Hearing on LCRA’s Application for Groundwater Permit

Hearing on LCRA’s Application for Groundwater Permit. October 15-18 and 21-22, 10:00 am, Bastrop Convention Center, Bastrop, Texas.

We are urging that you attend the opening session on Tuesday, October 15.    

 

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

Remember September 2018 when over 125 landowners and Environmental Stewardship formally protested the permit that the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District proposed to issue to the Lower Colorado River Authority? Well, over a year later, the time has arrived for landowners and Environmental Stewardship to take their seats at the permitting table.  You all know this has been, and will continue to be, an uphill battle — but that hasn’t stopped us!

We believe a good turnout for that first day of the hearing on Oct. 15 is very important — lots of residents and landowners in attendance from Bastrop and Lee counties will have a visual impact on the two administrative law judges. Opening arguments will likely take place in the morning session and will give you an understanding of each party’s position in the case. 

And, by the way, as of early this week we have had a change in the administrative law judges who will hear the case.  The new judges are Rebecca S. Smith and Ross Henderson.  

What to expect

After taking care of legal issues that are yet unsettled, the parties will make opening statements and have agreed to limit opening statements to ten minutes each.

The order of presentation of direct cases will be as follows:

  1. LCRA
  2. Elvis and Roxanne Hernandez (Henandez)
  3. The Brown Landowner Group (Brown Landowners)
  4. Environmental Stewardship
  5. Aqua Water Supply Corporation (Aqua)
  6. City of Elgin (Elgin)
  7. Recharge Water LP (Recharge)
  8. The General Manager of the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District (District GM)

The parties also agree that the scope of live direct testimony will be limited to swearing in witnesses to adopt each witness’s prefiled testimony, recognizing that parties may make corrections to testimony, and that redirect testimony is allowed.

The order of cross-examination will be as follows:

Witnesses

  1. Hernandez  –                                    Elvis Hernandez
  2. Brown Landowners  –                     Keith Copeland
  3. Environmental Stewardship  –      George Rice and Joseph Trungale
  4. Aqua  –                                              Dave McMurry, David Fleming, Michael Keester
  5. Elgin  –                                               Doug Prinz, Kevin “Beau” Perry, Michael Keester
  6. Recharge  –                                       Michael Thornhill 
  7. District GM  –                                    James Totten and William Hutchison
  8. LCRA  –                                              John Hofmann, Van Kelly, Steve Young, Leonard Oliver, Bryan Cook

Environmental Stewardship’s legal team is Marisa Perales, Eric Allmon, and Katie Aplis. Our legal team will lay out our case regarding the impacts of LCRA’s requested groundwater pumping and baseline pumping (pumping already permitted) on the Colorado River and its tributaries at the hearing.  The legal team has already presented evidence of the impacts in prefiled testimony that can be found on our website.  All hearing documents can be found at the Docket Number 952-19-0705 here (click on “Public Case File Search” and put in the docket number.). 

You are urged to attend the hearing and read the testimony in advance if you wish.

We will also provide you with information by way of our blog, email list, and Facebook to help you better understand the case we are making and what to expect as the hearing gets underway.   Please stay tuned.     

We are very grateful to the Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation, the Trull Foundation, Environmental Fund of Texas, First National Bank of Bastrop, and the many individuals that have made grants and donations to Environmental Stewardship to support this effort.   

To all of you, thank you for your interest and support.   I hope to see many of you at the hearing.

 

Steve Box

Board President and Executive Director

Environmental Stewardship

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