Texas Senate approves using herbicides to fight illegal border crossings

Texas Senate approves using herbicides to fight illegal border crossings

It’s not a wall and it isn’t more boots on the ground, but the Texas Senate has approved a bill that would send millions of dollars of herbicides to the front lines to battle illegal immigration. The Texas Senate passed legislation to send up to $10 million in additional funding to the Texas border to fight carrizo cane, a weed that can grow 25 feet tall and provides cover for border-crossers along the Rio Grande Valley. “It’s all about border…

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Bulverde developments threaten local water supply by discharging treated sewage into the Edwards Aquifer

Bulverde developments threaten local water supply by discharging treated sewage into the Edwards Aquifer

The past decade has seen numerous developments sprouting up in the area around Bulverde, Texas. Driven by close proximity to the one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., the sprawling development in the Bulverde area is going largely unchecked, causing all sorts of problems for local residents. Winding through the Bulverde area is Cibolo Creek, a tributary of the San Antonio River. Cibolo Creek is unique in that it contains numerous faults and fractures that recharge the Edwards Aquifer.…

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How San Antonio uses its water to influence Kendall County development

How San Antonio uses its water to influence Kendall County development

 Two years have passed since Kendall County Water Control and Improvement District (WCID) No. 3 was introduced in Senate Bill (SB) 914, by Sen. Donna Campbell.   As written, 1,055 acres were to be developed and more than 2,000 homes built, but it had no source for a water supply.  Boerne City Council considered consenting to creation of the district in early 2019 – now WCID No. 3 and 3A – but members voted unanimously to table the matter indefinitely.  However,…

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Dark skies bill moves forward in legislature

Dark skies bill moves forward in legislature

International Dark Sky communities are one step closer to using Hotel Occupancy Tax (HOT) dollars for infrastructure meant to reduce light pollution. House Bill (HB) 4158, authored by State Rep. Erin Zwiener (D-Driftwood), would give Dark Sky communities more flexibility to reinvest in tourism efforts. The bill was unanimously voted out of committee and could soon be placed on the calendar for a vote in the Texas House. If passed, the bill would directly affect Wimberley and Dripping Springs in…

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A creek flowing to the Colorado River turned black. Now the state has sued the alleged polluter.

A creek flowing to the Colorado River turned black. Now the state has sued the alleged polluter.

ALTAIR — For more than two months, the waters of Skull Creek have flowed black, its surface covered in an iridescent sheen. Yellowed fish skeletons line the pebbled banks of the Colorado River tributary, and a dizzying chemical odor hangs in the air. The odor is so strong that Julie Schmidt says she can smell it inside her house. She and her husband bought 10 acres along the creek in December with visions of an idyllic country upbringing for their…

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Oil or property rights: House panel clashes over which to favor as it weighs eminent domain reforms

Oil or property rights: House panel clashes over which to favor as it weighs eminent domain reforms

Lawmakers, lobbyists and landowners sparred at a Capitol committee hearing on Thursday over a batch of bills designed to protect property owners whose land may be seized by private companies to build oil and gas pipelines. A bipartisan — though largely Republican — group of House and Senate legislators whose districts have been targeted for pipeline construction amid a historic oil and gas boom have proposed several measures this year aimed at helping landowners and local officials negotiate with deep-pocketed…

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Two Views: In pipeline politics, love of the land is a shared value

Two Views: In pipeline politics, love of the land is a shared value

We can be fairly certain that gas pipeline giant Kinder Morgan didn’t have this consequence in mind when it decided to route a massive, nearly four-foot diameter gas pipeline through the Texas Hill Country and over the fragile Edwards Aquifer. That consequence is a renewed understanding among political partisans of all kinds that love of the land is a value shared by all. Well, maybe not the pipeline owners. The Permian Highway Pipeline cuts through some of what traditional political labeling calls…

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Dr. Robert Mace to receive Texas Rainmaker Award

Dr. Robert Mace to receive Texas Rainmaker Award

Texas Water Foundation is honored to announce the 6th recipient of the Texas Rainmaker Award – Dr. Robert Mace. The Award is given to leaders who have made exceptional contributions and long-lasting impact to promote sustainable water policies in Texas. On May 7, 2019, Dr. Mace’s achievements will be celebrated at a reception and dinner at the Bob Bullock Museum. The event begins with a reception at 6:30pm followed by dinner and an award ceremony at 7:30pm. Previous recipients of…

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Railroad Commission, Kinder-Morgan sued over route of Permian Highway Pipeline

Railroad Commission, Kinder-Morgan sued over route of Permian Highway Pipeline

Hays County, the city of Kyle and a coalition of Hill Country landowners have filed a lawsuit to fight the route of Kinder Morgan’s proposed Permian Highway Pipeline and challenge how the state agency that regulates the oil and gas industry allows companies to use eminent domain laws. During a Monday morning news conference at Kyle City Hall, the coalition released copies of a 19-page lawsuit against the Texas Railroad Commission, five agency executives, pipeline operator Kinder Morgan and a…

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Time for reform of eminent domain law

Time for reform of eminent domain law

Corporate entities that take property with eminent domain authority often claim the system is working. It does. For them. Corporations with this powerful, often abused, tool are not required to follow the same rules of transparency that a government must observe. They are not required to have public meetings. Eminent domain takings in general do not mandate a good faith offer. Texas Farm Bureau has documented many cases where property owners believe they’ve been slighted in the process. Such is…

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