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.
The fact of the matter is, by appealing the Judge’s decision, they are opposing and not accepting the judge’s ruling that the District erred in denying landowners a voice, no matter what they say is their reason for appealing. Only time will tell whether the District has actually softened its position on landowners rights to protest permits. Up until now, the District’s lawyers have aggressively taken the same position as End OP, that the landowners do not deserve standing to protest the permit.
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.
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,…
The following article provides the history of creating the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District and one landowner’s perspective on a landmark water decision
This Wednesday, January 17, 2018, Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District (District or Lost Pines District) will consider and possibly act on its option to appeal Judge Carson Campbell’s January 4, 2018, ruling to the state court of appeals. (Click here for agenda)
Judge Campbell’s order ruled that the District erred in denying party status to four landowners and REVERSED the District’s decision. Campbell also REVERSED the permit to pump 46,000 acre feet of groundwater per year that was given by the District to Recharge Water, L.P. and REMANDED the case back to the Lost Pines District for proceedings consistent with the Court’s decision.…
Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District considers appeal of Judge’s decision in favor of Landowners
The Board will meet on Wednesday January 17, 2018, at 7:00 p.m. at Bastrop City Hall, 1311 Church Street, Bastrop,TX. We request that you attend and/or write to the District urging it NOT TO APPEAL the trial court ruling upholding private property rights. This Wednesday, January 17, 2018, Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District…
BASTROP January 4, 2018 – A state district judge in Bastrop has ruled in favor of Environmental Stewardship and three other landowners in their suit against the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District (District). Judge Carson Campbell’s order rules that the District erred in denying party status and reverses the District’s decision. The order further reverses the permits for 46,000 acre feet per year of groundwater given by the District to End Op (now Recharge Water, L.P.) and remands the case back to the District for proceedings consistent with the Court’s decision.
The following is a press release from the Simsboro Aquifer Water Defense Fund (SAWDF) regarding the decision:
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