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January 10, 2020
Dear Coalition Members:

Happy New Year! As we look ahead to this year, we are excited that the Coalition will be able to address critical issues facing the Lower Colorado River thanks to your support.

We appreciate all who recently renewed their membership.  This means we can continue to carry out the mission and goals of our Coalition.  If you would like to renew, please see our website for details here.

Here are some of the top challenges facing us in 2020. We will be monitoring events closely and respond when appropriate. 
Skull Creek Spill Trial

A jury trial will start on Jan. 27 for Inland Environmental and Remediation Inc. on charges that it contaminated Skull Creek, a tributary of the Colorado River, last year – killing fish and posing a risk to people.

After the toxic spills last year, Colorado County Judge Ty Prause - a member of our Coalition Executive Committee – said, “The creek is dead.”

Inland has been under court orders since May to assess the extent of the contamination and take steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again. A processor of oil and gas drilling waste, Inland E and R filed for bankruptcy in June 2019.

See the Coalition’s news release here.
Altair Hazardous Landfill

Travis County District Court is considering a request that Altair Disposal Services made in December for a rehearing of its application to build a hazardous waste landfill north of Altair, near the Colorado River.

Their application was denied by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality last September on grounds that the underlying aquifers, and hence the river, couldn’t be protected from potential contamination because the soil in the area was not dense enough to seal off pollutants.

Our Coalition asked TCEQ in this letter to deny the permit application.
LCRA Water Management Plan

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is currently considering the LCRA’s latest proposed updates to its Water Management Plan, which guides how it operates the Colorado River, following a hearing on Oct. 24, 2019.
Our Coalition will be watching for the TCEQ’s decision and how it may impact the lower basin.

Proposed updates to the 2015 Water Management Plan are shown here.
 
State Flood Planning

Public comment is invited until February 3rd on proposed rules to govern the new State Flood Plan, which will be the first statewide effort to better manage flood risks - including providing greater protection against loss of life.

The rules create 11 flood planning groups that are tasked with developing regional flood plans by 2023, for incorporation into the first state flood plan in September 2024.

Of interest to our Coalition is the proposed boundary between the Colorado and Brazos basins, as shown here.

The proposed rules are here.

Comments on the regional and state flood planning rules should be emailed to rulescomments@twdb.texas.gov by February 3, 2020.

Comments on the planning regions should be emailed to 
public-comment@twdb.texas.gov by February 3, 2020.
Legislative Interim Charges

Our Coalition will continue monitoring the legislative interim charges for any impacts on the lower Colorado basin.

The Senate charges are here and the House charges here.
The coalition urges a fair and balanced approach to river management for all parties under all conditions – from drought to flood. The Lower Colorado River Basin Coalition is a 501 c (6) entity.

waterdownstream.org


Executive Committee

Chair, Kirby Brown
Vice Chair, Judge Paul Pape
Secretary, Robert Howard
Treasurer, Mitch Thames
Copyright © *2002* *Lower Colorado River Basin Coalition*, All rights reserved.

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Lower Colorado River Basin Coalition · P.O. Box 12104 · Austin, TX 78711 · USA

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