State rebuffs bid for Brazos River rights

01-25-2012 // Matthew Tresaugue - Houston Chronicle

This excerpt is from the Houston Chronicle

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality on Wednesday turned away a request for the rights to possibly every drop left in the Brazos River because the application lacked specifics.

The three-member commission did not reject the application outright, but told the Brazos River Authority that it must submit a detailed plan for the water within 10 months. If the river authority fails to meet the deadline, the permit application would be denied.

TCEQ Chairman Bryan Shaw urged the river authority to address the concerns with the permit application, which requested rights to divert about 1 million acre-feet of water from the Brazos for future sale to cities, industry and others.

"There is a lot of public benefit involved in this permit application," Shaw said, "but we need to have a level of comfort in the protectiveness of this permit" on existing water rights.

...

Myron Hess, a Texas attorney for the National Wildlife Federation, said approval of the permit, as proposed, would "stand regulatory procedure on its head. Meaningful analysis would only come after the appropriation."

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