Texas environmental commission denies waste permit after residents rally against new facility

Texas environmental commission denies waste permit after residents rally against new facility

Colorado County officials on Wednesday won the latest round of a five-year fight to prevent a waste processing near the Colorado River that they say would contaminate ground and surface water for thousands of rural Texans. During a Texas Commission on Environmental Quality hearing, the state denied a permit request by Altair Disposal Services to construct a landfill that would take waste from an incineration facility near Houston to Colorado County, which sits about halfway between Houston and Austin, and…

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RV park planned near Hamilton Pool worries some Austin-area neighbors

RV park planned near Hamilton Pool worries some Austin-area neighbors

Just outside of Austin, where the Pedernales River winds lazily through the Hill Country before pouring into the Colorado, a series of parks and preserves showcase and protect large swaths of rugged Texas wilderness. The Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center harbors a 40-foot waterfall with a lush grotto ensconced below, hung with mosses and ferns. And less than a mile away, water races over another cliff to create Hamilton Pool, fed by springs from farther uphill where the Edwards Aquifer spills…

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Meeting on proposed wastewater plant set

Meeting on proposed wastewater plant set

  • August 20, 2019
  • News

A public meeting has been scheduled for Aug. 26 in Bandera on an application for a wastewater treatment permit for a Christian youth camp planned near Tarpley that has generated enough protests from area property owners and concerned citizens to get the proposed permit changed. Property owners and area resident concerned about Commissioners Creek and Hondo Creek near Tarpley banded together to form a group called the Friends of Hondo Canyon that opposes the proposed wastewater treatment sought by a…

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Hill Country caves reveal secrets to the biology of cave-dwelling animals

Hill Country caves reveal secrets to the biology of cave-dwelling animals

Along U.S. Highway 281 headed north to the Comal County line, drivers can see shopping centers and housing developments that look indistinguishable from suburbia elsewhere in the country. But hundreds of feet below the highway, inside the Edwards Aquifer and some local caves, new species of salamanders, crustaceans, and other creatures are being discovered. Animals that live inside the Edwards aquifer include two species of blind catfishes. A recent report also documents the discovery of several species of crustaceans (shrimp-like…

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Officials advise keeping pets out of Lady Bird Lake

Officials advise keeping pets out of Lady Bird Lake

  • August 16, 2019
  • News

Additional testing has revealed increasing levels of neurotoxins in algae at a greater number of locations. Samples were taken on Monday, August 12, 2019, at Auditorium Shores, at Red Bud Isle and at Barton Creek. Samples at Barton Creek were taken just below the pedestrian bridge over Barton Creek on the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail. All the samples contained greater amounts of neurotoxins than found the previous week. Red Bud Isle remains closed. The public should…

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Invasive zebra mussels found in Lakes Lyndon B. Johnson, Pflugerville in Central Texas

Invasive zebra mussels found in Lakes Lyndon B. Johnson, Pflugerville in Central Texas

AUSTIN – Established, reproducing populations of invasive zebra mussels have been discovered at two new lakes in Central Texas, Lake Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) in the Colorado River basin northwest of Austin and Lake Pflugerville northeast of Austin. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) biologists confirmed the presence of zebra mussels in Lake LBJ after LCRA staff found about a dozen juvenile and adult zebra mussels near the Thomas C. Ferguson Power Plant in…

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Sink Creek Project Awarded U.S. Forest Service Grant

Sink Creek Project Awarded U.S. Forest Service Grant

The City of San Marcos will receive a $423,500 grant from the United States Forest Service to fund the land purchase of the Sink Creek Community Forest Tract. This is the first Community Forest and Open Space Program grant awarded to a project in Texas. The City purchased the 102-acre tract through a three-year lease with The Trust for Public Land in 2017 for a total purchase price of $1.27 million. City Council approved the lease-purchase agreement with the expectation…

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MoPac construction at Slaughter and La Crosse faces delays over environmental concerns

MoPac construction at Slaughter and La Crosse faces delays over environmental concerns

Construction along a stretch of MoPac Boulevard is facing delays after crews discovered dozens of fissures and holes in the ground along the freeway that help recharge the Edwards Aquifer and Barton Springs. The discovery of 72 so-called karst features has forced the Texas Department of Transportation to redesign the La Crosse Avenue bridge over MoPac (Loop 1) and push its opening to late this year at the earliest. TxDOT has not given a firm timeline on how much of…

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Sedimentation surveys on the Highland Lakes a look into the future of water resources

Sedimentation surveys on the Highland Lakes a look into the future of water resources

  • July 25, 2019
  • News

Nathan Leber is all about finding the dirt on Lake Buchanan and other Texas reservoirs, or, more precisely, the dirt at the bottom. Leber, manager of the TexMesoNet and Hydrosurvey programs for the Texas Water Development Board, is in charge of a crew that’s currently surveying sedimentation in Lake Buchanan. Sedimentation surveys in Texas reservoirs help the state understand how water resources will look 50-100 years into the future. “We provide the data; (state leaders) make the decisions,” Leber said.…

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Plans for treatment plant raise worries about impact on San Marcos River

Plans for treatment plant raise worries about impact on San Marcos River

Huddled into a small 1930s-era high school auditorium, dozens of people this week declared their opposition to letting a yet-to-be-built residential development dump treated wastewater into Dickerson Creek, a tributary of the San Marcos River and a typically dry waterway that feeds private wells in Caldwell County. The proposed Cherryville development, which would have 10,000 homes on a 1,200-acre plot off Texas 80 and Texas 130, requested a permit to dump up to 160,000 gallons of treated wastewater per day…

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