In Bandera County, neighbors fight plans to discharge wastewater from youth camp

  • November 27, 2018
  • News

TARPLEY – Charles and John Blackwell stood at the edge of their property with their neighbor Margo Denke Griffin and pointed out the clear water pouring across their land in Commissioners Creek.

“You can always see the bottom,” Charles Blackwell said of the creek, which in several spots teemed with minnows darting among aquatic plants.

Commissioners Creek is vital to the Blackwells, two brothers who raise around 18 cattle on property that’s been in their family for more than 100 years. Rising from springs on the side of a steep slope, the creek flows 5 ½ miles through sparsely populated ranches before joining with the larger Hondo Creek downstream.

Now the creek is at risk, they say, from a Christian youth camp next door that’s under development. Its owners, Sam Torn and his son Chris, are seeking a permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to discharge a maximum of 49,000 gallons per day, on average, of treated wastewater into Commissioners Creek.

Read more from Brendan Gibbons with The Rivard Report here.