Response to LCRA’s Rehearing Request

Our case is strong, has prevailed, but is being challenged … again.

After prevailing though the contested case hearing where two administrative law judges found in favor of Environmental Stewardship, the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District’s Board of Directors issued a decision on the LCRA’s groundwater permit that requires the LCRA and the District to monitor the impact of groundwater pumping on surface water as a enforceable condition of the permit (see Final Decision discussion below).  Now, in a last attempt to get administrative relief and reverse these decisions, the LCRA requested a rehearing.

Hutchison Exhibit 6 Evidence: Impacts of LCRA (Red) and District (Blue) groundwater pumping on discharge of groundwater to the Colorado River. Annotated by Environmental Stewardship. 

Having agreed to reconsider their decision, Lost Pines Board gave the parties until March 10,2022, to file briefs that respond to LCRA’s nine (9) complaints.  LCRA has until March 25th to reply to our briefs (see Reply Briefs below).  The Board will then hold a final hearing (date to be determined) where they will hear oral argument before issuing a final decision.   LCRA will then be free, at its own discretion, to appeal the District’s decision and seek judicial relief in Bastrop District Court.

For nearly a decade, Environmental Stewardship has had three primary objectives in protecting the Colorado River. The first has been to get a surface water-groundwater monitoring network installed in the river basin in Bastrop, Texas. The second objective has been to protect the river and its tributaries from over-pumping by limiting the amount of pumping allowed in the Desired Future Conditions (DFCs) within Groundwater Management Area 12. The third objective has been to get a surface water specific DFC adopted for the river by the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District.

So far, much to LCRA’s objections, our case has proven strong and has prevailed through two major rounds of review.  When we prevail in this third round of review,  these three key elements of Environmental Stewardship’s primary objectives will be within sight.    



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