Parks essential for health and wealth

Parks essential for health and wealth

In 1992, when we decided to relocate the corporate headquarters of AT&T to Texas, we did so for a number of reasons: the Texas business climate and the growth of economic opportunity; the work ethic of the Texas workforce; and the quality of life in Texas. State and local parks were an important part of our consideration. State and local parks are essential to providing outdoor experiences to an increasingly urban state. They help preserve our Texas heritage, culture and…

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8th Annual Hill Country Alliance Leadership Summit Celebrates Conservation in the Heart of Texas

8th Annual Hill Country Alliance Leadership Summit Celebrates Conservation in the Heart of Texas

(October 7, 2019) —On Thursday, September 26th, conservation leaders from across the Texas Hill Country met at Camp Lucy in Dripping Springs for the Hill Country Alliance’s Annual Leadership Summit. The event theme, Conservation in the Heart of Texas, brought together more than 190 participants from across the region to celebrate conservation successes across Central Texas and to learn about emerging opportunities for protecting our land, water, and community resources. The day began with a welcome from HCA Board Vice President…

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Crude oil pipeline averted over Recharge Zone points to lack of State oversight

Crude oil pipeline averted over Recharge Zone points to lack of State oversight

The now-defunct plan by Houston-based Enterprise Products Company to build a crude oil pipeline from Midland County to Wilson County crossing the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone was a really bad idea. Enterprise is a midstream natural gas and crude oil pipeline company listed as 89 on the Fortune 500 list. An oil spill would have put the water supply for San Antonio and the region at risk, threatened endangered species, and violated a regional habitat management plan that took six years…

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Vote in November to fund our state parks for future generations of Texans

Vote in November to fund our state parks for future generations of Texans

Some of our families’ best summer adventures over the years have been at Texas’ state parks. And the numbers indicate that you and your family have probably enjoyed our parks and historic sites over the years, too: Nearly 10 million people visited state parks in 2017, up about 40 percent since 2012. Texas is growing quickly. More people are visiting the parks than ever before, and we couldn’t be happier about it. However, this puts pressure on already-strained park infrastructure,…

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A world rocked: Communities clamor for regulation as Texas mining industry explodes

A world rocked: Communities clamor for regulation as Texas mining industry explodes

Kevin Baum gazes out from his second-floor porch across his 12-acre slice of Texas Hill Country heaven. On a cloudy day, he points past live oak trees and a kaleidoscope of wildflowers to Horseshoe Bay 20 miles to the south. When it’s clear, he says, he sees 30 miles farther, past rolling hills in the distance to the edges of Johnson City. Baum retired in 2005 after more than two decades with the Austin Fire Department, rising from entry-level firefighter…

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Texas environmental commission denies waste permit after residents rally against new facility

Texas environmental commission denies waste permit after residents rally against new facility

Colorado County officials on Wednesday won the latest round of a five-year fight to prevent a waste processing near the Colorado River that they say would contaminate ground and surface water for thousands of rural Texans. During a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality hearing, the state denied a permit request by Altair Disposal Services to construct a landfill that would take waste from an incineration facility near Houston to Colorado County, which sits about halfway between Houston and Austin, and…

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What’s porous paving? All new lots in New Orleans must have in city’s fight with water woes

What’s porous paving? All new lots in New Orleans must have in city’s fight with water woes

New Orleans is a city often inundated by water and, just as often, a city frustrated in its attempts to deal with it. Now, joining a movement that supporters say will help mitigate flooding and soil subsidence, the City Council has decided that all new commercial parking surfaces in New Orleans must be porous. The rules unanimously approved by the council last week require businesses to use pervious paving — which lets rainwater flow through it, to be absorbed by the…

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This land is your land: Local property owners in eminent domain battle

This land is your land: Local property owners in eminent domain battle

Few people know much about the issue of eminent domain when it comes to underground pipelines being laid out across the state of Texas. Even fewer people are fighting it. Several Erath County landowners say they are willing to defend their property right, and are willing to go as far as it takes to do so. The steel pipelines are being built not only to transport oil, but also for jet fuel, diesel, natural gas and even electrical lines. Ron…

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Citizens continue to fight Comal County quarry, push for statewide reforms

Citizens continue to fight Comal County quarry, push for statewide reforms

External Article – By Stop 3009 Vulcan Quarry In the fall of 2018, hundreds of citizens and groups in Comal County continued the fight against Vulcan Construction Materials’ proposed 1500-acre limestone quarry, located over the Edwards Aquifer between New Braunfels and Bulverde—just north-east of San Antonio. These individuals and organizations, actively opposing the air quality permit application by Vulcan, obtained a contested case hearing from the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH). At the preliminary hearing on March 6, 2019,…

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The public should have a say before anyone cuts a pipeline through the Texas Hill Country

The public should have a say before anyone cuts a pipeline through the Texas Hill Country

A few weeks ago, construction on the Mopac Expressway near Slaughter Lane in Austin came to an abrupt halt when the workers encountered a larger than normal karst feature. Karst features are essentially holes in the limestone underneath our feet that channel water from the surface into our underground aquifers. They stopped because construction around karst features has to be done carefully to ensure both that surface water can reach the aquifer and that the water isn’t contaminated on its…

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