IN DEPTH: Hays County, Travis Audubon demand full, public environmental review in legal challenge to Permian Highway Pipeline

IN DEPTH: Hays County, Travis Audubon demand full, public environmental review in legal challenge to Permian Highway Pipeline

Local opponents of the Permian Highway pipeline have taken a second major legal action to try to push the company developing the project into conducting a full and public environmental review. Hays County, Travis Audubon Society and several private plaintiffs filed a notice of intent July 17 to sue the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Kinder Morgan. The challenge follows months of discussion among elected officials and residents over the impact that the…

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RV park planned near Hamilton Pool worries some Austin-area neighbors

RV park planned near Hamilton Pool worries some Austin-area neighbors

Just outside of Austin, where the Pedernales River winds lazily through the Hill Country before pouring into the Colorado, a series of parks and preserves showcase and protect large swaths of rugged Texas wilderness. The Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center harbors a 40-foot waterfall with a lush grotto ensconced below, hung with mosses and ferns. And less than a mile away, water races over another cliff to create Hamilton Pool, fed by springs from farther uphill where the Edwards Aquifer spills…

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SOAH Judge Rules in Favor of Quarry Opponents

SOAH Judge Rules in Favor of Quarry Opponents

An extremely vocal coalition of area ranchers, business people, ex-military personnel and retired professionals convinced Administrative Law Judge Rebecca Smith to grant them “affected-party” status at a March 6 hearing to determine who has the right to challenge a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) air permit that would allow Vulcan Construction Materials to turn the old Eric White Ranch near FM 3009 and SH-46 into a 1,500-acre open-pit limestone quarry. Residents packed Comal County commissioners historic courtroom where they…

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Quarry hearing scheduled for Wednesday

Quarry hearing scheduled for Wednesday

Property owners and other stakeholders trying to keep Vulcan Construction Materials from developing a 1,500-acre open-pit limestone quarry at FM 3009 and SH-46 are expected to pack Comal County Commissioners Courtroom 9 a.m. Wednesday for a preliminary administrative hearing to determine who has the legal right to challenge the air-quality permit Vulcan needs to proceed. The purpose of the State Office of Administrative Hearing (SOAH) preliminary hearing is to to finalize issues, determine so-called “affected-party” status and set a timeline…

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Permit for popular Float Fest on San Marcos River denied

Permit for popular Float Fest on San Marcos River denied

The Guadalupe County Commissioners Court voted on Thursday to deny a permit for Float Fest, just days after a study commissioned by organizers of the annual music festival showed it generated $12.3 million in total economic impact last year. Without a permit, which is required for gatherings of more than 5,000 people, the event cannot be legally held. Commissioners voted 3-2 during a special meeting that lasted more than three hours to deny the request by festival promoter Marcus Federman. He had…

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Conley to resign from CAMPO

Conley to resign from CAMPO

Will Conley, the current chair of Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO),announced he plans to resign. According to CAMPO, Conley will stay on as chair until the group can find his replacement. Conley was appointed to the CAMPO board by the Hays County Commissioners Court in 2008 and has served as the group’s chair for the past six years. He was the first person outside of Travis County to be elected to lead the 43-year old regional transportation board. Conley,…

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Dem stuns GOP for top county seat

An underdog Democratic candidate stunned a former 14-year commissioner Tuesday to take the highest elected office in Hays County.  Ruben Becerra, a San Marcos business owner, defeated Will Conley by 2,649 votes, according to unofficial, final results. All results will be canvassed by the Hays County Commissioners Court at a later date.  Becerra, who unsuccessfully ran for the San Marcos CISD board of trustees and Mayor of San Marcos in previous years, won his first elected position. It also marks the first time…

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Private well water screening set for Nov. 6 in Llano

Private well water screening set for Nov. 6 in Llano

LLANO —The Texas Well Owner Network is hosting a water well screening Nov. 6 in Llano to give area residents the opportunity to have their well water screened. The screening will be from 8:30–10 a.m. Nov. 6 at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office for Llano County, 1447 E. State Highway 71, Unit E. It is presented by AgriLife Extension and Texas Water Resources Institute in partnership with the AgriLife Extension office in Llano County. A meeting explaining screening results and…

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Natural gas pipeline will cross county

Natural gas pipeline will cross county

One of North America’s largest pipeline companies is looking to cross Gillespie County with a natural gas pipeline stretching from the Permian Basin to near the Gulf of Mexico. Kinder Morgan officials told the Standard-Radio Post on Tuesday it is or will soon be in contact with landowners of 233 parcels in southern Gillespie County who may be affected. “We own the pipe, someone else owns the gas,” said Allen Fore, Kinder Morgan vice president of public affairs. “We’re in the initial…

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Sand is choking Lake LBJ, but a battle looms over its removal

Sand is choking Lake LBJ, but a battle looms over its removal

In early 2017, homeowners in Sandy Harbor, a waterfront community in the Highland Lakes chain where Lake Lyndon B. Johnson meets the mouth of Sandy Creek, called Kevin Collier about a problem: sand. There was so much of it that it was preventing some of them from getting their boats in the water. Could he help? Collier co-owns Collier Materials, a Marble Falls–based company that collects and sells sand, soil, and rock, generally for construction. His most notable project at the time was…

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