EP requested the contested cases be referred SOAH, who focus primarily on addressing the facts of the cases and providing the primary agency with a recommendation.
The preliminary hearing for Electro Purification’s proposed permit has been announced. The hearing will take place, Monday, September 17, at the State Office of Administrative Hearings.
TESPA, along with Hays County and several other individual landowners requested contested cases related to EP’s proposed permit to pump 2.5 million gallons of water a day from the Trinity Aquifer.
The State Office of Administrative Hearings, also called SOAH, resolves disputes between Texas agencies, other governmental entities, and private citizens either through an administrative hearing or mediation. The office is separate and independent from the agencies involved in the disputes.
EP requested the contested cases be referred SOAH Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) , who focus primarily on addressing the facts of the cases and providing the primary agency with a recommendation. The final decision of EP’s application will be made by the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District board.
However, according to TESPA, BSEACD can only rule differently from the SOAH Administrative Law Judge’s proposal for decision if the board finds that the ALJ interpreted a law incorrectly or did not take certain evidence into account.
The first step in the hearing is for the ALJ to determine whether the protestants have the standing to file a contested case.
TESPA said that Electro Purification has agreed not to challenge their standing on this case.
“With over 100 landowners who could demonstrate a potential injury, EP must have realized that it would be a waste of time and money to fight us on standing,” TESPA said.
In addition to determining party status, the ALJ will also set the schedule for discovery, depositions and the hearing on the merits (the procedural schedule).
TESPA encourages members of the community to attend the hearing on Sept. 17 to support the individual landowners and county and show “how significant this is to the community.”
10:00 a.m. – September 17, 2018
William P. Clements Building
300 West 15th Street, 4th Floor
Austin, TX 78701
Read the official notice of Public Hearing HERE.