TCEQ Seeks Public Input from Stakeholders at Wednesday’s Pristine Streams Meeting
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will livestream a Pristine Streams Stakeholder Meeting from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The Blanco River Watershed and Upper Guadalupe River Tributaries Watershed are among waterways to be discussed during the meeting at TCEQ headquarters, 12100 Park 35 Circle, Building E Room 201S, Austin.
Twenty-two of the segments identified as pristine streams include the lower Blanco River, upper Blanco River, Cypress Creek, Johnson Creek, North Fork Guadalupe River and South Fork Guadalupe River.
Pristine streams are defined as stream segments and drainage areas with naturally occurring low levels of total phosphorous.
On March 30 TCEQ commissioners voted to deny a Pristine Streams Rule Change Petition submitted by environmental groups but opened the door for continued discussion with staff and stakeholders, according to the Wimberley Valley Watershed Association, a nonprofit working to protect water through land conservation and education across the Hill Country.
Environmental groups wanted to block new wastewater discharge permits for pristine streams because too much phosphorous in treated wastewater could result in the growth of algae and other unwanted plants.
TCEQ vetoed their rulemaking petition and issued a proposed order stating it already addresses concerns with a legally adequate program for assessing an protecting stream segments under Texas surface water-quality standards.
According to the Sierra Club, testing for nutrients like phosphorous or nitrogen will not solve nutrient pollution or protect Texas’ pristine streams.