We attended the contested case hearing for the proposed WWTP permit in Austin
on March 31 and April 1st, and wanted to share some of the positive and remarkable events we were fortunate
enough to witness. Jim Blackburn and Mac Duson’s arguments were outstanding. As we
watched the proceedings, we felt as thought we were observing history take place. In addition
to being persuasive, they exposed the truth behind the proposed WWTP permit approval. They also pointed
out that many honest people, including a few of the TCEQ experts, felt their hands tied when it came to making decisions,
due to political reasons.
The EPA mandates compliance and
enforcement of the Clean Water Act. In their proceedings, TCEQ shows neither concern nor adherence to the
previsions regarding our water safety.
The City of Patton
Village failed to prove their case (legally they have the burden of proof) with reference to the following issues:
. Will the proposed discharge impact Peach Creek’s ability
to meet TCEQ water quality standards?;
the proposed discharge would contribute to excess bacteria in Peach Creek and Lake Houston; and
. Will the proposed discharge impact the hearing requestors’ use of Peach
Creek for recreational purposes?
The closing arguments will be
written and presented on May 12, 2010.
The City of Patton
Village officials, after the presented arguments, have the opportunity to choose a safer and healthier alternative to the
proposed WWTP. Although the grant they received to build the WWTP is not their own money, we hope
that they will make the clear choice of preserving the environment, improving and protecting our health and saving money.
The impact of choosing the alternative will not only affect the wellbeing of future generations but also their image
before the entire community by embracing such an innovative and conscientious approach.
We hope the judge in this case, the Honorable Rebecca Smith, has the courage through her ruling
to show TCEQ that they are failing to meet the clean water standards required by law. Moreover, neglecting
to protect our water supply and making a mockery of their mission to protect the public health. The very
reason for their existence!
We would like to again thank
Amy Swanholm, Assistant Public Interest Counsel, for her attentiveness and contributions on behalf of the public interest;
Mary Ellen Whitworth for her testimony on our behalf and Jim Blackburn and Mac Duson for their generosity, extensive
research, dedication, wealth of knowledge and commitment to the cause of keeping our drinking water supply safe.
We encourage those of you that share with us the passion for protecting
the environment to join our voices in demanding that officials do the right thing.
Assistant Public Interest Counsel
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, MC 103
12100 Park 35 Circle
Austin, Texas 78753
Jim Blackburn / Mac Duson
Blackburn & Carter
4709 Austin Street
Houston, Texas 77004