Forestar Rehearing Well Attended and Well Organized

On December 16, 2013, the Board of Directors held a rehearing on the Forestar application requesting 45,000 acre-feet of groundwater per year.  The Board has previously granted Forestar a permit for 12,000 acre-feet per year. 

 

The hearing was a well attended and well organized.  We thank the Board and staff for working with Environmental Stewardship and others to ensure that the public had an opportunity to hear the arguments of the Applicant (Forestar) and District Staff prior to making public comments.  We also thank the Board for allowing the public to pool its time so that we could make our arguments in a manner that could be heard and understood by the Board, the Applicant, and the Public. 

 

At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board adjourned the hearing but did not take action on the application. Our impression is that the Board will take some time to review the information provided at the hearing and make a written response to the Applicant early next year.  At that time the decision of the Board on the application will be final.  The board can, however, render its decision any time before that date.

   

Our message to the Board:

Nothing has changed, STANDING STRONG!

We have your back.

 …

Hays County Grossly Misinformed on Water Facts

Judge Bert Cobb of Hays County, in his haste to “reserve water in the name of Hays County” [and the so-called “Hays Region”] has failed to do his homework regarding water facts.  He, along with Commissioner Ray Whisenant, have grossly misinformed the residents of Hays and surrounding counties.  I’d like to set the record straight on a few of their more draconian statements.

Forestar Granted Rehearing on Application

In a reversal, Forestar’s Request for Rehearing was GRANTED in a Special Called Board Meeting. 

Our message to the Board:   

Nothing has changed, STANDING STRONG!  We have your back.  

In a special called board meeting held on November 4th, the Lost Pines Board of Directors heard arguments from Forestar’s attorney that, for the first time in public, laid out their proposal for a “phase-in staging” of permits over a 25 year period.  This proposal is, in the words of their attorney, “an effort to avoid further conflict and potential litigation”.  Forestar has made their position clear:  Obtain permits for 45,000 acre-feet per year … or … litigate.  The board voted to grant a re-hearing, but the date has not been set.    

An Open Letter to Lost Pines Board of Directors

An Open Letter to the
Lost Pines GCD Board of Directors from its Constituents
STAND STRONG!

RE:  Forestar (USA) Real Estate Group, Inc. Motion for Rehearing

 

Dear Board of Directors, 

 

Forestar’s request for a rehearing on the permits LPGCD granted earlier this year was on the agenda for the Board’s September 18, 2013, meeting, but was postponed until the October 16, 2013,Board meeting. Several events pertinent to this permit have occurred since that postponement, but the message from the coalition of landowners and citizens who want to protect the future of Lee and Bastrop Counties remains the same:  Stand strong in your duty to protect and conserve the aquifers under our two counties.

 …

Landowners Appeal “Party Stutus”

Landowners in Bastrop and Lee counties who were recently denied the right to be heard in a contested case hearing are appealing the decision.  


The landowners had sought “party status” in the End Op contested case hearing being held before the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH). This administrative decision has broad, significant implications throughout Texas for landowners wanting to protect the groundwater in place beneath their lands. Click here for decision

Judge to rule on “party” status in September

Decision by Judge on 5 hour End Op hearing due early September.

The Aquifer Protectors! From L to R, Eric Allmon (attorney for Environmental Stewardship), Michele Gangnes (pro bono attorney for landowners Meyer, Hanna and Brown), Andy Meyer (Paige landowner), Darwyn Hanna (Bastrop landowner), Ernie Bogart (pro bono attorney for landowners Meyer, Hanna and Brown), Betz Brown (Lee County landowner), Don Grissom (pro bono attorney for landowners Meyer, Hanna and Brown), Steve Box (Executive Director Environmental Stewardship)

The Aquifer Protectors! From L to R, Eric Allmon (attorney for Environmental Stewardship), Michele Gangnes (pro bono attorney for landowners Meyer, Hanna and Brown), Andy Meyer (Paige landowner), Darwyn Hanna (Bastrop landowner), Ernie Bogart (pro bono attorney for landowners Meyer, Hanna and Brown), Betz Brown (Lee County landowner), Don Grissom (pro bono attorney for landowners Meyer, Hanna and Brown), Steve Box (Executive Director Environmental Stewardship)

In a preliminary hearing on Monday, August 12, 2013, Administrative Law Judge Michael O’Malley from the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH), heard testimony and arguments from End Op (applicant), Environmental Stewardship and three landowners (petitioners), and counsel for the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District regarding the petitoners request for “party” status.  After 5 hours of testimony and cross-examination, Judge O’Malley advised that he will receive written responses by August 29th and will issue an order on his decision in early September.  A hearing on the merits of the contested case hearing will likely be held in February, 2014.  

ES Urges Board to Stay the Course

We have a simple message to deliver to the Lost Pines Board tonight:

“Thank you, you are doing the right thing.  WE HAVE YOUR BACK.
STAND TALL AND STAY THE COURSE”.

Forestar Group (USA) took initial steps on June 3rd to enable it to file suit against Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District (District) when it formally requested “Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law” from the District (Forestar letter).  We believe that Forestar is pressuring the Board to reverse their decision and grant all 45,000 ac-ft/yr of groundwater as requested, OR BE SUED.   …

Forestar Moves to Sue Groundwater District

Big Money (Forestar) rolls out big guns (Lawyers) to intimidate guardians (Lost Pines GCD Board) into capitulating (giving them what the want) rather than protecting our groundwater resources. We need your help to let the Board know that they are doing the right thing in protecting our groundwater and WE HAVE THEIR BACK. Ask them to please “stand tall and stay the course”.

Plan to attend the July 17, 2013, meeting of the Lost Pines GCD Board at 7:00 pm at Bastrop City Hall, 1311 Chestunt Street, Bastrop, TX. We will be providing more information about this meeting and what you can do to support the Board.…

Coalition Claims Victory at Groundwater Meeting

Mina Elementary 4th grade "Green Team" commented to Board

Mina Elementary 4th grade “Green Team” commented to Board

Bastrop, TX  – The people of Bastrop and Lee counties gained a MAJOR VICTORY at last night’s Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District hearings.  The Board of Directors listened … and they acted on our behalf. 

THANK YOU Lost Pines BOARD MEMBERS!
1)  LCRA’s request for 10,000 acre-feet/year was cut back 50% to 5,000 acre-feet/year except in years when the counties are in drought conditions.
2)  Forestar’s request for 45,000 acre-feet/year to export was cut back 75% to 12,000 acre-feet/year.
3)  Environmental Stewardship and a group of landowners were accepted for timely filing of their request for “party status” at the End Op contested case hearing to be held before the State Office of Administrative Hearings.

Environmental Stewardship seeks “Party Status” in Contested Permit Hearings

Bastrop, TX May 8, 2013.  Environmental Stewardship has requested “party status” in the contested case hearings requested by Aqua Water Supply Corporation concerning the groundwater permit application by Forestar (USA) Group seeking 45,000 acre-feet/year from the Simsboro Aquifer; End Op, LP seeking 56,000 acre-feet/year ; and the Lower Colorado River Authority seeking 10,000 acre-feet/year.  …