TWDB

Water board expected to rule on Marvin Nichols

Jan 7, 2015
Large parts of Red River County, including the area pictured, would be covered by the Marvin Nichols Reservoir.
Mark Haslett

A long-running dispute over the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir in Northeast Texas tops the agenda Thursday for the Texas Water Development Board in Austin.

Dallas-Fort Worth’s Region C Water Planning Region and East Texas’ Region D will each have 10 minutes before the three-member panel.

Jim Thompson, chief financial officer for Ward Timber Co., in Atlanta, Texas, will speak on behalf of Region D. The board is deciding whether Marvin Nichols should be allowed to stay in Region D’s 2011 water plan.

TCEQ

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.

KETR

Supporters of the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir encountered a speed bump in Austin this morning, while opponents of the project welcomed a delay of the Texas Water Development Board's final recommendation. 

Audio transcript

State of Texas

Walt Sears of the Northeast Texas Municipal Water District considers raising water levels at Wright Patman Lake, along with using existing water at Toledo Bend Reservoir, a "viable option" for meeting the Dallas area's future water needs without building the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservior.

NPR

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. 

Northeast Texas Municipal Water District

The fate of the Marvin Nichols Reservoir proposal - at least insofar as it figures into the Texas Water Development Board's plans - now lies in the hands of that agency's three-person governing body, consisting of chairman Carlos Rubinstein, Bech Bruun and Kathleen Jackson. 

TWDB

It’s going to be a busy week for the Marvin Nichols Reservoir proposal. The Texas Water Development Board is in the process of resolving a conflict between two regional planning groups over the idea. The Northeast Texas group doesn’t want there to be a new, 70,000 acre lake along the Sulphur River north of Mount Pleasant. The North Texas group is in favor of the proposal. 

Mark Haslett

In Mount Pleasant on Apr. 29, over 400 people attended an Apr. 29 public forum on Marvin Nichols Reservoir proposal hosted by the Texas Water Development Board.

The Texas Water Development Board’s public comment period on the Marvin Nichols Reservoir proposal continues through 5 p.m. Friday. The agency is receiving written comment by email (RegionCandD@twdb.texas.gov) and mail (Office of General Counsel, Attn: Connie Sanders, 1700 North Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701).

Audio transcript

TWDB

The Texas Water Development Board has announced the two public hearings during which the agency will receive public comment on the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir.

A hearing will be held at 2 p.m. Tue., April 29 in Mount Pleasant at the Mount Pleasant Civic Center, 1800 North Jefferson St. Another hearing will be held at 2 p.m. Wed., April 30 in Arlington at the Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center St. At both hearings, oral and written comments will be accepted.

Texas Water Development Board

The planning process for the Texas Water Development Board now focuses on the 16 regions and the reginal plans. If you live in Hunt, Lamar. Delta, Hopkins, Franklin, Wood, Rains or Van Zandt counties, you're in Region D. The next board meeting for the region is Feb. 19 in Mount Pleasant. If you live in Collin, Fannin, Rockwall or Kaufman counties, you're in Region C.