TCEQ loosens enforcement amid COVID-19

TCEQ loosens enforcement amid COVID-19

While environmental regulations are not being set aside, the chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said Monday that enforcing those rules may be eased for violations “that were unavoidable due to the (coronavirus) pandemic.” The agency has “not relaxed any limits on air emissions or discharges to water,” Chairman Jon Niermann wrote in an open letter addressed to the public, environmental advocates and industry. Read more from Asher Price with The Austin American-Statesman here.

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Well water tests underway after pipeline crew hits Karst feature

Well water tests underway after pipeline crew hits Karst feature

Discolored water from wells near the Kinder Morgan Permian Highway Pipeline is causing distress. Test results on the water, taken where the pipeline is about to cross the Blanco River, are expected soon from a Lower Colorado River Authority laboratory. Once the results are received, David Baker of the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association (WVWA) and others opposed to the pipeline’s route through the fragile Texas Hill Country will have a better idea of what their next steps should be. Read more…

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Huge feral hogs invading Canada, building ‘pigloos’ as they go

Huge feral hogs invading Canada, building ‘pigloos’ as they go

Feral swine, the offspring of wild boars and domestic pigs, are spreading through Canada into areas where many didn’t think they could survive. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, some Canadian farmers imported wild boars from Europe to raise for meat. But as wild boars are wont to do, some of them escaped, either digging under fences or barreling through them. Others were set free once the boar meat market cooled. At first, it didn’t seem like a big…

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Environmental group calls for ‘thorough investigation’ as residents report contaminated water near pipeline construction

Environmental group calls for ‘thorough investigation’ as residents report contaminated water near pipeline construction

The Sierra Club has called for a “thorough investigation” after residents in Blanco County reported brown tap water on Wednesday they believe came from a leak at the Permian Highway Pipeline construction site. On Wednesday afternoon, KVUE received reports Blanco County residents’ tap water had turned brown in the area of Chimney Valley Road near Highway 165. Read more from Jeff Bell, Britny Eubank, and Luis de Leon with KVUE here. 

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An ode to tributaries

An ode to tributaries

We have a tendency to think about the water in our cup as a direct product of the local, mainstem river we presume it came from. But drinking water’s journey is rarely that straight forward. Because beer and rivers go so well together, it might be more accurate to think about that cup of drinking water more like a pint of beer. Your favorite IPA, for example, is a unique blend of water, hops, malt, and yeast. Or say you’re…

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Pipeline construction halted while ‘fluid loss’ incident investigated

Pipeline construction halted while ‘fluid loss’ incident investigated

Residents in Blanco County a mile or so upstream of where the Kinder Morgans Permian Highway Pipeline (PHP) crossed the Blanco River are reporting brown tap water coming from their wells. One of them, who lives off FM 165 about a mile from the Chimney Valley Road turnoff in Blanco posted on Facebook that her tap water had turned brown. The post had a photo of the water, which also appeared foamy. Read more from Anita Miller with Hays Free…

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Riverdance – Water is too precious for quarries

Riverdance – Water is too precious for quarries

Having nearly exhausted its exploitation of the Guadalupe River quarries from Comfort to Center Point in Kerr County, the sand, gravel and aggregate industry (APOs) is actively pursuing possible sites in the floodplain areas of Kendall County. Largely “under-regulated” by state law, the APO industry finds a rather benign regulatory environment in locations that are unincorporated or sparsely populated. Regrettably, many of the “material rich” locations are waterfront and on private land with absentee ownership. As a result, APO operations…

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February 2020 citizen scientist spotlight: Tyson Broad

February 2020 citizen scientist spotlight: Tyson Broad

  • March 3, 2020
  • News

In addition to serving as the Watershed Coordinator for the Llano River Watershed Alliance, Tyson Broad serves on the Steering Committee of the Texas Hill Country Conservation Network. Texas Stream Team is welcoming 2020 with Tyson Broad as the first Citizen Scientist Spotlight of the year! Tyson is the co-founder and project coordinator for the Llano River Watershed Alliance (the Alliance) and dedicates countless hours to leading the efforts of water quality monitoring and riparian restoration efforts around the entire…

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Editorial: Yes, San Antonio can improve transit and protect aquifer

Editorial: Yes, San Antonio can improve transit and protect aquifer

Too often in recent months, the discussion over Edwards Aquifer protection and improving transit was framed as an either/or proposition. Either San Antonio could improve transit, or it could continue to fund aquifer protection. Such a limited view always struck us as a false choice. There is no reason why this community can’t improve transit and continue to protect the Edwards Aquifer, the region’s main source of drinking water. Both can be priorities. Naturally, then, we are pleased to see…

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City staff propose keeping aquifer protection program under city control

City staff propose keeping aquifer protection program under city control

As city officials try to get massive transportation plans moving, they are pushing a new plan to continue funding the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program. In a presentation to council members on Wednesday, city staff recommended keeping the EAPP under the city’s control but using a different pot of money to fund it. Instead of using the sales tax revenue that has been targeted to fund transportation plans, staff said the city could borrow $109 million to continue buying conservation easements…

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