If you can’t see it, does that mean it’s not there?

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Dear GEAA members and friends,

Heads up on bad bill filed last Friday: H.B. 824 – Callegari would triple the volume of sewage spills that require reporting from the current 500 gallons to 1,500 gallons. It would also exempt from reporting a spill that “does not reach waters of the State”. We read this to mean that many spills occurring in the Edwards Aquifer Contributing Zone and the recharge and contributing zones of the Trinity aquifers would be exempt from reporting. The bill also gives the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality (TCEQ) more latitude in determining which spills are considered harmful to public health.

GEAA’s recently released studies on sewage spills within the Hill Country would have painted a completely different picture of the condition of our sewage infrastructure had the reporting requirements proposed by HB 824 been in effect. We can’t let the Legislature just sweep problems with wastewater infrastructure under the rug.

We need those of you represented by Trey Martinez Fischer, Tracy King, Lyle Larson or Doug Miller (all members of the House Natural Resource Committee) to let them know what you think of this bill filed by their fellow Committee member, Representative Bill Callegari of Houston. We will keep you posted on any movement of this stinker.

Tune in tomorrow (Tuesday, 2/5 at 8:30 a.m.) for a joint hearing of the House and Senate Natural Resource Committee on WATER. Those of you not in Austin can view the full hearing on-line tomorrow from this link: http://www.house.state.tx.us/video-audio/

And, for a well reasoned opinion on how the State should address our water needs, read Andrew Samson’s op-ed in today’s Houston Chronicle.

Thanks to all of you for your interest and support,

Annalisa Peace, Executive Director

You can always keep up with interesting water news on GEAA’s Facebook page and you can mail contributions to support GEAA’s Legislative advocacy to PO Box 15618, San Antonio, Texas 78212

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