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Analysis: The Fight Over Local Control Turns To Representation — And Lobbyists

Analysis: The fight over local control turns to representation — and lobbyists

Efforts to bar local governments from hiring outside lobbyists or joining associations that lobby the state government are gaining steam, after falling short two years ago. If Texas lawmakers go ahead with current proposals, they’ll be hurting small towns more than big cities, and rural counties more than urban ones. Read more from Ross Ramsey with The Texas Tribune here.

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House Bill 3883: Good Legislation For The Hill Country

House Bill 3883: Good legislation for the Hill Country

NOTE: Although this article was written for a Kendall County audience, the bill itself would apply throughout the Hill Country Priority Groundwater Management Area (PGMA), covering all of Bandera, Blanco, Gillespie, Kendall, and Kerr Counties, as well as parts of Bexar, Comal, Hays, and Travis Counties.  The citizens of Kendall County who are directly affected by the ever-increasing growth of recent years have been heard. Hearing concerns about crowded roads, schools and the ever-increasing taxes that fall on citizens to…

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3 Lessons From A Texas Groundwater District On Managing During Drought

3 lessons from a Texas groundwater district on managing during drought

The Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District in central Texas urges residents to “please protect your aquifer by limiting water use.” The district manages groundwater in Hays County, Texas, one of the top five fastest-growing counties in the U.S. Due to drought, the district has imposed a 20% curtailment on groundwater pumping districtwide and a 30% curtailment in a 39 square-mile region within the district that includes the iconic Jacob’s Well spring, the second-largest underwater cave in Texas and a popular…

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An Audacious And Timely Conservation Challenge

An audacious and timely conservation challenge

We should all applaud President Biden's executive order calling for conservation of 30% of the U.S. land base by 2030. This bold "30x30" vision is firmly rooted in science, given that protected land is key to a healthy and secure future for all Americans. It provides pure drinking water, healthy food, clean air, habitat for wildlife, and places for people to reflect, recreate, hunt and fish. Conserved land also provides protection from natural disasters, such as floods and droughts, and…

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Judge Strikes Down Air Quality Permit For Proposed 1,500-acre Limestone Quarry In Comal County

Judge strikes down air quality permit for proposed 1,500-acre limestone quarry in Comal County

Opponents of a proposed 1,500-acre open-pit limestone quarry between New Braunfels and Bulverde scored a “monumental” victory on Friday when an Austin judge struck down an air-quality permit Alabama-based Vulcan Construction Materials needed to proceed with the controversial project. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) granted the permit in 2019 after two years of heated legal wrangling between Vulcan, the nation’s largest producer of construction aggregates, and an alliance of Comal County citizens, community groups and Comal ISD. Read more…

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It’s Time To Stop Pointing Fingers And Take Steps To Make The Texas Grid More Reliable

It’s time to stop pointing fingers and take steps to make the Texas grid more reliable

The withering winter weather and associated power outages across Texas left millions without electricity for days (including some of my kids and grandkids). It was the most extensive and will likely to be the most expensive storm in Texas history. The resulting suffering, distress and frustration have rightly triggered a demand for answers that our political leaders of all stripes have been eager to provide, often contradicting themselves from one day to the next. I have heard that it was…

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County Asks Leg For More Regs On Miners

County asks Leg for more regs on miners

Kerr County Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution asking the Texas Legislature to place more regulations on mining operations. The resolution states that although mining operations - also known as aggregate production operations - have attempted to be "good neighbors," they can be detrimental to beauty, air and water quality, and can adversely affect property values and quality of life, if they're near neighborhoods. "The Kerr County Commissioners Court encourages existing and potential APOs to adopt best-management practices to minimize adverse health…

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Representative Biedermann Files Texas Hill Country Protection Legislation

Representative Biedermann files Texas Hill Country protection legislation

 Today, Representative Kyle Biedermann (R-Fredericksburg) filed HB 3883& HB 3884 to protect Kendall County's fragile resources. Both bills were a product of teamwork between Rep. Biedermman and the Kendall County Commissioner's Court.  Biedermann said, "The Hill Country is unique and its natural resources are being stretched by incoming developments in unincorporated areas. I am proud of the work of my staff and the Kendall County Commissioners Court on finding two unique ways to foster sustainable growth."   HB 3883 addresses the…

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New Water Institute To Explore The Resource’s Impact On Society

New water institute to explore the resource’s impact on society

UTSA has launched the Institute for Water Research, Sustainability and Policy. Led by Saugata Datta, the Weldon W. Hammond Jr. Endowed Distinguished Professor in Hydrogeology, the institute brings together faculty across UTSA to collaborate in the areas of water quality, water quantity, flood control and water policy. Researchers will study the effect of climate change on water resources in the San Antonio area, South Texas region, I-10 corridor and the United States-Mexico border. Eventually, they will expand their studies to…

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“One Thing After Another”: Rural Texans Faced The Same Storm — With Unique Hardships

“One thing after another”: Rural Texans faced the same storm — with unique hardships

As humanitarian aid workers in Armenia and South Sudan, Jerry and Meaghan Kenney have huddled around wood stoves to keep warm and bathed with buckets for lack of water. But the couple didn’t expect they’d need such survival skills to get through the winter storm at their home outside Hudson, in deep East Texas. The Kenneys, who have a 1-year-old and 3-year-old, had only intermittent power and water last week, and remain under a boil water notice. Read more from…

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