On Wednesday, TCEQ commissioners accepted the advice of two administrative regulation judges from the state Workplace of Administrative Hearings and voted unanimously to concern a allow to the Metropolis of Granbury for a second wastewater remedy plant that can , in keeping with metropolis officers, is desperately wanted.
The approval from the Texas Fee on Environmental High quality comes three years after town filed its utility.
The delay was resulting from space residents and enterprise homeowners who objected to the situation of 3121 Previous Granbury Highway, the place as much as two million gallons of handled home sewage per day shall be discharged right into a tributary Rucker Creek, which feeds Lake Granbury.
The setback prompted a citywide moratorium on growth which Metropolis Supervisor Chris Coffman mentioned affected about $250 million in financial growth and elevated prices to town by tens of millions resulting from shortages. supplies and labor prices on account of COVID-19.
A few of STEP’s opponents, or Protestants because the TCEQ calls them, had been current on the Austin assembly. Coffman was there too.
Attorneys for each events had been allowed to talk for 5 minutes. Metropolis legal professional Jason Hill additionally had time to rebut.
Feedback had been additionally made by representatives of the Workplace of Public Curiosity Counsel (OPIC) and TCEQ chief govt Toby Baker.
Panel commentary and voting took slightly below 20 minutes.
In his rebuttal simply earlier than the vote, Hill advised TCEQ commissioners Jon Niermann, Emily Lindley and Bobby Janecka: “It’s indeniable that this allow, this facility is critical for important financial and social points within the Metropolis of Granbury and the area, and with out it, the financial penalties of not having the ability to have this extra processing capability are dramatic – to place it mildly.
Niermann, who serves because the chair, mentioned: “The arguments we heard this morning are very acquainted. I see no purpose to query the ALJ’s evaluation of the proof. »
Lindley and Janecka agreed.
Lindley moved a movement to go the order proposed by the ALJs with revisions urged by the justices in a letter to the TCEQ dated July 26.
Based on metropolis officers, town has adhered to TCEQ guidelines by shifting towards constructing a second remedy plant as soon as its present plant on Water’s Edge Drive reaches a sure stage of capability.
The company issued a draft allow in 2019, however then halted the approval course of and prolonged the general public remark interval when opposition was raised. Opponents cited, amongst different issues, doable hurt to public well being and the setting.
In September 2021, TCEQ commissioners referred the matter to SOAH for a contested case listening to.
SOAH administrative regulation judges Sarah Starnes and Pratibha Shenoy heard three days of testimony in March, with either side presenting information and testimony from professional witnesses.
Three months later, in June, the judges issued their suggestion to grant the allow.
Improvement bans started in December 2020, when town council imposed a moratorium on building on the east aspect of town and components of the extraterritorial jurisdiction.
In October 2021, the council imposed the same ban for the western and central components of town and components of the ETJ as a result of the prevailing plant was approaching capability.
At its September 27 assembly, council members voted to increase each moratoria till October 2023.
The brand new wastewater remedy plant, which is able to function with membrane bioreactor expertise, will take 18 to 24 months to construct, in keeping with town.