Supreme Court gives environmentalists partial water law win

Supreme Court gives environmentalists partial water law win

The U.S. Supreme Court gave environmentalists a partial win on the scope of the Clean Water Act, ruling that the law applies to some pollution discharges that don’t go directly into a major body of water. The 6-3 decision Thursday told a federal appeals court to reconsider its conclusion that a Hawaii water-treatment facility violated the law with wastewater discharges that travel underground a half mile to the Pacific Ocean. But the high court majority set a standard that will…

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Permission revoked by County for pipeline to cross under roadways

Permission revoked by County for pipeline to cross under roadways

The commissioners court on Tuesday voted to revoke permission for the energy giant to cross any roads in the county. The unanimous vote came after a lengthy executive session and the motion was made by Pct. 3 Commissioner Lon Shell. It was in Shell’s precinct that contractors on the Permian Highway Pipeline (PHP) hit a karst feature on March 28 while attempting a horizontal bore under the Blanco River. That resulted in the spillage of thousands of gallons of drilling…

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Higher temperatures for 2020 warns of Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) growth

Higher temperatures for 2020 warns of Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) growth

  • April 26, 2020
  • News

Warmer weather means warmer water, which is a catalyst for the overgrowth of highly toxic blue-green algae known as cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms or cyanoHABs in ponds, lakes and reservoirs. Statistically, the warmer the weather, the worse the cyanoHABs. The forecast for summer 2020 is set to see unusually warm weather. Data from the National Oceanic and Administration Agency (NOAA) shows that to the end of March, temperatures are tracking close to 2016 levels, which was the hottest year on…

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TESPA issues notice of intent to sue Permian Highway Pipeline for contamination of an underground source of drinking water

TESPA issues notice of intent to sue Permian Highway Pipeline for contamination of an underground source of drinking water

Press Release: Trinity Edwards Springs Protection Association & Wimberley Valley Watershed Association – For Immediate Release: April 8, 2020 Attorneys acting on behalf of the Trinity Edwards Springs Protection Association (TESPA) today issued a notice of intent to sue the Permian Highway Pipeline LLC (PHP) and its managing partner, Kinder Morgan, for contamination of an underground source of drinking water as a result of PHP construction operations in Blanco County on March 28, 2020. Of primary concern, and contrary to…

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TCEQ loosens enforcement amid COVID-19

TCEQ loosens enforcement amid COVID-19

While environmental regulations are not being set aside, the chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said Monday that enforcing those rules may be eased for violations “that were unavoidable due to the (coronavirus) pandemic.” The agency has “not relaxed any limits on air emissions or discharges to water,” Chairman Jon Niermann wrote in an open letter addressed to the public, environmental advocates and industry. Read more from Asher Price with The Austin American-Statesman here.

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Well water tests underway after pipeline crew hits Karst feature

Well water tests underway after pipeline crew hits Karst feature

Discolored water from wells near the Kinder Morgan Permian Highway Pipeline is causing distress. Test results on the water, taken where the pipeline is about to cross the Blanco River, are expected soon from a Lower Colorado River Authority laboratory. Once the results are received, David Baker of the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association (WVWA) and others opposed to the pipeline’s route through the fragile Texas Hill Country will have a better idea of what their next steps should be. Read more…

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Huge feral hogs invading Canada, building ‘pigloos’ as they go

Huge feral hogs invading Canada, building ‘pigloos’ as they go

Feral swine, the offspring of wild boars and domestic pigs, are spreading through Canada into areas where many didn’t think they could survive. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, some Canadian farmers imported wild boars from Europe to raise for meat. But as wild boars are wont to do, some of them escaped, either digging under fences or barreling through them. Others were set free once the boar meat market cooled. At first, it didn’t seem like a big…

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Environmental group calls for ‘thorough investigation’ as residents report contaminated water near pipeline construction

Environmental group calls for ‘thorough investigation’ as residents report contaminated water near pipeline construction

The Sierra Club has called for a “thorough investigation” after residents in Blanco County reported brown tap water on Wednesday they believe came from a leak at the Permian Highway Pipeline construction site. On Wednesday afternoon, KVUE received reports Blanco County residents’ tap water had turned brown in the area of Chimney Valley Road near Highway 165. Read more from Jeff Bell, Britny Eubank, and Luis de Leon with KVUE here. 

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An ode to tributaries

An ode to tributaries

We have a tendency to think about the water in our cup as a direct product of the local, mainstem river we presume it came from. But drinking water’s journey is rarely that straight forward. Because beer and rivers go so well together, it might be more accurate to think about that cup of drinking water more like a pint of beer. Your favorite IPA, for example, is a unique blend of water, hops, malt, and yeast. Or say you’re…

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Pipeline construction halted while ‘fluid loss’ incident investigated

Pipeline construction halted while ‘fluid loss’ incident investigated

Residents in Blanco County a mile or so upstream of where the Kinder Morgans Permian Highway Pipeline (PHP) crossed the Blanco River are reporting brown tap water coming from their wells. One of them, who lives off FM 165 about a mile from the Chimney Valley Road turnoff in Blanco posted on Facebook that her tap water had turned brown. The post had a photo of the water, which also appeared foamy. Read more from Anita Miller with Hays Free…

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