We are pleased and grateful to claim a partial victory in the contested case hearing on LCRA’s application for a groundwater pumping permit. The judges have issued a Proposal for Decision (PFD) that includes the recommendation that surface water monitoring must be done by LCRA as a part of the permit. See the attached press release and summary of the key findings as they relate to surface waters.…
Environmental Stewardship and Landowners admitted as Parties
A hearing to determine party status of 127 individuals and organizations protesting LCRA’s application for a permit to pump groundwater from Bastrop County was held on December 19, 2018. The hearing was ordered by State Office of Administrative Hearing Law Judges (ALJs) Michael J. O’Malley and Laura M. Valdez.
Environmental Stewardship and a group of 43 landowners were admitted as parties to the contested case hearing to be held next fall. Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District, Aqua Water Supply Corporation, City of Elgin, and Recharge Water, LP, along with 12 unrepresented landowners were also admitted. To ensure that all parties have a justiciable interest, each entity and individual is required to file an affidavit no later than February 9, 2019 (Order 2). Any objections to party status must be filed no later than February 19, 2019.
LCRA seeks permit for 25,000 acre-feet/yr of groundwater from Griffith League Scout Ranch
Hearing set for September 26th, 7:00 pm, Bastrop Convention Center, 1408 Chestnut Street, Bastrop, TX 78602
The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) applied with the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District (District) for groundwater operating and transport permits for eight (8) wells, for a total combined maximum annual production of up to 25,000 acre-feet/year on February 21, 2018. A public hearing on the application has been set for September 26, 2018.
Persons interested in opposing the permit must give notice to the Lost Pines GCD five (5) days BEFORE the hearing — by close of business on September 21, 2018 — to participate in a contested case hearing on the application. Friends of Bastrop Water and Simsboro Aquifer Water Defense Fund will be holding a public meeting for persons interested in opposing the LCRA’s pending wells. The meeting is September 13, 2018 at 4:30 and 7 pm at the American Legion Hall, 303 Loop 150 E, Bastrop, TX 78602.…
In our last post I left you with the comment:
“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. “
We told you we were assessing the implications of those discussions and that we would be back to you on this in the near future. …
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.
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: