Posts

Addicks-Barker Upstream Trial Case Entering Final Phase

On the fifth Anniversary of Harvey, the law firm McGehee ☆ Chang, Landgraf, Feiler issued updates on both its upstream and downstream cases in the Addicks-Barker lawsuits against the Army Corps of Engineers.

Final Arguments Scheduled in Upstream Case

The upstream Addicks-Barker lawsuit is finally drawing to a close. Earlier, Judge Charles F. Lettow ruled that the Army Corps was liable for damages. The question being decided now is “How much will residents get?” On that issue…

  • Judge Lettow heard the plaintiffs’ opening post-trial brief on August 1, 2022.
  • Defendants will present their response on September 9.
  • Plaintiffs will get a chance to reply to that on September 23, 2022.
  • The judge will hear final arguments on September 29, 2022, at 2:30 p.m.

“Once the post-trial argument concludes, we expect Judge Lettow to render a decision – which outlines the amount of damages that the homeowners are entitled to,” said the law firm in a press release.  “We hope to receive the ruling by the end of the year.”

Addicks
Flooded Homes in Addicks Reservoir during Harvey

Downstream Case Still Alive but No Definite Schedule

The McGehee firm won an appeal in its downstream Addicks-Barker lawsuit last June. The ruling on the appeal revived the case, which a lower court had dismissed in 2020.

The lower court found that “Downstream property owners did not have a cognizable [clearly identifiable] property interest.” But in June, a Federal Court of Appeals’ reversed and remanded the lower court’s decision. That means the case will go back to the lower court for further proceedings that follow instructions given by the appeals court.

The lower court will now have to determine whether a “taking” of the Downstream properties occurred, and whether the government’s other defense (i.e., necessity) will apply.

McGehee ☆ Chang, Landgraf, Feiler

“The fight will continue,” said the McGehee team.

For More Information

I’ve covered the upstream and downstream cases since 2020. For more information, see:

The outcome of these cases could affect outcomes in similar “takings” cases in the San Jacinto watershed.

Beyond the lawsuits, flood-mitigation help for residents near the reservoirs remains years away. It could depend on flood tunnels which are still being studied.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 8/29/22

1826 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Houston Planning Commission defers approval of “Orchard Seeded Ranches”

In a meeting today, the Houston Planning Commission deferred automatic approval of the general plan for Orchard Seeded Ranches by taking the item off the consent agenda. The Commission then asked the developer to consult with the City Engineer; the Planning and Development Department; and Harris County Flood Control before bringing further requests back to the Commission.

Taking the item off today’s consent agenda should send a strong signal to the developer that rough waters lie ahead. Any proposal will likely be debated publicly when/if the developer returns.

History of Project

Last year, Romerica filed a permit application to build 5,000 condos and several high-rises up to 50 stories tall on 331 acres near the floodway of the San Jacinto West Fork. After a record number of people and groups filed protests with the Army Corps of Engineers, the Corps withdrew the application. But now the developer is back – with a different name – Orchard Seeded Ranches. However, Harris County Appraisal District indicates that the same people still own the land.

Location of Property

The property is identical to the property Romerica tried to develop as The Herons of Kingwood last year. The General Plan below was downloaded from the City of Houston’s PlatTracker website.

plat of orchard seeded ranches
General Plan of Orchard Seeded Ranches in Kingwood filed on 4/20/2020. For high-resolution, printable PDF, click here.

For orientation, the developed area in the middle is the Barrington. The line down the west side is Woodland Hills Drive. And the river at the bottom is the West Fork.

Filing a “general plan” like this is the first step in developing property. The developer has not yet submitted detailed plats showing construction details.

Virtually Entire Development in Floodway or Floodplain

About half of the Orchard Seeded Ranches lies in the floodway of the San Jacinto West Fork. FEMA defines floodways as the main current of a river during a flood. In the map below, that includes everything beneath the red line.

Purple area = Orchard Seeded Ranches. Red line = extent of floodway north of San Jacinto West Fork. Virtually half of subdivision would be in floodway.

Virtually all of the purple area above the red line lies in the floodplain. FEMA defines a floodplain as “storage” for water during a flood. That means water covers the land without moving rapidly.

I created the map above by combining the area to be developed with the FEMA flood map below.

From FEMA National Flood Hazard Layer Viewer. Orchard Seeded Ranches is in middle. Virtually the entire project lies in floodway (crosshatched) or 100-year floodplain (aqua).

Wetlands Issues Also Abound

Every part of the proposed development contains wetlands to some extent.

Note how the areas around the Barrington and River Grove Park are filled with wetlands (green areas). From US Fish and Wildlife Service National Wetlands Mapper.
Active bald eagle nest on Kingwood Country Club Property adjacent to Romerica's planned high rise marina.
Active bald eagle nest adjacent to development. Photo courtesy of Emily Murphy.

US Fish and Wildlife documented another eagle’s nest on the developer’s property. And the Balcom family, which lives near the western edge of the developer’s property, regularly photographs eagles from their balcony.

What’s in a Name

The name sounds as if the development would be lower density than the 50-story high-rises previously planned. But you never know. In the development business, names often have more evocative than literal significance. Look at the Houston Heights. Bridgeland (on the prairie). Mount Houston. You get the idea.

Community Considerations

Whatever the development is, when and if the developer returns to the Planning Commission, we should not forget that:

High water during Harvey at Balcom house on River Bend reached the second story.

A Less Risky, Less Costly Alternative

All of these factors will increase the risk and cost of any development.

Light pole near River Bend in North Shore as Harvey receded. Note the "wet marks" several feet up on pole. Photo by Jim Balcom.
Light pole near River Bend in North Shore as Harvey receded. Note the “wet marks” several feet up on pole. Photo by Jim Balcom.

The safest, sanest course for the developer – before putting more money at risk –would be to meet with community representatives about:

  • Purchasing this land
  • Putting a conservation easement on it
  • Letting it revert to nature and turning it into park land

Harris County Flood Control District has $175 million allocated in the flood bond for partnership projects with “Municipalities, Authorities, and Other Districts in Harris County.” See item Z100-00-00-MUNI.

That money could help purchase such property and turn it into green space forever. KSA, the Lake Houston Chamber, civic leaders and residents should get behind that idea. Judging by the response to Romerica’s last offering, it’s clear that residents would much rather see this area turned into parks than see the San Jacinto turn it into blight.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 4/30/2020

975 Days after Hurricane Harvey

Impact of Government Shutdown on West Fork Dredging

For those of you wondering how the federal government shutdown would impact dredging, the answer is “little at present.” Dredging continues. The government allocated funds for the current emergency West Fork dredging program long before the shutdown. As of this evening, prospects for a quick resolution of the budget impasse were dim according to the Associated Press.

Dredge currently operating near West Lake Houston Parkway

Shutdown’s Impact on Current Dredging

It’s not immediately clear how the government shutdown will affect Army Corps employees supervising the job. Technically, the Corps is “military,” but many Corps engineers and project managers are civilian employees. The Corps may have listed its inspectors as emergency personnel since the West Fork was an emergency project. However, the Corps’ information office did not return emails to verify that. Holiday vacations likely caused the lack of response. But if the shutdown does affect Corps inspectors, contractors may experience delays at some point.

Possible Impact on Mouth-Bar Project

A bigger question: how the shutdown will affect consideration and approval of Mouth Bar dredging. Readers may remember that at a meeting in Austin on October 11, all agencies involved reportedly gave conditional approval to the mouth bar project subject to a favorable environmental report and the location of a suitable disposal site. After two and a half months, the project still has not been approved. City officials are hopeful that the project could be approved before the end of April when contractors should begin demobilizing from the current job. Remobilizing could cost another $18 million if FEMA or Congress does not approve an extension of the current project that includes the Mouth Bar.

Sources are hard to find between Christmas and New Years. Hopefully, we will have an update from City Hall and greater clarity when people return to work after New Years.

All of this underscores the need for more urgency and timeliness in government decision making, in my opinion. Harvey happened 16 months ago.

Posted by Bob Rehak on December 26, 2018

484 Days since Hurricane Harvey

River Grove Boat Ramp May Open Next Week

Some unexpected good news! The River Grove boat ramp could soon open…as early as next week. The Great Lakes Dredge is starting to chew its way through the massive side bar that has had Kingwood’s only boat dock shut down for 16 months.

The original speculation was that the Army Corps would leave River Grove alone until the rest of the job was complete. Corps officials told me that they worried about the safety of recreational boaters around the massive dredging equipment and pipelines.

Something must have changed because at 8 a.m. this morning, Bruce Casto snapped this shot on his cell phone. Bruce heard second hand from another person in the park that someone on the dredge yelled across the water that,  “The boat dock will be open in a week.”

I try not to repeat rumors but I’ve known Bruce for a long time and trust him. And given the location of the dredge in this photo, there is a better than 50/50 chance that River Grove will soon open. I have not verified that yet with the Army Corps of Engineers because of the timing of this surprise (on the weekend).

Posted on 12/3/18 by Bob Rehak

461 Days since Hurricane Harvey

 

Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Sand Mines

Section 404 of the U.S. Clean Water Act states that, “Any discharge of dredged or fill material … where the flow or circulation of navigable waters may be impaired or the reach of such waters be reduced, shall be required to have a permit under this section.”

Hmmmm. Impaired flow? Does that sound like what happened to the San Jacinto as a result of sand deposited downstream of mines during Harvey?

Penalties for Violation Under 404

The law also states that, “Any person who violates any condition or limitation in a permit … shall he subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $10,000 per day of such violation.”

Findings of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The executive summary of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Value Engineering Study for its West Fork San Jacinto River Emergency Dredging Project states that, “On 25 August 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall along the Texas Coast as a Category 4 storm. Hurricane Harvey created extensive flooding along the West Fork of the San Jacinto River creating a record high flood of 69.22 feet as recorded by the West Fork San Jacinto River gauge on August 29, 2017. This record flooding increased the amount of deposition of sand and silt within the West Fork of the San Jacinto River from areas further upstream.” Below are two examples.

A giant sandbar almost completely blocks the west fork of the San Jacinto River just downstream from River Grove Park.

Yet another giant sand dune has formed at the mouth of the west fork of the San Jacinto. It is not being addressed by the Army Corps dredging project but should be. Thousands of homes upstream from the blockage flooded during Harvey.

Decreasing Amount of Water that Can Pass Through to Lake Houston

The executive summary continues, “This has now reduced the overall depth of the West Fork waterway and decreased the amount of water that can pass through and into Lake Houston. The epic flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey caused 4,139 structures along the West Fork to flood, including 1,621 homes with National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) claims totaling over $407 million. In addition, during Hurricane Harvey a number of hospitals along the West Fork (e.g. Kingwood Medical Center, Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital) were cut-off due to the West Fork flooding which prevented residents from obtaining emergency aid.”

The summary concludes, “Recent heavy rainfall along the West Fork has caused, and may again result in, downstream water levels that present a threat to persons and properties in the Kingwood-Humble-Lake Houston areas due to the inability of the West Fork to carry sufficient water volume. … In the event of another heavy rainfall event there is a near certain likelihood that wide-spread flooding will occur impacting even more homes than before due to the river’s inability to pass heavy volumes of water.”

Cost of Cleanup to Taxpayers

The Corps is currently spending almost $70 million on dredging to restore the carrying capacity of the river in a 2.1 mile section of the West Fork (out of an 8 mile stretch between U.S. Highway 59 and Lake Houston). The cost for cleaning up the rest of the river has yet to be determined. The initial project will not even address the biggest blockage on the river – a sand bar at the mouth of the West Fork that forces water to flow approximately 40 feet uphill before it reaches the main body of the lake.

 Need for Stricter Regulations on Sand Mining

One of the possibilities that the Corps examined to reduce such costs to taxpayers in the future was imposing stricter regulations on sand mining operations using 404 permitting. Although the Corps found this outside of the scope of their project, they address the possibility in section C-9 of their report on page 31.

The exact text reads:

“This comment refers to sand mining operations upstream of the US 59 highway bridge that are within the floodplain. During flood events where the boundaries of the sand pits are overrun, the river carries sediment from these pits downstream.

This is potentially a 404 issue/violation and it may be possible to get the mine operators to incorporate some abatement features to minimize the amount of sediment from their operations they discharge into the river.” [Emphasis Added]

This comment could apply equally to sand mining operations on the East Fork, but the East Fork was not within the scope of the Corps’ study.

Clearly, not all the sand above came from mines, but satellite imagery shows that much of it did.

It seems to me that sand mining operations located in the floodway which flood repeatedly would be eager to incorporate “abatement features,” such as the best management practices found in other states and countries. This just might show good faith effort to reduce pollution, mitigate liability under the Clean Water Act, and avoid a revocation of operating permits.

As always, these are my opinions on a matter of public policy protected under the first Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP statute of the great state of Texas.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 8/16/2018

352 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Activity at Army Corps Dredge Command Site Kicking into High Gear

The countdown to D-Day (dredging day) continues. Preparation for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Emergency Dredging Project on the West Fork is kicking into high gear. Here are some pics from the job site and the latest schedule for when various activities will start.

Schedule for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers West Fork Emergency Dredging Project

Dozens of trucks are delivering equipment to the mobilization site.

Traffic management at the site is a major concern, prompting the Corp to request the public stay a safe distance away.

Thousands of sections of dredge pipe have been delivered to a massive “pipe farm.”

Two Poseidan dredges are being delivered in sections and will be assembled on site. Shown here: some platforms being unloaded. Here’s a link to the Poseidon site that shows how the equipment is set up.

Contractor and Army Corps representatives review dredging plans at mobilization site headquarters.

Actual dredging should begin within the next two weeks. While staff and material are being organized for the dredging operation, clean up crews will remove more dead trees and other debris from the river and placement sites.

Example of debris removal from Lake Houston before dredging. This shot actually shows a city-contracted crew working on the East Fork during July. Corps crews will be conducting similar work.

Difference Between City Dredging and Corp Dredging

(NOTE: THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED WITH THE FOLLOWING INFO SINCE THE ORIGINAL POST) What is the difference between the city debris removal and the debris removal that the corps is doing? I went back into the contract requirements. Division 2, Section 02 41 01.01 45 stipulates, “General debris consists of trees and other vegetation within limits of dredging in the river, under the West Lake, Houston Parkway bridge, and upland areas that are to be dredged or excavated. General debris may also include, but is not limited to, metal bands, pallets, pieces of broken cable, rope, concrete rubble, construction materials, broken piles, etc. and may be encountered in the same area as above.”

So I see three main differences. The Corps subcontractor will: 1) only be working within the area to be dredged, 2) remove other types of materials that the city did not, 3) Also be responsible for cleaning up the placement areas, which the city did not.

Section 1.3.2 of the same document stipulates how they are being paid. Basically, it’s by the ton, but they are also being compensated for the cost of equipment, labor and material. The government is inspecting the scales. The complete contract requirements and plans are posted on the Reports page of this web site under Sedimentation/Dredging/Army Corps.

Additional Info About Army Corps West Fork Dredging Project

Below are some videos posted by the Corps that explain how we got to this point and how the project will progress.

The first explains how the Corps conducted the site survey.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvQNwKOOmeA

The next shows an aerial tour of the project.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cu4-cwsdFNc

And the final one explains their value engineering process.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2se5YdNRGdA

Posted by Bob Rehak on August 14, 2018

350 Days after Hurricane Harvey

The Case for Dredging the “Mouth Bar”

A “mouth bar” is a sandbar that builds up at the mouth of a river where it meets a standing body of water, such as Lake Houston. The West Fork of the San Jacinto has a world-class whopper of a mouth bar.

How and Why Mouth Bars Form

A mouth bar forms when water in the river slows down as it spreads out in a standing body of water. The lower velocity of the river can no longer suspend particles of sediment. According to academic and petroleum geologists I talked to, this phenomenon exists in rivers everywhere. In fact, mouth bars are an essential element of delta formation.

Sequence of Events in Formation

As a mouth bar grows in height and emerges from the river, it backs water up and slows it down. This causes the river upstream of the mouth bar to gradually fill with sediment, ultimately choking the river and forcing it to seek a new path. At this point, the higher pressure created by the backwater forces the river to seek new channels. At this point, typically the river splits into two (bifurcates). This accounts for the branching structures found in most deltas.

That is exactly what’s happening where the West Fork of the San Jacinto meets Lake Houston as this series of time-lapse images shows. Note the growth of the mouth bar in areas highlighted in white below.

2011 image of the mouth bar where the West Fork of the San Jacinto meets Lake Houston. Note how bar has formed at tip of main channel.

 

By 2013, the mouth bar had taken on a triangular shape where it was starting to split the main flow of the river.

 

Image taken on the last day of 2016. The mouth bar grew considerably in the Tax Day and Memorial Day floods in 2015 and 2016, primarily by extending its length. 

 

October 2017. During Hurricane Harvey, the mouth bar doubled in size. It definitely splits the flow of the river now. 

On 9/14/17, the bar looked like this from a helicopter.

Approximately two-thirds of the homes damaged by flooding in the upper Lake Houston area were between this bar and where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will stop dredging.

Historical Context: A Lesson in Geomorphology

The growth of this mouth bar was predictable. Brown & Root said in 2000 that it would emerge exactly where it did. What will happen in the future if we don’t dredge it? That, too, is predictable. See this presentation by William Dupré, professor of geosciences at the University of Houston. Professor Dupré’s presentation, given at  the Houston Geological Society April conference on flooding, contains excellent illustrations of how rivers migrate laterally over time.

Consequences of Not Dredging

A retired chief geologist for a leading oil company (who specialized in sedimentation) tells me that if this bar is not dredged, we could expect the following consequences. It will, he says:

  • Continue to grow in height, width and length.
  • Slow down and back up water behind it.
  • Force increased sedimentation upstream (including areas soon to be dredged)
  • Likely also increase the frequency and magnitude of overbank flooding upstream of the mouth bar
  • Jeopardize homes, bridges, pipelines and other infrastructure on both sides of the river as it branches.

Two Options for Dredging

The contract that the Army Corps of Engineers expects to sign with a dredging vendor does NOT currently include this bar in its scope. I wish it did for all the reasons listed above.

The proposed contract includes a clause that allows expansion of scope if both the Corps and Contractor agree on it. That would be the most cost efficient way to address this problem. Dredges will already be on the river. Millions of dollars of mobilization costs for second dredging project could be avoided and the issue could be addressed sooner.

However, if expanding the scope of the Corps project is not possible, I believe residents of the Lake Houston area should insist that the County covers it in the upcoming flood bond referendum.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 6/23/2018

298 Days since Hurricane Harvey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Army Corps Extends Bid Deadline Again; Opening Now Expected June 22

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers extended the bid deadline again for its West Fork Emergency Dredging Project. The new bid deadline is Friday, June 22, 2018.

Discussions with potential vendors caused the delay for the FEMA funded project as both vendors and the Corps tried to nail down the exact volume of sediment to be removed. The Corps emphasized that it is restoring a 2+ mile stretch of the West Fork to pre-Harvey conditions. The pre-Harvey requirement comes with FEMA dollars which can only be used to return an area to the condition it was in before the storm.

At River Grove Park, this sandbar blocks the drainage ditch that empties the western third of Kingwood. It grew a quarter mile in length and 12 feet in height during Hurricane Harvey. More than 650 homes flooded in areas north of this sandbar. The Corps’ emergency dredging project will start here and extend past the West Lake Houston Parkway Bridge.

Projected Volume More than Doubles

Forecasted dredging material calculations increased from 748,000 to 1.8 million cubic yards of material that has shoaled. Shoaling is an area of shallow water, especially one that is a navigational hazard. In this case, shoals blocked the main channel of the San Jacinto as well as drainage ditches, such as the one at River Grove Park.

Completion Date Extended 90 Days to Accommodate Extra Volume

Because the volume of sediment to be removed has more than doubled, the Corps has also extended the completion date of the project from 180 to 270 days.

“We’ve encouraged bidders to submit questions and this allowed us to revise dredging quantities,” said Gary Stangeland, Interim Chief of Emergency Management at USACE Galveston District. “We were able to recalculate the volume of material needed and therefore extended the bid deadline and project finish date.”

Extending the project 90 days should allow the winning contractor enough additional time to remove the increased volume of materials.

The Corps’ contracting officers reposted the bid deadline date to a site used by vendors to receive notice on government opportunities. The site is accessible to the public at: Federal Business Opportunities website: https://www.fbo.gov

New Opening Date: Friday at 10 a.m.

“Our process is equitable and efficient as it allows for Corps’ Engineers to interact with vendors that will help us to restore the area to pre-Harvey conditions and help reduce future flooding risks,” said Jeff Neill, USACE Galveston District Contracting Chief, “We’ve publicly posted responses to bidders’ questions to www.projnet.org.”  Neill said bids will be opened on June 22, 2018 at 10:00 a.m., local time.

No New Placement Areas for Spoils Anticipated

The physical length of the emergency dredging did not change, just the estimates of the volume of materials within the original area of interest. No additional placement areas for the spoils should be needed, according to the Corps. Stangeland said the two placement areas already identified should be sufficient to store the recalculated increase in forecasted dredged material.

The opening was initially scheduled for May 29, 2018. Even with the delays, this project will be one of the first coming out of Hurricane Harvey that the Corps will complete.

Posted June 21, 2018, by Bob Rehak

296 Days since Hurricane Harvey

TCEQ Approves SJRA and City Plan to Temporarily Lower Lake Conroe

This morning, I received a press release announcing that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) had approved the joint decision by the City of Houston and the San Jacinto River Authority to temporarily lower the level of Lake Conroe during the peak of hurricane season. The lake will be lowered by two feet from 201 mean feet about sea level (msl) to 199 msl between mid-August and the end of September. This will provide buffer against flooding while the Army Corps of Engineers removes excess sediment from the West Fork deposited by Hurricane Harvey that is exacerbating flooding. Because this has legal implications and the Lake Conroe Association fought the lowering, I’m reprinting the entire text of the press release below…with special thanks to Houston City Council Member Dave Martin, Mayor Sylvester Turner,  and SJRA Board Members Kaaren Cambio and Mark Micheletti who lobbied long and hard for this. Also to all the Lake Houston and Lake Conroe residents who made the trek to testify about this issue to the SJRA board.

Text of Press Release

CITY AND SJRA RECEIVE APPROVAL TO MOVE FORWARD WITH TEMPORARY FLOOD MITIGATION PROPOSAL FOR LAKE HOUSTON AND LAKE CONROE

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will use “enforcement discretion” if flood mitigation releases for Lake Houston and Lake Conroe exceed annual water rights

HOUSTON, TEXAS – Hurricane Harvey deposited tremendous amounts of silt in the West Fork of the San Jacinto River. The silt physically changed the river’s ability to safely pass flows during storms and created the need for a significant dredging project to restore the river’s capacity. As a temporary flood mitigation solution, the City of Houston and the San Jacinto River Authority (SJRA) proposed a temporary, joint reservoir operations strategy for Lake Houston and Lake Conroe. The temporary flood mitigation would be in place for up to two years or until the dredging project is completed.

The proposed strategy involves the pre-release of water from Lake Houston immediately prior to certain storms and the seasonal lowering of Lake Conroe’s water level during the Spring and Fall.  

A significant hurdle to final consideration of the proposed temporary strategy was a decision by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) on how releases of water from the two reservoirs would be “accounted for” by the state. TCEQ issues permits that limit how much water can be diverted each year from water supply reservoirs like Lake Houston and Lake Conroe.

The proposal from Houston and SJRA highlights the difficulty of balancing the state’s long-term need for reliable water supplies with the short-term goal of protecting public health and safety while emergency measures are implemented to reduce flood risks.

In a letter to the City of Houston and SJRA on Friday, June 15, 2018, the TCEQ expressed its intent to use enforcement discretion to allow the two agencies to move forward with finalizing their temporary flood mitigation strategy.

The letter states that “if flood mitigation releases . . . result in an exceedance of the annual permitted amounts for diversion or release by SJRA of the City of Houston, the TCEQ Executive Director will exercise enforcement discretion with respect to such exceedance.” The TCEQ’s decision acknowledges the importance of accounting for all diversions from the state’s water supply reservoirs, but it also recognizes the emergency nature of the flood mitigation work being conducted in the San Jacinto River.

The City of Houston and SJRA express their sincere appreciation to the leadership and staff at the TCEQ for their thoughtful consideration of the unique flood challenges that our region is facing. We look forward to finalizing the details of our proposed joint reservoir operations strategy. Additional details on the project including a timeline will be provided as they become available.

ABOUT HOUSTON PUBLIC WORKS

Houston Public Works (www.HoustonPublicWorks.org) is responsible for streets and drainage, production and distribution of water, collection and treatment of wastewater, and permitting and regulation of public and private construction covering a 627-square mile service area. Houston Public Works is accredited by the American Public Works Association. Facebook & Twitter:@HoustonPWE

ABOUT SAN JACINTO RIVER AUTHORITY

Created by the Texas Legislature in 1937, the San Jacinto River Authority is a government agency whose mission is to develop, conserve, and protect the water resources of the San Jacinto River basin.  Covering all or part of seven counties, the organization’s jurisdiction includes the entire San Jacinto River watershed, excluding Harris County.  SJRA is one of two dozen river authorities in Texas, and like other river authorities, its primary purpose is to implement long-term, regional projects related to water management and development. For more information, visit www.sjra.net.