Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Denali withdraws permit

Yesterday, June 12 the TCEQ called with the unexpected news that Denali Water Solutions LLC had withdrawn the permit application to sludge the Wallace Farm. I waited to post until I had actually seen the documents that arrived this morning. Here they are:

Official withdrawal letter from Denali Water Solutions LLC to TCEQ

TCEQ acknowledgment of the withdrawal letter

It’s been a whirlwind since the Public Notice of the Permit Application first reached resident landowners within 1/4 mile of the proposed site at the end of May. As one of those recipients, I immediately began drafting this website. Within days, Rep. Cyrier and Sen. Watson fired the first salvo by sending a letter to the TCEQ requesting a public meeting on the permit. That letter was the first post on this site’s Scoops blog.

As word got out, citizens started submitting comments to the TCEQ to request a meeting and state how this project would harm them. Then just two weeks ago, Independent Texans organized a meeting at the Rockne VFW that was attended by over 200 people including Rep. Cyrier and Judge Pape! It was amazing to see such diversity coming together to learn about the problem we were facing.

The coup de grace came on Monday when the Commissioners Court unanimously approved Judge Pape’s carefully crafted Resolution opposing the permit. Tuesday morning the Judge sent the Resolution to TCEQ with a cover letter that eloquently described the County’s position regarding the permit. Officials in Austin received that communication later that day. Undoubtedly there were other factors that prompted Denali’s retreat but our local efforts had to have been a major part of the equation.

Well done one and all!!

For now we can breathe a sigh of relief. There will be reflections posted in the coming days as this turn of events sinks in. But just remember that the beast never sleeps, so we must remain vigilant.

County’s letter to TCEQ

The morning after the Commissioner’s Court unanimously passed a Resolution opposing the Denali permit application, Judge Paul Pape sent this strongly worded letter to the TCEQ. Kudos to the Court for standing up to this ill-conceived proposal! Well done, one and all!!

Monday, July 11, 2016

County opposes sludge

This morning, the Bastrop County Commissioner’s Court unanimously passed a “Resolution in Opposition to the Land Application of Sewage Sludge by Denali Water Solutions LLC, TCEQ Application Permit No. WQ0005197000”. Four citizens supported the Resolution by speaking in opposition to the proposed permit. Some of those comments will be posted here shortly.

Signed Resolution

Video: Cedar Creek flood

This video was taken from the north side of Cedar Creek looking across the creek toward the northwestern corner of the Wallace Ranch. The flood meets the treeline about 25-30 feet above the creek-bed. If you could see under the treeline, the ranch pasture used to grow oats would be visible. This is by no means the highest the creek gets during floods.

Sludge exposes a stink

The saga of David Lewis and the EPA’s failure to protect the public is summarized in this 2008 article published in Nature:

Online: Raking through sludge exposes a stink

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The accompanying editorial chastises the EPA for its non-action:

Online: Stuck in the mud

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