The Texas Third Court of Appeals has upheld a lower state court’s decision dismissing a lawsuit that challenged the Port of Houston Authority’s Bayport Container and Cruise Terminal. The City of Shoreacres and other plaintiffs last year tried to halt the project by alleging errors in the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s finding that Bayport would meet water quality and coastal management standards. In dismissing the group’s lawsuit, 98th District Court Judge W. Jeanne Meurer pointed out that the challenge failed because the US Army Corps of Engineers had already issued the federal permit for Bayport, in reliance on the state’s certification. The state appellate court’s decision affirmed Judge Meurer’s decision.

The PHA began construction at Bayport a year ago. The first phase of the facility, including 1,660 feet of the ultimate 7,000-foot wharf and approximately 65 acres of the ultimate 1,043-acre facility, is expected to be completed and open for operation in mid-2006.

Port of Houston celebrates 90th anniversary

More than 300 guests turned out at the Goose Creek Country Club in Baytown on June 2 to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Port of Houston.

Several notable guests recounted some of the intriguing milestones of port history, including PHA’s Chairman Jim Edmonds, Commissioner Jimmy Burke, Executive Director Tom Kornegay, State Representative Wayne Smith of Baytown, Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia, Baytown Mayor Calvin Mundinger, and attorney Stephen Don Carlos.

The celebration also marked the 89th birthday of former port commissioner Bob Gillette, a retired attorney and prominent civic leader who served from 1987 until 1999 as an appointee of the Harris County Mayors and Councils Association. Coincidentally, Gillette was instrumental in lobbying Congress to fund the Houston Ship Channel widening and deepening project, which was completed this year.