TESPA obtained these letters from EP through discovery in the contested case. They show that EP is searching for additional customers. According to EP's proposed permit, if their contract with GoForth terminates, the permit expires without notice and hearing. However, they can add additional customers while GoForth is still a customer. These local water suppliers need to be aware that this project is unsustainable and will cause severe drawdown in the County.more
One of the arguments TESPA had intended to make at the SOAH hearing on Needmore's permit, was related to the use type associated with the permit. We were not able to make this argument because the ALJ dismissed the case, but we believe the district erred when it expanded Needmore's permit to Agricultural Irrigation. Read the District's field notes to see how it is clear that Needmore never used groundwater for any irrigation, yet on their application they indicated the well was an "existing irrigation well."more
Here are some comments that landowners can submit to BSEACD. Please note that this is not a comprehensive list and that TESPA is still drafting additional comments we will submit with our contested case request. These comments are just suggestions for you to incorporate into your own comments. It is important that your individual concerns be conveyed and that your own voice come through in the comments. We also imagine that there may be additional concerns that landowners will want to convey to the Board of Directors after the BSEACD meeting on June 18th.more
On February 9, 2018, TESPA filed a Motion for Summary Disposition with the State Office of Administrative Hearings, arguing, as a matter of law, that Needmore's Regular Production Permit application should be denied as Needmore was not eligible to apply for a Temporary Permit under HB 3405. The Judge will hear arguments on this matter on March 5th.more
Texas State University student, Shadi Maleki, studies groundwater management and policy in Texas for her Master Degree, specifically discussing TESPA and the Electro Purification groundwater development project in Hays County.more
This is a presentation prepared by TESPA's President, Jim Blackburn, for the League of Women Voters in June, 2017, on how we can begin to protect groundwater dependent surface water in the Texas Hill Country. Jim will be speaking at the Hill Country Alliance's annual leadership summit in September and will expand on this presentation.more
On Thursday, April 27th, the House Natural Resources Committee passed House Bill 4122 out of Committee at a formal meeting at Chairman Larson's desk on the House floor. The introduced version of this bill allowed a landowner with 1,000 acres or more and within the jurisdiction of two or more groundwater conservation districts to petition the districts to transfer into one district if the districts agree to the transfer.
After the hearing, in which many landowners testified against the bill, a committee substitute was drafted which significantly altered these provisions-- reducing the acreage requirement from 1,000 acres to 100 acres, adding a requirement that 20% of the landowner's property must be located in the receiving district's boundaries, and removing the district's ability to refuse to accept the new territory. This new language was met with significant disagreement, and consequently, at the April 19th Natural Resources Committee hearing, the bill was not brought up for a vote.
As a result, a second committee substitute was drafted that is a significant...more
Imagine the Texas Hill Country without water. No swimming holes. No beautiful valley vistas over clear, clean water. No seeps and springs.
Impossible you say? Maybe not, given the current race to mine groundwater that provides all our water supplies in the Hill Country. And if we don’t get serious about protecting our private groundwater and our public rivers, we will lose both. Mark my words.more
Needmore argues that House Bill 3405 does not permit third parties, like TESPA, to contest permits, and that therefore, SOAH does not have jurisdiction to hear the contested case.more
In a 12/19 letter to BSEACD, Needmore's attorney, Ed McCarthy, argues, among other things, that House Bill 3405 prohibits affected landowners from protesting Needmore's application to produce over 887 acre feet of groundwater a year from the Trinity Aquifer. For several reasons, TESPA disagrees with this argument and sent a letter to BSEACD explaining why Mr. McCarthy's argument is flawed.more
This is a letter written by Needmore's attorney in response to BSEACD's decision to issue Needmore a permit for the full amount they requested--289,080,000 gallons of water a year with special conditions requiring Needmore to reduce production when there are impacts to near by wells.
Essentially, Mr. McCarthy has two main arguments. One, that House Bill 3405, the law that extended BSEACD’s jurisdiction to cover Needmore Ranch, requires the District to conduct a hearing BEFORE issuing the permit. This is not how the District normally does things, it is not the procedure that is in the water code, and it is not how the district interpreted the law when they adopted rules implementing it. The second main argument that Mr. McCarthy is making is that the District should not be allowed to place special conditions on the permit requiring Needmore to reduce pumping if there are impacts—as HB 3405 requires them to issue the permit for the maximum production capacity of the well. He requests a contested case hearing to dispute the district placing special conditions on the...more
In January 2015, Vanessa Puig-Williams, TESPA's Executive Director and General Counsel, wrote a blog post for the KBH Center for Energy Land and Business discussing how the rule of capture undermines attempts to effectively manage groundwater in Texas.more