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MINUTES

 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

8:30 a.m.

Capitol Extension, Room E1.012

 

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Pursuant to a notice posted in accordance with Senate Rule 11.18, a public hearing of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources was held on Wednesday, September 22, 2010, in the Capitol Extension, Room E1.012, at Austin, Texas.

 

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MEMBERS PRESENT:

 

MEMBERS ABSENT:

Senator Troy Fraser, Chairman

Senator Bob Deuell

Senator Glenn Hegar

Senator Robert Nichols

Senator Kel Seliger

 

Senator Craig Estes, Vice Chair

Senator Robert Duncan

Senator Kevin Eltife

Senator Juan Hinojosa

Senator Mike Jackson

Senator Carlos Uresti

 

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The chair called the meeting to order at 8:31 a.m.  The following business was transacted: 

 

Chairman Fraser made opening remarks regarding Charge #2 on joint planning process for management of groundwater resources and monitor the progress of groundwater conservation districts' efforts to establish, before the statutory deadline, desired future conditions for aquifers.

 

The following invited witnesses testified before the committee on Charge #2:

Kevin Ward, Executive Administrator, Texas Water Development Board

Dr. Robert Mace, Deputy Executive Administrator of the Water Science and Conservation Division, Texas Water Development Board

L'Oreal Stepney, P.E., Deputy Director, Office of Water, TCEQ

Billy Howe, State Legislative Director, Texas Farm Bureau

Russell Johnson, McGinnis, Lochridge, and Kilgore

Luanna Buckner, Chair of the Groundwater Committee Texas Water Conservation Association

Jim Conkwright, Acting Executive Director, Texas Alliance of Groundwater Districts

Ken Kramer, Chapter Director, Lonestar Chapter Sierra Club

 

Senator Seliger assumed the chair.

 

Senator Fraser resumed the chair.

 

Chairman Fraser made opening remarks regarding Charge #1 comparing and analyzing differences in cost between immediate implementation of the State Water Plan compared to staged development over time.

 

The following invited witnesses testified before the committee on Charge #1:

Kevin Ward, Executive Administrator, Texas Water Development Board

Tommy O'Brien, Director of Water Utilities, City of Abilene

Tom Taylor, Executive Director, Upper Trinity Regional Water District

 

Chairman Fraser made opening remarks regarding Charge #4 studying the need for the state to regulate the drilling of new wells within proscribed depths and distances of Texas rivers, in order to prevent the draining of surface water from alluvial plains of river basins.

 

The following invited witness testified before the committee on Charge #4:

Caroline Runge, General Manager, Menard County Underground Water District & Hickory Underground Water Conservation District

 

Chairman Fraser opened public testimony on Charge #1, #2, and #4.

 

Chairman Fraser moved that there be a 3 minute time limit on public testimony.  Without objection, it was so ordered.

 

The following public testimony on Charge #2 was heard before the committee:

Steve Kosub, San Antonio Water System

L.G. Raun, Texas Rice Producers Legislative Group

Alan Cockerell, Schertz Seguin Local Government Corp

Marvin W. Jones, Mesa Water

Bryan Gentsch, PhD.,  Texas Seed Trade Association

 

Senator Seliger assumed the chair.

 

Senator Fraser resumed the chair.

 

The following public testimony on groundwater was heard before the committee:

Jimmy Gaines, Texas Landowners Council

 

The following public testimony on Charge #1 was heard before the committee:

Stephen Box, Executive Director, Environmental Stewardship

 

The following public testimony on Charge #4 was heard before the committee:

Stephen Box, Executive Director, Environmental Stewardship

Sonya Klein, Real Edward's Conservation and Reclamation District

 

Chairman Fraser closed public testimony on Charge #1, #2, and #4.  Without objection, it was so ordered.

 

There being no further business, at 12:28 p.m. Senator Fraser moved that the Committee stand recessed subject to the call of the chair.  Without objection, it was so ordered. 

 

 

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Senator Troy Fraser, Chair

 

 

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Tatum Reagan, Clerk