LCRA Prehearing Conference on Party Status

Environmental Stewardship and Landowners admitted as Parties

Protestants admitted as parties to LCRA Contested Case Hearing at December 19th Prehearing Conference.

A hearing to determine party status of 127 individuals and organizations protesting LCRA’s application for a permit to pump groundwater from Bastrop County was held on December 19, 2018. The hearing was ordered by State Office of Administrative Hearing Law Judges (ALJs) Michael J. O’Malley and Laura M. Valdez.

Environmental Stewardship and a group of 43 landowners were admitted as parties to the contested case hearing to be held next fall.  Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District, Aqua Water Supply Corporation, City of Elgin, and Recharge Water, LP, along with 12 unrepresented landowners were also admitted.  To ensure that all parties have a justiciable interest, each entity and individual is required to file an affidavit no later than February 9, 2019 (Order 2).  Any objections to party status must be filed no later than February 19, 2019.

A hearing on merits will be held on October 15-22, 2019, in Bastrop, Texas. A schedule for eleven other deadlines —  concerning discovery, expert witnesses, prefiling of testimony, rebuttal, depositions, and responses to objections — must be filed by January 31, 2019.  After the hearing on merits, the ALJ’s will send a proposed decision to the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District Board of Directors for a final decision on the LCRA’s application.

 

The stage is set … but we need your help!

So the stage is set for Environmental Stewardship and the Landowner Group, along with the other protestants, to argue their case opposing the LCRA’s application in a contested case hearing before ALJs O’Malley and Valdez next fall. But much legal and technical work must be done between now and next fall to prepare a strong and convincing case for the protection of the Colorado River, the environment, communities and landowner property interests if we are going to prevail.  We have a good start on raising the money needed to pay lawyers, expert witnesses, conduct additional research, and educate the public on the issues, but we still need your help!

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