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HCC Conservation Forum

SB 2126 (CSSB 2126) Sand and Gravel Bill
Author Last Post
Bob is pretty much correct.  The bill sponsor is general counsel for a major developer up in that area, and SJRA needs replacement revenue for loss of surface water sales.  The bill would effectively allow SJRA to produce sand and "dispose of it" where the developer needs it, and probably get revenue on top of it.  There is also a buried provision in the appropriations bill that would allocate $30MM for Harris County to purchase and operate dredging equipment in the area.
It's very unlikely that the oil industry has anything to do with this.  The material taken probably wouldn't have the properties needed to be useful for hydraulic fracturing. Plus the whole sand mining industry developed to support shale development is contracting right now since too many sand mines have been developed.  

Think closer to home.  The material are much more useful to land developers, concrete companies, etc.

No question though that this is a lousy bill.

Bob Naeger

I think the bill's hidden sponsor is the fracking industry that uses huge amounts of sand in their operations.
The attached bill would allow HCFCD and the SJRA to mine sand gravel and marl from within stream beds with no permits and with no compensation to TPWD for the material removed.  The original motivation was to allow for the removal of material for the purpose of increasing channel volumes for storm flows.  Under this bill, no consideration is required for any other use of the channel or any aquatic resources that may be injured.  It allows Flood Control and the San Jacinto River Authority to actually sell the material removed and profit, or contract with third parties for removal and allow them to profit.  No compensation would accrue to TPWD.  We deal with this in channel mining on the Brazos and Colorado and it is not pretty, often resulting in miles of suffocated substrate and accumulated fine material. 

This looks like a really bad bill.  So far, public pressure and more thoughtful consideration has scaled this back from the original statewide proposal.  As it sits, it has the potential to be devastating for streams in the  Lake Houston watershed and even Buffalo Bayou, Green's Bayou, etc.  

Bayou Land Conservancy is out in front on this.  If you feel so inclined, please call your state legislators and urge them to vote on this. 

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