A proposed new lake in Fannin County is still awaiting final approval from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Before that can happen, those who would be directly affected by the proposed Lower Bois d’Arc Creek Reservoir will have the chance to present their case to the Texas Office of Administrative Hearings.
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality commissioners met on Sept. 24 in Austin and referred the cases of those parties who had proved to TCEQ that the new lake would impact them or their land to the Texas Office of Administrative Hearings.
The Texas Water Development Board is responsible for writing the state water plan. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality issues permits for new projects. Typically, it's the TCEQ that evaluates the possible merits and damages caused by new development. But what happens when the Texas Water Development Board's planning regions can't agree? Does the TWDB then shift into a mode of evaluating harm and benefits? Board spokesman Andy Saenz says that the role of the board is, well, fluid. The Texas Legislature might continue to tweak the process in the upcoming session.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has notified the North Hunt Special Utility District water system that the drinking water being supplied to customers had exceeded the Maximum Containment Level (MCL) for nitrite.
Northeast Texas Municipal Water District administrator Walt Sears discusses the three hurdles that any new reservoir in Texas must clear. A project must first be included in the state water plan, which is published by the Texas Water Development Board. Then, another state agency, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, must issue permits for the project. Finally, the new reservoir must receive federal approval.
Sears also mentions that Sen. Kevin Eltife, an East Texan, serves on the new legislative oversight committee set up to assist the Texas Water Development Board.
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.