Published on March 17, 2014
TWCA Groundwater Committee Update TWCA Annual Conference March 7, 2014 Presented by Co-Chairs: Brian L. Sledge, Attorney at Law, Sledge Fancher, PLLC Hope Wells, General Counsel, San Antonio Water System
Committee Makeup and Procedures • Large and diverse stakeholders group • 2010 Committee Lessons • Consensus decision-making • Issues Being Tackled • Subcommittee organization
Issues Being Tackled • GCD Permitting: Renewals, Amendments, Rules Consistency • Brackish Groundwater Regulation • Aquifer Storage and Recovery
Issues Being Tackled • Oil and Gas Permitting Exemptions • TDLR Water Well Driller Regulation • Contested Case Hearings and Administrative Procedures
Issues Being Tackled • Appeals of DFCs • TDLR Water Well Driller Regulation • Contested Case Hearings and Administrative Procedures
Issues Being Tackled • Nonsubstantive Chapter 36 Cleanup • 36.121 Cleanup • Impacts of MAGs on Permitting and Regional and State Water Planning
Issues Being Tackled • Support funding for TWDB programs • Review / abolish SAO process in Chapter 36 • Impacts of MAGs on Permitting and Regional and State Water Planning
GCD Permitting: Renewals and Amendments • Permittees looking for longer permits or more certainty in permit renewals • GCDs want to be able to achieve DFCs and cutback when necessary • House Bill 1796 (2013) as template • Possible changes to 36.122
Brackish Groundwater Regulation • Goal to encourage use of brackish, and protect freshwater supplies and management efforts • Brackish production zone designation in brackish areas only • Petition to GCD (or GCD-initiated) • Petitioner bears burden of proof
Brackish Groundwater Regulation • De minimis impacts; mitigation • Appeal to TWDB Executive Administrator • Further appeal to full TWDB board • Automatic referral to SOAH for first contested case hearing • PFD to TWDB board for decision
Brackish Groundwater Regulation • If zone is designated, permit for length of project financing, not to exceed 30 years • Monitoring well requirement to measure actual versus modeled impacts • Cutbacks or mitigation only as necessary to limit impacts
Brackish Groundwater Regulation • Permit application to GCD consistent with petition/ findings in zone designation • No CCH—appeal to district court
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