House bill opens tap for WCID3 despite opposition

House bill opens tap for WCID3 despite opposition

On May 22, HB 1806 was voted through by the Texas Senate, clearing the way for the San Antonio Water System to sell 1,500 acre feet of water across county lines from Bexar into Kendall. Despite vigorous and organized opposition by local leaders – including Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District chairman Milan J. Michalec, who protested the bill before committee members in Austin – HB1806 will reverse water management law established in 1993. After its passage, Michalec spoke strongly against…

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Hill Country landowners fight for land in proposed gas pipeline’s path

Hill Country landowners fight for land in proposed gas pipeline’s path

Hill Country landowners flooded a Travis County courtroom Tuesday hoping to thwart the construction of a natural gas pipeline they say poses safety risks and drives down the values of their multi-million dollar properties. Sitting shoulder to shoulder and wearing “Save the Water” stickers, dozens of landowners grumbled as lawyers for Houston-based Kinder Morgan, which plans to route the $2 billion Permian Highway Pipeline Project through their backyards, downplayed potential health hazards, or referenced the power they say the company…

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Eminent domain reform died in the Texas Legislature this session

Eminent domain reform died in the Texas Legislature this session

Texas state lawmakers looking to reform the eminent domain process were unable to find common ground this session, despite hundreds of hours of negotiation. State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst’s Senate Bill 421 sought to better protect property owners when private companies condemn their land — a nod to landowners in Texas who’ve grown accustomed to encroaching oil and gas pipelines. The bill would’ve required public meetings between property owners and industry groups and instituted measures to prevent low-ball offers to property…

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Landowners, pipeline company meet in court today

Landowners, pipeline company meet in court today

Attorneys for Hill Country landowners along with the city of Kyle and Hays County have prepared for a fight this morning with lawyers for Kinder Morgan Texas Pipeline and the Texas Railroad Commission over the route of the proposed natural gas pipeline and whether the commission has lived up to its constitutional responsibility in overseeing Kinder Morgan’s exercise of its power of eminent domain. Kinder Morgan proposes to build the approximately 430-mile Permian Highway Pipeline through the Hill Country, between…

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Hays County, Kyle, landowner lawsuit against railroad commission questions pipeline oversight

Hays County, Kyle, landowner lawsuit against railroad commission questions pipeline oversight

Two years ago, Heinz Stefan Roesch bought a roughly 30-acre property along RR 1623, outside of the city of Blanco. His whole family is from the Hill Country, he said, and he had been saving all his life to buy something just like it. Last fall, he started hearing about a natural gas pipeline that the company Kinder Morgan was planning, though in the initial routing his land did not fall in its path. In January, he noticed low-flying helicopters…

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Texas House passes bill to spend more than $3 billion to help pay for flood control projects

Texas House passes bill to spend more than $3 billion to help pay for flood control projects

Nearly two years after Hurricane Harvey ravaged the Texas coast, the Texas House approved legislation Thursday that would pull more than $3 billion from the state’s rainy day fund to help pay for flood control projects statewide. The House version of Senate Bill 7 is one of three disaster relief bills Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick declared a top priority earlier in the legislative session. Sponsored by state Rep. Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, it combines the Senate version with a House alternative, creating two funds that would provide…

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Opinion: Through grandmother’s house it goes – Kinder Morgan’s pipeline, that is

Opinion: Through grandmother’s house it goes – Kinder Morgan’s pipeline, that is

Pipeline giant Kinder Morgan would very much like to route a pipeline over the aquifer and through the woods, grandmother’s house be damned. Or condemned, as the case may be. We are talking about KM’s planned Permian Highway Pipeline, a 430-mile-long, 42-inch-diameter natural gas pipeline planned to run through the heart of the Texas Hill Country and over the extraordinarily sensitive Trinity and Edwards Aquifers, the water supply for millions of Texans, including residents of San Antonio. The Trinity Edwards…

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Local official opposes state water bill in Austin hearing

Local official opposes state water bill in Austin hearing

Last week Boerne’s Milan Michalec, chairman of Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District, was in Austin speaking against House Bill 1806. Authored by Senator Donna Campbell, HB 1806 was the subject of a public hearing in the Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs committee. It is intended to authorize the San Antonio Water System to sell water into particular, adjacent counties. One of only three of the seven committee members were present for the hearing, Dist. 18 Senator Lois Kolkhorst spoke, objecting…

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Endgame: Water for a water district

Endgame: Water for a water district

For well over two years and spanning two legislatures, Kendall County Water Control and Improvement District (WCID) No. 3 has searched for a source of water. It now appears that a source has been found, but only if the law that protects the Edwards Aquifer can be changed by the same body that created it. When Senate Bill (SB) 1170 was introduced by Senator Donna Campbell, a companion House Bill (HB) 1806 by Representative Tracey King was also filed. This…

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Kinder Morgan asks judge to throw out Permian Highway Pipeline lawsuit

Kinder Morgan asks judge to throw out Permian Highway Pipeline lawsuit

Houston pipeline operator Kinder Morgan is asking a judge to throw out a lawsuit filed against a project to move natural gas from the Permian Basin of West Texas to the Gulf Coast. Citing various technicalities, lawyers representing the pipeline company filed a motion on Tuesday asking a state district judge in Travis County to throw out the lawsuit against Kinder Morgan, a subsidiary overseeing the pipeline project and state regulators. Opponents of the Permian Highway Pipeline filed an April…

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