POSSUM KINGDOM LAKE ASSOCIATION NOVEMBER 2013
P. O. Box 492, Graford, Texas 76449 www.pklakeassn.org
TCEQ/ BRA Hearing
The October 12, 2013 meeting with approximately 350 members provided all that attended with much up to date information. Approximately 25 parties have been granted standing in the State Of Administrative Hearing (SOAH) that is currently scheduled for the end of April, 2014. PKLA President Jim Lattimore pointed out that this is a continuously changing process. The latest order from SOAH Judges submits four certified questions to TCEQ commissioners. The order also abates the hearing process until TCEQ makes a determination.
The question involves the new requirements of SB 3 and when those requirements will take effect. The heart of the issue is environmental flows in the Brazos and when the requirement to achieve those flows will be invoked. If the increased flows are to be required immediately, then there may be significant impact on BRA’s modeling. BRA may need to make major amendments to their Water Management Plan. The abatement stops the whole process as we now understand it but does not end it. It is not uncommon for such delays to occur. The process may or may not pick up where it left off, depending on the decision of the TCEQ Commissioners.
TCEQ will receive the order, evaluate and study it and then eventually put the question to TCEQ Commissioners for action. At this writing, there is no way to predict how long the delay will last or what the results might be. PKLA will alert membership by e-mail as details develop. PKLA membership is asked to contact their elected officials. Talking points and letters to State Legislators are posted on PKLA web site. Please take a moment and contact your Legislators.
BRA Board Meeting
The BRA Board met in Waco on Monday, October 28, 2013. The following Possum Kingdom Lake agenda items were discussed:
#8. Report and possible discussion on Policy Updates- Matt Phillips presented the following information:
· A water master petition for the Brazos Basin was filed with TCEQ and a hearing was held in September. Management of water priority is the issue. TCEQ commissioners are currently considering formation of a new position. A Water Master could become the accountant and gate keeper for water in the Brazos. BRA states they are neutral on the issue but if a Water Master is hired it should be for entire basin. A Water Master would make sure water rights are protected. Water Master and staff would be paid for by water rights holders (1,500 water right holders.) It is estimated that a half million dollar budget would be required. TCEQ Commissioners would hire the Water Master. Calling for water rights would then be directed through the Water Master office. The Water Master Office would have little work during wet times. BRA staff felt they correctly enforcement water rights. The BRA Board felt it would be another check on BRA management. There was some discussion that formation of Water Master would simply be just another layer of government
· HB 4 Water Bill- Three member board was appointed by Governor Perry. This board will write criteria and prioritize water projects for the State. Passage of Prop 6 on the November 5th ballot is necessary for funding these water projects. If Prop 6 is approved $2 billion from the Rainy Day Fund will fund these state water projects. Polling shows support but organized opposition exists. More debt at the county level is problem for Prop 6 and another government layer.
· SB 918 provided for the sale of the remaining PK leased properties. Surveyors work will begin soon.
Report on interruptible water availability is provided at October Board meeting. Interested parties must purchase multiple year contracts which contain Stage 3 Drought provision that would cancel water obligation. Since 2011 all water offered has been purchased. BRA Board voted to make no interruptible water available for 2014 at this time. Contracts will be frozen. A stage 3 Drought concern for 2014 is the reason for not offering this water.
#10. Control Outlet Conduit Mike McClendon
Anticipate mid-December completion of all work at dam. BRA will notify FERC to complete necessary assessment. Early 2014 will hopefully allow FERC to surrender license and complete decommissioning. Work on conduit was completed under budget.
Membership is over 1,000