Commissioners with the Texas Commissioner on Environmental Quality spent nearly six hours hearing testimony from those that would be affected by a request from the Lower Colorado River Authority to stop the flow of water coming from the Highland Lakes.
A crowd of about 250 farmers, water planners and state and local officials shared their thoughts with TCEQ about a request from the LCRA to stop the flow of water from the Highland Lakes unless the lakes had a combined storage of 1.1 million acre feet -- more than half full.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will hear public testimony Wednesday on the Lower Colorado River Authority’s emergency request to stop the flow of water heading downstream to Texas rice farmers.
Jennifer Walker with the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club said they are especially concerned with this year’s emergency order because of the number involved.
Officials with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency have reached an agreement as it pertains to Texas’ clean air plan. The resolution allows major polluters like oil refineries some flexibility on clean air permits.
After hearing from state lawmakers, conservation groups and affected farmers, the LCRA board voted to raise the lake level threshold before any water is released to the rice farming irrigation areas of Texas.
The LCRA approved raising the lake level threshold from 850,000 acre feet to 1.1 million acre feet of water, and the board also asked the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to enforce mandatory water restrictions for people living along the Highland Lakes, limiting lawn watering to once a week.
The Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance said the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality can issue a variance to its rule that SAWS provide water to the Crescent Hills Subdivision, which is located near the Bracken Bat Cave.
SAWS has said it has no choice but to provide the sewer and water mains because of its Certificate of Convenience and Necessity, but GEAA Executive Director Annalisa Peace said the group's attorneys have research the issue and say the TCEQ can change the certificate at the request of SAWS.
Several agencies are now investigating an oil spill that flowed into the San Antonio River at 10th Street last weekend.
So much rain came down over the weekend and Monday that it is difficult for the agencies to measure the amount of oil that washed down Avenue B to 10th Street, over the berms, through the grass, and into the river.
Tests by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality have determined that the spill was petroleum oil.
Texas Matters: A former environmental inspector talks about regulations and their role in industrial safety following the deadly explosion in West, Texas. Also on this show, an update on the Keystone XL Pipeline, which is hitting some speedbumps along the way.