Lawmaker hears from a concerned public

Lawmaker hears from a concerned public

The town hall meeting concept took on a new form and focus on October 1st when Texas state Rep. Terry Wilson hosted a Zoom video conference to take public comment on Aggregate Production Operations (APOs). As Chair of the House Interim Committee on APOs, Wilson wanted to hear from the public on this final day of a three-day event. The two previous days were taken up by speakers representing the industry and community groups. APOs can include quarries, rock crushers…

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Report: Central Texas wastewater plants exceeding state pollutant limits

Report: Central Texas wastewater plants exceeding state pollutant limits

Publicly owned sewage treatment plants in Central Texas are exceeding state pollution limits with “disturbing frequency,” according to a new report from the Save Barton Creek Association. The environmental organization examined pollutant monitoring data that was self-reported to state environmental regulators by 48 municipal sewage treatment plants in a 17-county region that includes the Hill Country and found that more than 80% had dumped unauthorized pollutants into area streams on at least one occasion in the past three years —…

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think+water: Dam Failures, Lemon Water and Naturalized Flows

think+water: Dam Failures, Lemon Water and Naturalized Flows

  • October 12, 2020
  • News

With 38 public universities and 35 private colleges and universities in the state and many more across the country (and the world) interested in Texas, there’s a great deal of academic scholarship focused on water in the Lone Star State. In this column, I provide brief summaries to several recent academic publications on water in Texas. Dams are coming down, but not always by choice—The geography of Texas dams, dam failures, and dam removal Dams have been key as flood…

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Public voices concerns on final day of rock crusher town halls

Public voices concerns on final day of rock crusher town halls

Blasting, clouds of fine particulates, and over-taxed roads were all issues raised by the public Thursday, Oct. 1, during the final of three virtual town hall meetings hosted by state Rep. Terry Wilson on the subject of Aggregate Production Operations (APOs), a category that includes rock crushers, surface miners, concrete plants, and more. Wilson, the chair of the House Interim Study Committee on APOs, had in previous days invited industry professionals and community action groups to speak. Today, the public…

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Wastewater treatment plant recognized as “Utility Of The Future Today”

Wastewater treatment plant recognized as “Utility Of The Future Today”

The City of San Marcos Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) has received national recognition as a Utility of the Future Today for Community Partnering and Engagement. The San Marcos WWTP is one of 65 water utilities being recognized for transformational work in community engagement, watershed stewardship, and recovery of resources such as water, energy, and nutrients. Read more from San Marcos Corridor News here.

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Blanco Council approves balanced No-Discharge Task Force

Blanco Council approves balanced No-Discharge Task Force

With its unanimous vote Sept. 8, the Blanco City Council delivered on progress toward a lasting solution with Protect Our Blanco for growth and development without wastewater discharge into the Blanco River. A contentious recent history is replaced today by a task force to discuss and quantify engineering options before the end of the year. The vote represents a second step forward following the Aug. 25 presentation from David Baker, Executive Director of the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association, representing Protect…

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Texans must treat every drop of water as precious

Texans must treat every drop of water as precious

The state of Texas is a behemoth. At some 268,000 square miles — from the Piney Woods of East Texas, the Hill Country and the Panhandle to the desert mountains of West Texas and the Gulf Coast — the Lone Star State encompasses disparate climate regions, each with varied economic, social and environmental drivers. As climate change continues, each of these areas will change. As a general rule, scientists predict a significantly warmer and drier climate — with occasional catastrophic…

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Ensuring One Water delivers for healthy waterways: A framework for incorporating healthy waterways into One Water plans and projects

Ensuring One Water delivers for healthy waterways: A framework for incorporating healthy waterways into One Water plans and projects

The One Water approach offers tremendous opportunities for improving how water is managed within communities. Using water efficiently and taking advantage of diverse, locally available water supplies are important goals. It is also important that the approach support communities in assessing how their water use affects the health of waterways, both upstream, where water is sourced, and downstream, where other communities and aquatic resources may be impacted. Local water capture and reuse technologies are some of the most successful innovations…

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‘God is not making more Honey Creeks’: Longtime neighbors clash over planned Hill Country development

‘God is not making more Honey Creeks’: Longtime neighbors clash over planned Hill Country development

Fed by water pouring out of Honey Creek Cave, the stream forms a series of pools and riffles, shaded by towering cypress and sycamore trees. Bass, sunfish, and other native fish dart beneath the lily pads dotting the surface of the clear water. Biologists consider the creek one of the most pristine examples left in the region of what Hill Country creeks looked like before European settlement. Development was probably inevitable for this area on the northern fringes of the…

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Major pipelines hit legal snags. But it’s business as usual in Texas.

Major pipelines hit legal snags. But it’s business as usual in Texas.

Early on, Kinder Morgan faced opposition from individuals, local governments and conservation groups. EHN visited Hill Country—a unique landscape known for its rolling terrain in central Texas—and found that environmentalists and some who are pro-development had gained a common enemy. A barrage of lawsuits in Hill Country challenged the company, as well as the Railroad Commission of Texas and the Army Corps of Engineers, which are both responsible for permitting and oversight. But the project broke ground last year, with…

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