Senate Bill 3 established "environmental flow standards" for river basins associated with a river that flows into the Gulf of Mexico in Texas. But for some rivers in the northern part of the state, no such standards are in place.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality must decide on acceptable flow standards in those river basins on a case-by-case basis. River basins in Northeast Texas with no established flow standards are the Red, the Sulphur and the Cypress.
The proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir would flood 70,000 acres of bottom land, including hardwood forests that have been identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as "high value" habitat. A report published last week by Austin-based Environment Texas opposes the project, which it says would harm Northeast Texas so as to supply water for Dallas - a city with comparatively poor water conservation practices.