Reliant Energy Supports GEAA through Carbon Offset Campaign Year Three

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GEAA is pleased to announce the third year of The Reliant EcoShareSM, a way that Texans can support GEAA and offset their own carbon production at the same time.

Reliant and EarthShare of Texas have launched a program that allows Reliant customers to help reduce their carbon footprints through the purchase of carbon offsets. And for each customer-purchased offset, Reliant will make a contribution to EarthShare of Texas and its participating organizations. As an EarthShare of Texas participating organization, GEAA will benefit from this program.

For more information, follow this link to the EarthShare of Texas website http://www.earthshare-texas.org/2012/02/the-reliant-ecosharesm-program-supports-texas.html or go directly to reliant.com/ecoshare.

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Tell TCEQ to protect the Edwards Aquifer by protecting Hill Country streams

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GEAA is enlisting your support in making the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) aware that new rules are needed to protect Hill Country waterways from pollution from direct discharges of sewage effluent.

TCEQ will conduct public hearings to receive comments from the public on actions the commission should take to protect the Edwards Aquifer from pollution, as required under Texas Water Code, §26.046. The deadline for submitting comments is 5:pm on Friday, October 27th. 

You can submit your written comments via e-mail to macy.beauchamp@tceq.texas.gov or mail them to Ms. Macy Beauchamp, TCEQ Program Support Section, MC 174, PO Box 13087, Austin, Texas 78711-3087.  Learn more about attending public meetings in San Antonio and Austin, and how to submit comments here.

Here and below are some talking points about the need for prohibiting direct discharges of sewage effluent on the Edwards Aquifer Contributing Zone.  The language below will be included in GEAA’s more comprehensive comments, which will be posted on our web site later this week.  Feel free to copy and submit as your own.

Wastewater discharge should be prohibited in the Contributing Zone of the Edwards Aquifer.  Disposal of wastewater is one of the greatest threats to maintaining water quality in the contributing watersheds.  Current rules only prevent wastewater discharge within the Recharge Zone.  Discharges in the Contributing Zone, even in compliance with current rule, would significantly alter the quality of these oligotrophic surface waters and degrade the aquifer, as demonstrated by recent analysis of a proposed discharge permit to Onion Creek.  The quality of water in the Contributing Zone directly impacts the quality of discrete recharge in the Recharge Zone.  Direct discharge of wastewater should be prohibited not only within the Recharge Zone, but also within the Contributing Zone of the Barton Springs and San Antonio segments of the Edwards Aquifer.  Existing discharge permit procedures should be re-evaluated relative to 2006 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommendations.

We encourage you to share the notice with your friends. In order to have an impact, we need to flood them with comments.

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Land Conservation Options for Comal County

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With all the new growth that has come to Comal County and is projected to continue well into the future, it’s time to start thinking about preserving open space and acquiring park lands to help protect our beloved Texas Hill Country before it’s too late.

Budget constraints often prevent most counties and cities, especially small rural cities like Bulverde, Garden Ridge, and Spring Branch, from going out and purchasing the open space or park lands desired by their constituents.

Typically various resources are needed to make the preservation of open space and/or the acquisition of park lands possible such as land donations, grants and public funding. Additionally, there are various tools that the average land owner can utilize to help in this effort such as conservation easements, deed restrictions and sweat equity.

As we all know, in unincorporated areas property owners can do just about anything they want with their property as long as it does not interfere with the health, safety and welfare of the general public. Many residents are not proactive about land use issues until they get wind that something is about to be developed right in their backyards and then the war begins to stop it – but, those efforts often fail.

This is why the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, Hill Country Alliance, and League of Women Voters of the Comal Area are once again partnering to present this educational forum to introduce the public to the various resources available to land owners and several programs that other municipalities and counties have adopted that can be utilized to preserve our beautiful Texas Hill Country.

Please join us on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the McKenna Events Center in New Braunfels.  We look forward to informing you of all the tools available for the purpose of protecting our beautiful Texas Hill Country. Let’s be proactive not reactive! Hope to see you there!

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Planning for Growth for Comal County

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February 2nd & 3rd Presentations from the Conference 

Overview of the State of Comal County

Bob Templeton
President, Templeton Demographics
Bob has been the primary school demographer in the state of Texas for the last 10 years. Templeton Demographics has helped over 100 school districts in planning for their future facility needs.
Templeton Demographics

Tom Hornseth
Comal County Engineer
Tom is a Graduate of the University of Minnesota, BS Civil Engineering, and a Texas Registered Professional Engineer. In 1992, he became Comal County Engineer, where his responsibilities include operation of the County Road Department; administration of Subdivision, Floodplain, Addressing, and Sewage Facility regulations; management of the Parks Department and Rural Recycling; and large construction projects.
Growth & Unincorporated Areas of Comal County


Protecting Watersheds and Water

Meredith Miller
Senior Program Coordinator for the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment
Meredith holds a master’s of Science in Biology from Texas State University and studied Water Resources Management and Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Georgia. Her more than 10 years of experience in watershed and coastal zone protection planning include water quality management efforts, coastal preservation and restoration, agricultural and range land efficiency, and river and estuary toxicology studies.
Regional Watershed Planning Efforts, Lessons Learned

Nancy Pappas
Chair, Comal Trail Alliance
Nancy Pappas is the Managing Director of New Braunfels Utilities’ Headwaters at the Comal project. Her career has included many positions in non-profit management with a focus on health issues as well as volunteer leadership of several boards and organizations on issues related to health, education, and the outdoors in Comal County.
Protecting Comal’s Springs and Streams

Preserving Open Spaces/ Parks

Todd Votteler, PhD.
Executive Manager of Science, Intergovernmental Relations and Policy for the Guadalupe–Blanco River Authority. He is a co-founder and the Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Water Journal. He is President of Collaborative Water Resolution, LLC, which offers clients decades of experience in the resolution of intractable water and environmental conflicts.
The Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust: Conserving the Land and Water of the Guadalupe River Watershed

Will Abberger
Vice President, Director, Conservation Finance, The Trust for Public Land
Will is Director of the Trust for Public Land’s national Conservation Finance Program, helping state and local governments and citizen groups throughout the United States gauge public support for open space and craft ballot and legislative measures that generate new sources of funding for parks and land conservation. He has been directly involved in more than ninety local and state land conservation ballot measures and numerous legislative campaigns.
State and Local Funding for Parks and Conservation

Stacey Dicke
Parks and Recreation Director, City of New Braunfels
Stacey Dicke has been the Parks and Recreation Director for the City of New Braunfels since 2004. She worked with local citizens to organize and form the New Braunfels Parks Foundation in 2006. The Foundation and the City have worked together on various projects in order to grow and improve the parks system in New Braunfels.
New Braunfels Parks Foundation: Partnering for Parks

February 2nd & 3rd Reports from the Conference

2017 Planning Growth Comal County Report
Executive Summary of Comal Polls
Comal Breakout Sessions – Participant Input
Comal Evaluatons

News

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung “Dealing with growth: Conference aimed at conservation in Comal County”
Texas Land Trends – The Hill Country
City Seeks Input on Envision New Braunfels

Upcoming Events

Texas Water Symposium to discuss watershed plans for growing region – February 23
New Braunfels Comprehensive Plan Public Workshop – March 6th

LWV- Future of Transportation and Air Quality in Comal County – March 23
Geronimo/Alligator Creek Watershed Clean-up Event – April 8
2017 National Citizen Survey Now Open to All Residents – May 1st
Regional Water Planning Assistance Workshop – May 12
Stormwater Conference and LID Competition – September 17-21

Watershed Advisory Committee
Application Deadline – 3/16/17
(The Commission meets on an as needed basis)
Applications for this board must state which seat the applicant is applying for.
– 2 openings for terms ending March 18, 2020
– 1 Engineering Professional, 1 with Biological or Environmental Interest

Click here for an application.
Click here for online submittal.
Click here for more information about each board/commission.

Stay Involved

Sign Up for GEAA Action Alerts
Check out GEAA’s Facebook Page

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Presented by
Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance
Hill County Alliance
League of Women Voters

Thanks to Our Generous Sponsors

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