected species and habitats,
- Avoids environmentally or culturally sensitive areas when practical and when alternative locations or routes are feasible,
- Minimizes project footprints and ecological impacts to facilities,
- Mitigates impacts through restoration and careful vegetation management of pipeline rights-of-way, avoiding active bird nests during the breeding season,
- Monitors and works collaboratively with regulatory agencies in the management of affected listed species and ecosystems, and
- Partners with federal and state regulatory agencies and nonprofit conservation groups to support biodiversity conservation efforts beyond our operational footprint.
Our Electric Operations’ facilities and construction activities typically consist of narrow linear power lines and substations, along with service centers with relatively small footprints.
Our Natural Gas Operations business reviews projects during the design phase using an Environmental Review Worksheet to assess potential impacts to air, water and land. Based on the review, it may be necessary to survey habitats for the presence or absence of species that are threatened, protected or endangered. In these cases, we coordinate with state and federal agencies prior to initiating construction.
AVIAN PROTECTION PROGRAM AND TRAINING
CenterPoint Energy’s Environmental department maintains a robust avian protection program, taking great care to prevent harm to birds. We develop and implement appropriate avian protection management guidelines, such as conducting avian risk assessments that include mitigation measures, employing avian-friendly infrastructure design and upgrades, and providing alternate nesting structures.
Led by our Environmental Operations Manager, our interdepartmental avian protection team works to identify and address avian concerns in a comprehensive, coordinated and effective manner. The team comprises managers and professionals representing businesses and functions across the company.
Avian training is delivered regularly to management and staff of relevant departments, including Operations, Electric Line Construction, and Vegetation Management staff and contractors. When COVID-19 restrictions limited in-person avian training, our Environmental and Learning and Organizational Development departments collaborated to develop online training for Houston and Indiana electric territories. Environmental training was also provided to line construction contractors prior to construction of the 51-mile Bailey to Jones Creek transmission project, providing guidance on compliance with Clean Water Act and stormwater permits, avoiding significant impacts to wildlife, spill prevention and waste material management.
Supporting Avian Community Associations
- Galveston Bay Foundation: Board service, financial contributions and volunteerism
- Native Prairies Association of Texas: Financial contributions and conservation project collaboration
- Houston Audubon: Financial contributions, education and outreach
- The Nature Conservancy of Texas: Financial contributions and collaboration on conservation
- Gulf Coast Bird Observatory: Board service, financial contributions and volunteerism
- Armand Bayou Nature Center: Financial contributions
- Wildlife Center of Texas Financial contributions and collaboration on wildlife rescue and rehabilitation
- Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation: Financial contributions and participation in avian monitoring and data collection
The Great Texas Birding Classic Hosted by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Each year, CenterPoint Energy sponsors the classic and employee teams participate in the event. Leadership from Scenic Galveston, a local coastal conservation organization, and other agencies serve on CenterPoint Energy’s team. Winning teams help direct conservation funds raised through the event.