EAA Press Release
Contact: Roland Ruiz, Edwards Aquifer Authority, (210) 477-5143 or (800) 292-1047, ext. 143
EDWARDS AQUIFER AUTHORITY CONTEMPLATES NEW REGULATIONS TO STRENGTHEN WATER QUALITY PROTECTION
SAN ANTONIO (August 11, 2009) – The board of directors of the Edwards Aquifer Authority, at its meeting Tuesday, August 11, agreed to explore a new regulatory program that would further protect the Edwards Aquifer from pollution risks associated with development on the environmentally sensitive recharge zone.
More specifically, the Authority’s board authorized staff to develop proposed rules for future consideration that would establish a 20 percent impervious cover limit for all classes of development on the recharge zone and portions of the contributing zone within the Authority’s jurisdiction (up to five miles up stream of the recharge zone). The board’s action puts in motion a process by which the Authority could consider proposing such impervious cover rules later this year.
According to scientific studies, allowing impervious cover to exceed a threshold of 10 to 20 percent can adversely impact water quality. Generally, impervious cover— that is impermeable surfaces such as rooftops, parking lots, sidewalks, driveways, and roadways— can degrade the quality of water entering the aquifer by allowing the infiltration of contaminants via storm water runoff.
In other action, the Authority’s board adopted rules changes that help clarify portions of the groundwater permit administration process and certain groundwater conservation definitions and requirements applicable to Edwards groundwater permit holders.
The board also received a regulatory assessment of rules proposed by the Authority earlier this year that would generally prohibit the future transfer of groundwater rights from withdrawal points west to east of Cibolo Creek. The proposed Cibolo Creek transfer rules, which are designed to protect the Comal and San Marcos springs, are pending a public comment process, which will begin next month.
The Edwards Aquifer Authority manages, enhances, and protects the Edwards Aquifer, one of the major groundwater systems in Texas serving approximately 1.7 million people. More information on the Edwards Aquifer Authority is available by calling (210) 222-2204 or (800) 292-1047.