End Op, LP’s Application for Groundwater Operating and Transport Permits
NOTE: Environmental Stewardship and three landowners requested party status in the End Op contested case hearing discussed below. Though neither was granted party status and therefore they were unable to participate in the hearing, they subsequently appealed to the State District Court in Bastrop, TX. The appeal resulted in a favorable decision indicating that they should have been granted party status.
Though the decision was reversed for technical reasons, the decision served as the basis for Environmental Stewardship and the Brown Landowners to be admitted as parties in the LCRA contested case hearing where Environmental Stewardship successfully argued that such groundwater pumping has the potential to cause unreasonable harm to the Colorado River. Based on this finding, the LCRA is required to monitor for surface water impacts as a condition of the permit that was granted in 2021.
End Op filed an application with the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District (District) requesting operating and transport permits for 56,000 acre-feet of groundwater per year in 2007. After a District-imposed moratorium, consideration of permits resumed in 2013. Prior to the public hearing on End Op’s application on April 27, 2013, Aqua Water Supply Corporation (AQUA) requested a contested case hearing to challenge the application (See Contested Case Hearing).
The District’s Board of Directors (Board) referred the matter to the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) but deferred the decisions on party status for AQUA and the Landowners to the SOAH administrative law judge (ALJ) (SOAH Docket No. 952-13-5210).