It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Melanie P. Phillips, Director and Secretary of Environmental Stewardship. Melanie’s love of the natural environment led her to advocate for preservation of rivers, bays, and trees for ecological as well as recreational purposes. She was passionate about the symbiotic relationship we have…
In our last post I left you with the comment:
“After nearly an hour of closed discussion in executive session the Board returned to public session where they openly asked questions of their lawyers and engaged in a discussion with the members of the public who were present. They then retired to a second executive session before taking any action, apparently in reaction to the public’s comments … all firsts in our 10+ years of experience with this Board. “
We told you we were assessing the implications of those discussions and that we would be back to you on this in the near future. …
In an ironic twist, having denied Landowners a seat at the table in the original 2014 contested case hearing involving End Op’s application for a massive groundwater permit, the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District’s Board of Directors essentially did it again Thursday night. The Board voted 4 to 2 to appeal Judge Campbell’s decision favoring the Landowners. This time, saying they are appealing because they want to be sure they have … A SEAT AT THE TABLE.
District leaves appeal open to End Op by inaction
January 25 2018.
The Lost Pines District “tabled” any action on Judge Carson Campbell’s ruling earlier in January. We did not want the District to appeal the Judge’s ruling in favor of four landowners, but we did not want the District to create a vacuum either.
The District’s failure to move forward with a hearing in adherence to the judge’s order has left uncertainty in the District’s position, creating an opportunity for End Op to continue the litigation for now through an appeal. As such, yesterday End Op acted on that opening and filed an appeal of the Judge’s Final Judgement in the Court of Appeals for the Third District of Texas (Austin).
The District should respect the judge’s ruling and expeditiously grant a hearing to Landowners (Plaintiffs), thereby putting an end to the District’s enabling of End Op’s recent appeal.
Sitting-on-their-hand makes the District complicit in the appeal that End Op has now filed.
To clearly move in adherence to Judge Campbell’s ruling, the District needs to take two affirmative public actions: 1) immediately direct their attorneys not to appeal, and 2) affirmatively granting a hearing on the End Op permit application that includes the Landowners as parties.
Article by Mary Huber, Bastrop Advertiser
ATTENTION BASTROP AND LEE COUNTY LANDOWNERS
READ ON AND TAKE ACTION
The Lost Pines’ Board was unable to make a decision on appealing Judge Carson Campbell’s ruling favoring landowners at its January 17 meeting. Read today’s article in the Bastrop Advertiser/Statesmen The Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District’s Board of Directors declined to make a decision on its option to appeal Judge Carson Campbell’s January 4,…
BASTROP – A state district judge in Bastrop on Wednesday heard arguments for and against the contention that four landowners are entitled to a new hearing because they were wrongfully excluded by the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District from participating in a 2013 administrative hearing.
The 2013 hearing resulted in a permit to water marketer End-Op LP (now known as Recharge Water) that allows massive amounts of groundwater to be pumped and exported from Lee and Bastrop counties. The Oct. 18 hearing was part of a legal challenge to that permit.
Judge Carson Campbell ruled in favor of the landowners from the bench Wednesday on the question of whether he even has the authority to review the District’s decision to exclude them. A ruling on the landowners’ right to protest the permit is pending from Judge Campbell.
Environmental Stewardship became a Waterkeeper Affiliate organization on September 23, 2016. As a new Waterkeeper Affiliate, Environmental Stewardship works to protect and preserve the Texas Colorado River, associated aquifers, and the bays and estuaries of the Texas Gulf Coast by combining its first-hand knowledge of the waterway with an unwavering commitment to the rights of the community, to ecological health of waterways and aquifers, and to the rule of law.
“Waterkeeper Alliance is thrilled to have Steve Box, Executive Director, to be the eyes, ears, and voice for this vital watershed and community,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., President of Waterkeeper Alliance. “Every community deserves to have swimmable, drinkable, fishable and flowing water, and Mr. Box is the right leader to fight to protect the surface water and groundwater supplies in the Colorado River basin.”
For more information on see our webpage ES’ Waterkeeper Alliance Affiliation. …
New Group Launches Fight To Protect Local Groundwater and Aquifers
ELGIN – Veterans of a long-standing fight to protect the area’s groundwater have joined forces and launched a new organization to help lead that effort.
The new group, the Simsboro Aquifer Water Defense Fund (SAWDF), includes volunteers from the League of Independent Voters, Environmental Stewardship, Sierra Club and Neighbors for Neighbors.
SEE END OF THIS POST FOR LINKS TO ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Groundwater Availability Model improvements will include groundwater-surface water integration for the Colorado River and the Central Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer
After seven years of advocating for action on groundwater-surface water interaction issues in Central Texas, we are on the verge of a major step forward in our efforts to protect the Colorado River and its tributaries from over-pumping of groundwater. A recent contract between the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) and INTERA Incorporated will play a vital step in helping planners understand and manage this important ecological and hydrological relationship, thereby achieving one of our major goals – to establishing a science link between groundwater and surface water to inform policy and management decisions. …
The Honorable Carson Campbell of the 21st Judicial District Court of Bastrop County will hold a hearing on End Op, LP’s “request for declaratory judgment on lack of jurisdiction.” (See background below). The hearing will be held on Wednesday, March 4, 2015, at the Bastrop County Court House, 804, Pecan Street, Bastrop, TX 78602. The public is invited to attend. Landowner attorneys will argue before the judge for dismissal of the request.
That’s a lot of legalese. Basically, End Op is attempting to throw a stick in our spokes and derail our appeal in state court to gain “party status”. This is End Op’s ongoing attempt to deny local landowners their due process rights to oppose End Op’s permit application to export 46,000 ac-ft/yr (almost 15 billion gallons) of groundwater from Bastrop and Lee counties to feed the thirst of the I-35/TX-130 growth corridor. End Op has yet to find customers for that water after years of hustling.
Local Water Marketer Beal flies under the radar…