March 22, 2021
Region 10 - The Lower Colorado-Lavaca Regional Flood Planning GroupDear Coalition Members,

We in the Lower Colorado River Basin have a new and meaningful way to make our voices heard on flood issues.

The Lower Colorado-Lavaca Regional Flood Planning Group (Region 10), which I chair, was created last year to develop a plan that identifies flood projects and strategies to better protect lives and property by controlling and mitigating damage.
Our regional plan, due in 2023, will be rolled up with 14 other regions into a State Flood Plan due in 2024.
The flood planning process provides ample opportunity for stakeholder input and I encourage our Coalition to take advantage of those opportunities. Please sign up for email notifications on this page and note the “Submit Comments” button in the upper right corner.
Our next meeting is on March 29 at 9 am and will be held online. We hope to see you there.
Phillip Spenrath
Executive Committee Member, Lower Colorado River Basin Coalition
Chair, Lower Colorado-Lavaca Regional Flood Planning Group
Wharton County Judge                             
General Land Office Flood Studies

A major flood study by the General Land Office is now ramping up and offers our counties in the lower Colorado River basin a valuable  opportunity to identify mitigation projects and funding sources for them.  

The study, which was launched in September 2020, is designed to gather flood risk data and identify mitigation strategies for the 49 counties that received a presidential disaster declaration due to the impact of Hurricane Harvey plus 4 counties in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

The three-year study is intended to:
  • Assess flood risk
  • Identify flood mitigation projects
  • Identify funding sources for those projects
 Learn more here
LCRA to Study Rainfall Runoff and Water Flows into Highland Lakes

The Lower Colorado River Authority plans to conduct a study this year to examine how physical and meteorological factors may affect rainfall runoff in the watershed, according to responses to stakeholder questions in November.

LCRA also intends to study how its water supply planning might incorporate uncertainty in the amounts of water flowing into lakes Buchanan and Travis.

The plans to gather new data were disclosed during the LCRA’s annual review of its Water Management Plan on Nov. 12, 2020.

Read more about the 2020 Water Management Plan here.
87th Legislative Session
The Texas Legislature convened its 87th Session on Jan. 12 and we are monitoring issues of relevance for our basin.

Here are a couple of developments of interest:
  • Interactions between surface water and groundwater would be studied under a bill introduced by Rep. Lyle Larson, a member of the House Natural Resources Committee. See the bill details here.
  • The House Natural Resources Committee will have a new chair for the first time in two sessions. Representative Tracy King of Laredo was appointed to chair the committee that oversees most water issues in the Lower Chamber. 
Skull Creek Spill Trial to be Rescheduled
A jury trial is currently being rescheduled for Inland Environmental and Remediation Inc. on charges that it contaminated Skull Creek, a tributary of the Colorado River, in 2019 – killing fish and posing a risk to people.
Colorado County, where the toxic spill occurred, is now a direct litigant in the suit that was filed in 2019 by the Texas Attorney General’s office on behalf of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The trial originally was set for January 2020 but was delayed due to COVID.
Read more here
Proposed Hazardous Landfill Dropped
Altair Disposal Services has dropped its efforts to move a hazardous waste landfill to a site south of Columbus, near the Colorado River, following opposition from the Lower Colorado River Basin Coalition and other parties.
Colorado County's lawyers recently received a Notice of Non-Suit from Altair Disposal that was filed with the Travis County District Court on Jan. 14, according to Colorado County Judge Ty Prause. The non-suit is with prejudice, which means Altair cannot refile the actions. 
Our Coalition as well as Colorado County, the Colorado County Groundwater Conservation District and the Association for a Clean Environment opposed the proposed landfill because of potential adverse impacts to the lower Colorado River watershed, Colorado River aquifer, Gulf Coast Aquifer plus lands, businesses and industries that rely on water from the Colorado River.
Read more here.
Haskell Simon, Water Champion, Passes at 87
Haskell Simon, a tireless crusader for water issues in the lower Colorado River basin and statewide, passed away on Aug. 26, 2020. He was 87.

Here is a tribute to Haskell, a feature article in the New York Times and his obituary.

Plans are being made for a memorial in Bay City to honor Haskell’s many contributions to Matagorda County and the State of Texas. The plans are being organized by Wellness Matagorda County Inc. and donations can be sent to this address:

Wellness Matagorda County Inc. (with notation for Haskell Simon Memorial)
700 3rd St.
Bay City, TX 77414
WMC, Inc. is a 501C-3.

You should have received a membership renewal request from Coalition Chair Pape recently - and we want to thank all who have renewed.

As you can see from this newsletter, we have timely issues that need our attention and your dues help us do that.

If you have not yet renewed, please do so here

Thank you,

The Executive Committee
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.
Executive Committee
Co-Chair, Judge Paul Pape
Co Chair, Kirby Brown
Secretary, Robert Howard
Treasurer, Mitch Thames
Full Executive Committee
Copyright © 2021 Lower Colorado River Basin Coalition, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 768
Bay City, TX 77404

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