Pristine Streams Petition
Thank you for speaking up for Pristine Streams! More updates to come.
Breaking news! The TCEQ Commissioners met Wednesday, March 30 and denied the Pristine Stream Petition, but as Chairman Jon Niermann acknowledged during the meeting, “The waters at issue here are state treasures.” HCA and our partners look forward to working with the TCEQ to eliminate the risk of new and increased discharge.
Clean, clear pristine rivers and streams in Texas support the state’s vibrant tourism and recreation-based economies and contribute known value to the lands that surround them, both public and private. Wastewater is the last thing we need in our remaining pristine streams.
On January 31st, a rule change petition was filed requesting the TCEQ to accept a new rule that prohibits wastewater discharge into 22 stream segments where the addition of phosphorus will degrade water quality. This rule will:
- Provide much needed clarity for development;
- Save time and great expense for both developers and those who must organize to contest each individual domestic wastewater permit application; and
- Protect water quality in these unique and fragile, favorite places.
With a new rule in place to protect the specified stream segments, applicants who once may have sought a wastewater discharge permit will be directed to apply for a Texas Land Application Permit (TLAP) and to consider the addition of a Chapter 210 Reuse Authorization for one or more other beneficial uses.
The rule would protect several of the Hill Country’s most iconic streams, including portions of the Blanco, Llano, and Nueces Rivers, as well as smaller streams like Barton, Cypress, and Hondo Creeks. Supported by landowners, community groups, conservationists and local governments, this proposal is a fair, balanced and necessary action to protect the last pristine streams in Texas. We need your help submitting comments of support for the filed petition to the TCEQ by Wednesday, March 30, 2022.
Make your voice heard by Wednesday, March 30!
- VISIT the TCEQ eComment website
- ENTER Permit number: 2022-014-PET-NR
- SELECT ‘Next’ button
- COMPLETE Personal Contact Information
- TYPE your comments in the box and/or upload an attachment.
- SUBMIT to TCEQ
Dear Chief Clerk,
I [or your business or organization] strongly urge the TCEQ’s commissioners to accept the Pristine Streams Petition and create the recommended rule.
Only 22 classified stream segments in Texas remain clean, clear, and pristine. These streams support the state’s vibrant tourism and recreation-based economies and contribute known value to the lands surrounding them, both public and private.
(Insert a personal story/connection to a pristine stream or a stream that has been impacted by wastewater discharge)
These stream segments naturally carry very low phosphorus levels, which contributes to their pristine nature. Even highly treated domestic wastewater effluent carries levels of phosphorous and other nutrients that far exceed the natural levels found in these 22 Texas stream segments. The proposed rule will prohibit wastewater discharge into these streams where the addition of phosphorus will degrade water quality.
The rule would not prohibit development on these streams. Developers will be able to apply for a TLAP land irrigation permit, and for authorization to reuse their wastewater. Both options have been used very successfully in the two areas where TCEQ has already prohibited new wastewater discharge permits — around the Highland Lakes (since 1986) and in the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone (since 1996).
If the petition is accepted, the stream segments shown in dark blue would be protected from further degradation due to wastewater discharge. Map by Robin Gary, Wimberley Valley Watershed Association.
Explore affected stream segments
The map at left highlights 22 stream segments and 1,373 miles of natural, pristine waterways. These are some of Texas’ most beloved places and are in need of protection. The below stream segments would be covered under the new rule change petition. These stream segments deserve special protection because they naturally carry very low levels of phosphorus. The addition of even highly treated domestic wastewater effluent carries levels of phosphorous and other nutrients that far exceed the natural levels found in these Texas streams.
- North Fork Red River
- South Fork San Gabriel River
- North Fork San Gabriel River
- Llano River
- Middle Concho/South Concho River Onion Creek
- Barton Creek
- Lower Blanco River
- Upper Blanco River
- Cypress Creek
- Johnson Creek
- North Fork Guadalupe River
- South Fork Guadalupe River Medina River above Medina Lake Upper Sabinal River
- Upper Nueces River
- Upper Frio River
- Hondo Creek
- Seco Creek
- Devils River
- Lower Pecos River
- San Felipe Creek
Clean, clear pristine rivers and streams in Texas support the state’s vibrant tourism and recreation-based economies and contribute known value to the lands that surround them, both public and private.
Speak up for Pristine Hill Country Streams
The TCEQ Commissioners meet Wednesday, March 30 to make a decision on the Pristine Stream Petition. Make sure they hear from you! Filed January 31, this petition requests the TCEQ to accept a new rule that prohibits wastewater discharge into 22 stream segments where the addition of phosphorus will degrade water quality.
Resolutions of Support
On March 8, 2022 the City of Blanco approved a resolution in support of the Pristine Streams Petition.
On March 8, 2022 Edwards County approved a resolution in support of the Pristine Streams Petition.
On March 14, 2022 Real County approved a resolution in support of the Pristine Streams Petition.
On March 15, 2022 the City of Bandera approved a resolution in support of the Pristine Streams Petition.
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