As of January 2017, this permit matter has been contested and has proceeded before an ALJ for a ruling. Please review the timeline below for further details and updates.
Needmore Water LLC (Applicant), 3900 N. McColl Rd McAllen, TX 78501, filed an administratively complete application (Application) with the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (District) on September 18, 2015 and was issued a Temporary Production Permit on October 19, 2015. The District has further processed the application for conversion of the Temporary Production Permit to a Regular Historical Production Permit to authorize withdrawal of an annual permitted volume of approximately 289,080,000 gallons per year of groundwater from the Trinity Aquifer. The Applicant will continue to operate the existing well for wildlife management and future agricultural uses. The well is located at Fulton Ranch Rd, Wimberley, TX 78676 (Lat 29.970265°, Long -98.034161°).
The General Manager (GM) and staff have reviewed and determined that the regular permit application satisfies all District requirements for issuance and conversion to a Regular Historical Production Permit and is administratively complete. The GM has developed a Preliminary Decision and recommends that the Board of Directors (Board) approve the Regular Historical Production with Special Provisions for the requested annual permit volume of 289,080,000 per year for continued Agricultural Use. If approved by the Board, the Applicant will be required to comply with the drought curtailments of a Historical Trinity Production Permit as well as the terms outlined in the proposed Special Provisions. The Application and the GM’s Preliminary Decision and proposed Special Provisions are available at the links below.
The Board may grant a contested case hearing on the Application if a written hearing request is filed within 20 days after the publication date of this application notice. To request a contested case hearing, the requesting party must submit in writing to the District and the Applicant the information required under District Rule 4-9.13. For a party desiring for the hearing to be conducted by the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) the request must include the statement: “[I/we] request that the SOAH conduct the hearing.” Note that a party requesting that SOAH conduct the hearing shall pay all costs associated with the contract for a SOAH hearing and will be required to deposit with the District an amount determined by the District to pay the SOAH contract amount.
An interested person may also file written comments within 20 days after the publication date of the notice without requesting a contested case hearing. Notice was published in the San Marcos Record on November 29, 2016. Comments or requests for a contested case hearing must be submitted, by December 19, 2016, to the District in writing by mail or hand delivery to 1124 Regal Row, Austin, Texas 78748; facsimile (512)-282-7016; or, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information, please contact the District, 1124 Regal Row, Austin, Texas 78748, (512) 282-8441, email@example.com . You may also contact the applicant’s representative, Edmond McCarthy at 512-472-7600.
|September 2015||Needmore Water LLC files a Temporary Production Permit Application|
|October 2015||Needmore Water LLC is Issued a Temporary Production Permit for Volume 179,965,440 gallons/year|
|November 2015||Staff Review of Regular Production Permit|
|December 2015||Continued Staff Review of Regular Production Permit|
|December 2015||Well D Re-completed|
|January 2016||Well D Aquifer Test Completed|
|March 2016||Hydrogeological Report Submitted|
|July – September 2016||Staff Correspondence to Transmit Proposed Special Provisions|
|September – October 2016||Additional Correspondence Relating to Needmore Water LLC’s Well D Permit Application
|November 2016||Staff Administrative Completeness Letter 11/15/16|
|11/29/16 – 12/19/16||Public Comment Period ends at 5pm on 12/19/16|
|December 2016||Public Comments Received:|
|January 2017||At the 1/26/17 board meeting the Board decided that the preliminary hearing to determine party status will be heard by SOAH. Updates on contested case proceedings are handled through the SOAH Public Case Document Viewer. Select the “Search Public Case Files” button, enter Docket Number 957-17-2582 and press search to view the updated file list and track progress.|
|March 2018||On March 5, 2018 an ALJ conducted a 1 day hearing on the limited Motion for Summary Disposition filed by the parties.|
|June 2018||On June 6, 2018 the ALJ ruled in the pending Needmore matter (SOAH Docket No. 957-17-2582) granting Needmore’s Motion for Summary Disposition and denying TESPA’s. The ALJ ruled that the Regular Permit Conversion hearing is limited to whether granting the regular permit will cause an unreasonable impact on existing wells or will lead to a failure to achieve the DFC. TESPA narrowed its position to whether the temporary permit should have been issued, which is outside the scope of the Regular Permit proceeding. Thus, the ALJ agreed with Needmore on this point and concluded there are no issues to consider in the SOAH proceeding.|
|July 2018||On July 23rd, The ALJ issued the proposal for Decision (PFD) in the Needmore matter. Any of the designated parties with standing that disagrees with the PFD may file exceptions no later than August 7. Replies to the exceptions are due August 22. The ALJ will review any exceptions and replies and consider whether to change the PFD.|
|October 2018||At the 10/11/18 Board meeting the board unanimously voted to issue an order remanding the Needmore LLC application to the State Office of Administrative Hearings for the limited purpose of further developing the evidentiary record through stipulations, testimony, or otherwise to enable the Administrative Law Judge to issue a revised Proposal for Decision that includes all of the elements required by District Rule 4-9.8(B) and Section 36.410(b)(3) of the Water Code, including the Administrative Law Judge’s recommendations for Board action on the Needmore LLC application.|
|April 2019||On April 10th, the District received the ALJ’s responseto the District’s request for additional explanation and guidance regarding the previously issued proposal for decision (PFD) that was issued on 7/23/18. The April 10th decision describes that SOAH does not have jurisdiction to issue a PFD on whether the Board should issue the Needmore Permit. The ALJ did not weigh in on the uncontested portions of the permit. The ALJ’s previous 7/23/18 Proposal for Decision was limited to a few specific contested issues (Needmore’s eligibility for a Temporary Permit) and her decision on those contested issues remains in effect. The District has scheduled a Public Hearing for July 29, 2019 at 4PM at Buda City Hall Council Chambers (405 Loop St, Buda, TX 78610).|