The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) March 7 approved a short list of nine entities for a contested case hearing against Dripping Springs’ wastewater permit application.
Those nine groups and individuals were selected from a field of 66 applicants that sought a chance to contest the permit, which has been the center of concern from various environmental groups.
Dripping Springs’ wastewater permit application, which asks for 995,000 gallons of treated wastewater to be discharged into Walnut Springs, must be approved by TCEQ before the city can develop the facility.
The results of a recent study showed connectively between Onion Creek and the Trinity Aquifer where 40 gallons of non-toxic dye was found in people’s water wells in Dripping Springs.
In light of this public concern and environmental questions that have been raised with the permit, the TCEQ Commissioners approved the shortlist for a substantive hearing against the permit.
The list is composed of organizations and citizens who are “affected” parties.
Among the nine chosen parties is the Save Our Springs (SOS) Alliance, which in the coming months will be preparing to refute Dripping Springs’ permit.
Protect our Water (POW), a local-area group that is also against Dripping Springs’ permit, was also named as a party in the contested case hearing.
But among the parties left off the list were a pair of central Texas water districts who were a part of the dye trace study conducted on Onion Creek.
The Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (BSEACD), which has vocally protested the permit since November, did not make the list as an affected party.
The Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District (HTGCD) did not make the list when it’s board failed to submit an application to TCEQ by the December 8 deadline. Members of the HTGCD staff, laong with the city of Austin, the Meadows Center at Texas State University and the BSEACD all participated in the dye trace study in December 2017.
Members of the Austin City Council, who have also voiced opposition against the permit, were also not chosen by TCEQ as an affected party.