We operate in a service territory with a rich diversity of habitats that support an abundance of wildlife, including 300 species of birds.
Biodiversity & 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.
CenterPoint Energy strives to:
- Assess proposed locations for electric transmission facilities and pipeline routes and identifies sensitive areas, including protected species and habitats,
- Avoid environmentally or culturally sensitive areas when practical and when alternative locations or routes are feasible,
- Reduce project footprints and ecological impacts to facilities,
- Mitigate impacts through restoration and careful vegetation management of pipeline rights-of-way, avoiding active bird nests during the breeding season,
- Monitor and work collaboratively with regulatory agencies in the management of affected listed species and ecosystems, and
- Partner with federal and state regulatory agencies and nonprofit conservation groups to support biodiversity conservation efforts beyond our operational footprint.
Construction routing for new natural gas or electric transmission lines is planned to avoid or minimize the disturbance of environmentally sensitive areas. We focus on recycling and conservation during the planning and design phase of a project in an effort to limit long-term environment impact.
- 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.
Our interdepartmental avian protection team, comprised of managers and professionals representing businesses and functions across the company, works to identify and address avian concerns in a comprehensive, coordinated and effective manner.
Avian training is delivered regularly to management and staff of relevant departments, including Operations and Vegetation Management personnel and contractors. In addition to in-person training, virtual training has been adopted for our electric line construction contractors.
SUPPORTING ASSOCIATIONS THAT HELP AVIAN HABITATS
- Artist Boat: Financial contributions, education and outreach
- Galveston Bay Estuary Program: Board service
- Galveston Bay Foundation: Board service, financial contributions and volunteerism
- Gulf Coast Bird Observatory: Board service, financial contributions and volunteerism
- Houston Audubon: Financial contributions, education and outreach, and avian monitoring and data collection
- The Nature Conservancy of Texas: Financial contributions for education and habitat conservation
- Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation: Financial contributions and participation in avian monitoring and data collection
- Wildlife Center of Texas: Financial contributions and collaboration on wildlife rescue and rehabilitation
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.