A river worth saving: Who will protect the unheralded Llano?

A river worth saving: Who will protect the unheralded Llano?

The Llano River is an ecological gem in Texas Hill Country, supporting dozens of native and rare plants and animals. But due to weak state environmental protections, the Llano — along with other waterways in Texas — is increasingly facing pressure from industry and development. On a February day in 2018, Bill Neiman walked me along the perimeter of a Pilot Flying J truck stop in Junction, Texas, five miles upstream from his farm. Semis revved and hissed in the…

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TCEQ adopts new wastewater rules

TCEQ adopts new wastewater rules

In December, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) adopted new rules for the disposal of treated wastewater effluent by land application. In 2016, Austin petitioned the TCEQ to consider rule changes that would encourage beneficial use of treated wastewater effluent for non-potable purposes, such as irrigation of parks and medians or for toilet flushing within buildings. Beneficial reuse of wastewater effluent, which is often referred to as “reclaimed water,” helps protect water quality while achieving water conservation. It is…

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Hill Country’s Honey Creek no longer set to receive treated sewage

Hill Country’s Honey Creek no longer set to receive treated sewage

A developer planning a subdivision upstream of an ecologically sensitive Hill Country creek has changed his plans to avoid filling the creek with treated wastewater. The controversial proposed wastewater treatment plant north of San Antonio is tied to a 2,347-unit subdivision planned for what is now Honey Creek Ranch off State Highway 46 in Comal County. Ronald and Terry Urbanczyk, who also run Urban Concrete Contractors in San Antonio, own the property. The Urbanczyks also control Silesia Properties, the company…

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Travis County commissioners delay approving RV park proposal near Hamilton Pool Preserve as residents raise concern

Travis County commissioners delay approving RV park proposal near Hamilton Pool Preserve as residents raise concern

Important Update: Despite last week’s decision (discussed in article below) to delay voting on this agenda item, the Travis County Commissioners Court will be meeting on Tuesday, 12/17/19 at 9 AM to discuss the Bentree RV proposal AGAIN. Learn more here.  For the second week in a row, dozens of Dripping Springs residents filled the Travis County Commissioners Court chambers, prepared to speak in opposition to a proposed RV park at 401 Stagecoach Ranch Road, less than a half mile…

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Marble Falls, Granger added to statewide list of lakes infested with Zebra Mussels

Marble Falls, Granger added to statewide list of lakes infested with Zebra Mussels

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has added Lake Marble Falls and Granger Lake to the statewide list of lakes infested with invasive zebra mussels after discovering established, reproducing populations in the lakes this fall. Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) biologists confirmed the presence of zebra mussels in Lake Marble Falls after finding settled zebra mussels as well as their larvae at multiple sites in the lake. After Lake Lyndon B. Johnson was found to be infested with zebra…

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Wild pigs increase their urban and suburban area sprawls

Wild pigs increase their urban and suburban area sprawls

Whether you call them wild pigs or feral hogs, they are no longer just a rural problem, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert. Wild pigs cause more than $52 million in agricultural damage in Texas annually, said John Tomecek, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension wildlife specialist, Thrall. But it’s their encroachment into increasingly urbanized areas that is becoming a burgeoning problem for landowners and municipalities. Texas’ wild pig population was 2.6 million according to a 2012 study. Now experts…

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Proposition will start state’s first flood fund

Proposition will start state’s first flood fund

After garnering the approval of voters, Texas has been given the go-ahead to create the state’s first flooding infrastructure fund. The fund is being established with a one-time injection of $793 million in funding from the state’s Economic Stabilization Fund—more commonly known as the Rainy Day Fund—after voters approved Proposition 8 on Nov. 5. However, state lawmakers can choose to add more money to the fund in the future, officials said. Read more from Community Impact Newspaper here.   

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Austin wastewater main break causes 100,000-gallon sewage spill

Austin wastewater main break causes 100,000-gallon sewage spill

  • December 9, 2019
  • News

More than 100,000 gallons of wastewater flowed into a dry tributary bed of Bull Creek after there was a 21’’ main break and sanitary sewage overflow, according to Austin Water crews. The overflow was discovered at 11:30 a.m. Sunday at 10801 Sierra Oaks. Austin Water says its crews were able to stop the leak by about 9:00 a.m. Monday and finished working on repairs, clean up and recovery by 5 p.m. Austin Water managing Engineer Kevin Koeller says the wastewater…

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Residents near Hamilton Pool up in arms about proposed RV park

Residents near Hamilton Pool up in arms about proposed RV park

The Travis County Commissioners Court spent all morning Tuesday discussing a proposed RV park on Stagecoach Ranch Road in Southwest Travis County, near Hamilton Pool. The court still hasn’t come to a decision on the matter and will take it up again at next week’s meeting. Just as they did for another RV park on Fitzhugh Road last month, county staffers proposed waiving certain platting requirements that are imposed on traditional subdivisions involving brick-and-stick homes. Staff members have taken the…

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Doctor’s orders: Support land and water conservation

Doctor’s orders: Support land and water conservation

Humans are a part of nature. We can’t be healthy if the world around us isn’t healthy enough to sustain, nourish and protect us. And without a healthy population, we can’t achieve our full potential for generating strong economies, driving innovation and securing a safe future. Nature is at the heart of it all. Supporting nature and supporting ourselves is one and the same task, and it is a critical task. Right now, Congress has a chance to make big…

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