Vista Ridge trying to pull another fast one

Update, October 4:

The Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District rejected Vista Ridge’s attempt to extend its transport permit through an informal request. The Board voted UNANIMOUSLY that the extension was a substantial change to the existing permit. This means that if Vita Ridge wants to proceed, it must submit an application, provide 10 business days notice to neighboring landowners, and go through a hearing.  Stay tuned for more updates!

 

If you live in Milam or Burleson Counties, please come to the upcoming meeting of the Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District (POSGCD), and tell them to make Vista Ridge play by the rules!

Tuesday, October 3, at 5:30 pm

POSGCD Office, 310 Avenue C, Milano, TX 76556

 

The Vista Ridge project would pump 50,000 acre-feet of water from under Burleson and Milam Counties, to ship to San Antonio. This project will hurt rural communities and sacrifice future generations for the benefit of developers’ profits.  The project is opposed by people in both the rural counties and San Antonio, but it’s been pushed forward by deep-pocket development interests.

 

And now Vista Ridge has a problem.  Its permit to pump 50,000 acre-feet lasts until 2044  — while the right to move the water to San Antonio instead of using it at home in the District (the “Transport Permit”) lasts only until 2034.

 

Vista Ridge’s investors don’t like this mismatch.  Vista Ridge tried to get an extension on its Transport Permit a few years ago, and was denied because several POSGCD Board members said they wanted to take a close look at the project closer to the deadline – once we knew what the impacts of all that pumping were.  This was the right decision!

 

Vista Ridge and San Antonio developers didn’t  like that answer, though, so they went to the Legislature and got them to pass a law that would automatically renew transport permits.  The Legislature passed Vista Ridge’s bill, but then the Governor vetoed it.

 

So Vista Ridge’s latest move is to try to sneak through an extension without complying with the existing rules. 

 

The agenda for Post Oak’s Tuesday meeting,  posted just three business days in advance, lists consideration of a “request” by Vista Ridge for extension of its transport permit, labeling it a “non-substantial” change — in a permit for the permanent removal of over 16 billion gallons of groundwater a year!

Vista Ridge is trying to bypass the District’s normal requirements for an application, notice, and a hearing on an extension for a transport permit.  FARFA has submitted a letter protesting this action, and we urge you to help us hold them accountable!

If you live in Milam or Burleson County, please come to the hearing on Tuesday!

 

WHAT: POSGCD Board meeting

WHEN: Tuesday, October 3, at 5:30 pm

WHERE: POSGCD Office, 310 Avenue C, Milano, TX 76556

 

Having a packed room sends a strong message, so you are helping simply by coming and being in the room!  If you want to speak, fill out the form that will be provided by the District, and sign up to provide comment on Agenda Item #14.