Conservation easement program preserves ranches for local water quality and nature benefits

Conservation easement program preserves ranches for local water quality and nature benefits

Gary Puryear said he did not know much about nature conservation when he inherited his father’s 423-acre ranch near Hamilton Pool Road in Western Travis County. Members of his family had owned and lived on the working ranch since 1880, and Puryear said the emotion of losing his father made it difficult to decide whether to keep the land or sell it to a developer. However, when he learned of the vast environmental benefits maintaining the land would bring to…

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Defenders: Thousands of Texas wastewater treatment plants dump into waterways

Defenders: Thousands of Texas wastewater treatment plants dump into waterways

  • February 28, 2019
  • News

AUSTIN, Texas — As part of Boomtown 2040 we are looking into growth and the impact it has on the places we call home. One of the biggest concerns about our area’s growth is water. The KVUE Defenders discovered a growing number of cities are dumping treated wastewater into the very places we enjoy and get our drinking water. We had a difficult time finding a city or suburb willing to talk about it until we mapped out all the…

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Permit for popular Float Fest on San Marcos River denied

Permit for popular Float Fest on San Marcos River denied

The Guadalupe County Commissioners Court voted on Thursday to deny a permit for Float Fest, just days after a study commissioned by organizers of the annual music festival showed it generated $12.3 million in total economic impact last year. Without a permit, which is required for gatherings of more than 5,000 people, the event cannot be legally held. Commissioners voted 3-2 during a special meeting that lasted more than three hours to deny the request by festival promoter Marcus Federman. He had…

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Liberty Hill wastewater treatment plant accused of dumping chemicals into river

  • January 27, 2019
  • News

LEANDER, Texas — The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is investigating after getting a complaint about foam and a bleach odor being discharged from the Liberty Hill Wastewater Treatment Plant outfall into the San Gabriel River. Chemicals discharged Thursday Water became foamy Wastewater treatment plant cited last year “This probably was a process failure. I’d be surprised if it was intentional,” Mike Clifford from the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, said. Clifford was contacted by a resident in the area who noticed foam and…

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Differing opinions on source of river algae during Liberty Hill town hall

Differing opinions on source of river algae during Liberty Hill town hall

  • January 24, 2019
  • News

LIBERTY HILL — An angry crowd faced off Tuesday night against city of Liberty Hill officials and engineers with their concerns that wastewater released into the South San Gabriel River by the city’s treatment plant was still causing algae in the river. Many people at the town hall meeting, including Stephanie Morris, said they were seeing excessive levels of algae along all stretches of the river, even though officials said that problems at the city-owned South Fork Wastewater Treatment Plant…

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GEAA fights Bulverde wastewater permits

GEAA fights Bulverde wastewater permits

  • January 23, 2019
  • News

Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance (GEAA) will host a “strategy meeting” for ideas about how to fight a local developer’s attempt to release 300,000 gallons-per-day of treated sewage into Indian Creek, a tributary of Cibolo Creek in Comal County. The meeting regarding TCEQ Permit # WQ0015092001 for the Goldsmith Tract Development, development is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23 at GVTC Auditorium 36101 FM 3159, New Braunfels. TCEQ has scheduled a public meeting regarding the Indian Creek permit for 7…

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Research underway to help track pollutants in the Edwards aquifer

Research underway to help track pollutants in the Edwards aquifer

  • December 29, 2018
  • News

Jessica Quintanilla, a hydrologist for the Edwards Aquifer Authority, sloshes back onto shore in her black waterproof boots from the middle of this creek just off Scenic Loop Road, south of Grey Forest. “Next, we have to set up the peristaltic pump,” she said, as she inserts the white, quarter-inch tube she dragged 15 feet back to shore from her water sensor, before flipping on a generator and starting the pump. Quintanilla and a Southwest Research Institute scientist start pumping…

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Worries grow after quarry cited for discharge violations

Worries grow after quarry cited for discharge violations

Violations stemming from two separate discharges of sedimentary debris into Onion Creek in 2016 and 2017 led to citations for the Hays Quarry Rock Crushing Plant, according to a Barton Publications investigation. The investigation came after video and photo evidence of the discharge was submitted to the Hays Free Press and News-Dispatch, sparking outcry from local residents. The quarry, located south of RM 967 and west of the Ruby Ranch subdivision, was found to be in violation of sediment discharge…

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As we grow, streams and rivers need TLC

As we grow, streams and rivers need TLC

  • December 4, 2018
  • News

There were four of five things going on in town last Thursday that I wanted to attend. Typical night in the busy ’Burg, huh? One of them I had to let pass was a forum at Schreiner University dealing with water pollution sponsored by the Hill Country Alliance. Fortunately, Texas Public Radio recorded and archived the talk, which can be found at www.tpr.org/post/balancing-population-growth-and-healthy-rivers-texas. Ann Rogers Harrison, water quality program leader with Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, served as moderator. Panelists…

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State judge sides with Dripping Springs in wastewater permit hearing

State judge sides with Dripping Springs in wastewater permit hearing

  • November 29, 2018
  • News

The city of Dripping Springs will proceed with its wastewater permit application after a state judge sided with the city on all 12 issues raised by Save Our Springs Alliance—an Austin-area environmental nonprofit. The State Office of Administrative Hearings conducted the contested case hearing and concluded that the city’s application for a wastewater permit should be granted, according to a Nov. 26 news release. The ruling concluded that the draft permit: • Contains provisions to protect wildlife in the area…

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