Defenders: Thousands of Texas wastewater treatment plants dump into waterways

Defenders: Thousands of Texas wastewater treatment plants dump into waterways

  • February 28, 2019
  • News

AUSTIN, Texas — As part of Boomtown 2040 we are looking into growth and the impact it has on the places we call home. One of the biggest concerns about our area’s growth is water. The KVUE Defenders discovered a growing number of cities are dumping treated wastewater into the very places we enjoy and get our drinking water. We had a difficult time finding a city or suburb willing to talk about it until we mapped out all the…

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Senate passes a sweeping land conservation bill

Senate passes a sweeping land conservation bill

The Senate on Tuesday passed a sweeping public lands conservation bill, designating more than one million acres of wilderness for environmental protection and permanently reauthorizing a federal program to pay for conservation measures. The Senate voted 92 to 8 in favor of the bill, offering a rare moment of bipartisanship in a divided chamber and a rare victory for environmentalists at a time when the Trump administration is working aggressively to strip away protections on public lands and open them…

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Wimberley group fighting to keep pipeline out of Hill Country

Wimberley group fighting to keep pipeline out of Hill Country

  • February 26, 2019
  • News

The Wimberley Valley Watershed Association is currently working to oppose and reroute the Permian Highway Gas & Oil Pipeline OUT of the Texas Hill Country and away from the Edwards and Trinity Aquifers. WVWA will be hosting a fundraiser event and kick off for Amplify Austin day of giving from 4pm- 8pm on Thursday, 02/28 at the Shady Llama in Wimberley, where a portion of all food & drinks sold will be contributed to the Save The Hill Country legal…

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Dripping Springs City Council approves resolution to support Hill Country Scenic Highways Bill

Dripping Springs City Council approves resolution to support Hill Country Scenic Highways Bill

One week after Hays County Commissions voted to support House Bill 1303, Dripping Springs City Council on Feb. 19 followed suit, passing a resolution of support of their own. House Bill 1303 would restrict the presence of billboards along certain roads in Hays County. Filed by Hays County’s state Rep. Erin Zwiener, D-Driftwood, the bill would add FM 1826, RM 150 and RM 967 to the current list of roads where “off-premise signage” is prohibited by the Texas Transportation Code.…

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Young advocates set their eyes on tackling light pollution

Young advocates set their eyes on tackling light pollution

  • February 26, 2019
  • News

Earlier this month, the International Dark-Sky Association was contacted by a group of students  from Bioscience High School in Phoenix, Arizona. The group, Helping Achieve a Renewable Planet (H.A.R.P.), has been researching the subject of light pollution and is now looking to implement an intervention project in their community to help combat the issue. The students held a stakeholder meeting with IDA staff, IDA Phoenix chapter, and other dark sky advocates to learn more about the dark sky movement and…

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SAWS bills could rise less than planned for Vista Ridge due to developer fees

SAWS bills could rise less than planned for Vista Ridge due to developer fees

San Antonio Water System officials say they are planning on seeking a lower rate increase in 2020 than the nearly 10 percent originally approved by City Council to pay for the Vista Ridge pipeline project, though they have not said how much lower. Gavino Ramos, SAWS’ vice president of communications and external affairs, made the statement about a smaller rate hike in 2020 in response to questions from the Rivard Report following a key vote by SAWS’ Capital Improvements Advisory Committee, which recommends…

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‘Impressive’ wildflower season forecasted after rainy fall and winter

‘Impressive’ wildflower season forecasted after rainy fall and winter

Don’t mind the cold. Spring has sprung in Texas, with wildflower season getting an early pop this year following months of wet and dreary weather. The above average rainfall Texas got in the fall and winter months, coupled with unseasonably warm temperatures, will translate to a rather impressive wildflower season, said Andrea DeLong-Amaya, director of horticulture at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Centerin Austin. The state’s iconic bluebonnets were already seen sprouting in Austin as early as three weeks ago,…

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Judge rules Golden-cheeked Warbler should stay on endangered species list

Judge rules Golden-cheeked Warbler should stay on endangered species list

A bright-faced songbird of the Texas Hill Country still faces enough threat from population growth and land development in the San Antonio-Austin region to need shelter under the Endangered Species Act, a federal judge in Austin has ruled. Senior U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks sided with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last week in a case centered on the golden-cheeked warbler, a 3- to 5-inch migratory songbird that only nests in around 39 counties in Central Texas. The Texas General…

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Texas Land Trends report shows value of conservation easements to ag, water, wildlife

Texas Land Trends report shows value of conservation easements to ag, water, wildlife

The Texas Land Trends project of Texas A&M’s Natural Resources Institute, or NRI, has published a special series report describing Texas landowner participation in land conservation easements and their value to agricultural production, water and wildlife. About 83 percent of lands in Texas are classified as privately-owned working lands, signifying the critical role private landowners play in protecting the state’s valuable resources. Land-use conversion, including fragmentation, accounted for the loss of approximately 1.1 million acres of working lands in Texas…

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Group wants relief route answers

Group wants relief route answers

Gillespie County Commissioners received a presentation from the Citizens for an Informed Relief Route during their Monday meeting. The group, formed two weeks ago, consists of around 200 locals who want answers about the proposed relief route. Gary Saucier, group representative, said the group was formed with the goal of getting more answers. “We aren’t necessarily pro or con, but we have concerns and we want answers,” he said. “We feel as if we are being asked to make a…

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