TCEQ Public Meeting

June 8, 2023 at 7:00pm
Arrive 30 minutes early to allow for parking and sign ups
Smithson Valley High School (Cafeteria)
14001 Texas Highway 46
Spring Branch, TX 78070
Map & Directions

TCEQ is holding a public meeting to discuss the wastewater discharge permit application filed by Doug Harrison, a local landowner immediately west of the proposed Vulcan quarry site. Mr. Harrison is requesting a TPDES (Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit to dump up to 600,000 gallons of treated sewage—an Olympic-size swimming pool of wastewater—every day into the West Fork Dry Comal Creek and Dry Comal Creek, which flow into the Comal River in New Braunfels. The discharge location would be over the Edwards Aquifer contributing zone and just 2000 feet upstream from the environmentally sensitive recharge zone.

Harrison TPDES wastewater discharge permit, Comal County, New Braunfels, Bulverde, Texas
Facebook Event Page

We need to pack the house: tell TCEQ that the Edwards Aquifer contributing and recharge zones are the worst place to dump 600,000 gallons (an Olympic-size swimming pool) of treated sewage every day. Make plans to attend today: invite friends, carpool, make it a date!

The public meeting will consist of three parts:

1. Sign Up

Before and as the meeting begins, you MUST sign up to speak during the very important Formal Comment Period. Even if you aren’t sure you want to say or ask anything, please sign up anyway. Otherwise you will not be allowed to make a formal comment about the proposed discharge location or treatment plant.

2. Informal Discussion Period

Comments and questions made during the Informal Discussion Period will NOT be considered nor formally responded to by the TCEQ Commissioners before reaching a decision. (Essentially, these comments and questions don’t count.)

3. Formal Comment Period

Members of the public will have up to three minutes to state their formal comments or questions into the official record. All comments and questions during the Formal Comment Period will be considered and formally responded to by the TCEQ Commissioners before they reach “final” decision on the permit. Only relevant issues raised during the formal comment period can be considered in future hearings. (In other words, this is your only chance to raise your issues and concerns about the wastewater discharge and sewage treatment plant.)

This insightful video from Save Our Springs Alliance is largely specific to Onion Creek and the Blanco River, but the same principles apply to other Texas Hill Country rivers, creeks, and streams.
Recorded webinar from February 2023 by Hill Country Alliance, Save Barton Creek Association, and Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance. Interactive conversation on how to navigate the TCEQ wastewater permitting process—from accessing the permit application materials to requesting a public meeting and contested case hearing.

Things You Can Do Before the Meeting

1. Submit Comments to TCEQ

Go to the TCEQ website and post your opposition to this wastewater discharge (TPDES) permit. Go to , enter WQ0016211001 in the Permit Number box, then click Next.

  • Raise your personal concerns and point to unanswered questions.
  • Permit application should be denied.
  • Potential negative impact on groundwater quality (i.e., area water wells, Edwards Aquifer, Trinity Aquifer).
  • Potential negative impact on area springs, streams, and rivers (Dry Comal Creek, Comal River, Guadalupe River).
  • A beneficial reuse or land application permit (TLAP) would be much better than a discharge permit.
  • Potential negative impact on area caves and caverns.
  • If you live in the area—especially if you are on a private well—state that you are an affected person (e.g., because of the location of your water well, you depend on water from the Edwards Aquifer, etc.) and request a contested case hearing. Use this Public Meeting Participation Guide from Save Our Hill Country to make sure you check all the boxes necessary for a contested case hearing request.
  • For a deeper dive, feel free to reference this letter from PHCE or this letter from GEAA.

If you are unable to attend the public meeting, please submit comments online no later than June 8, 5:00 pm. If you already submitted comments, you are welcome to add additional comments (there is not a limit).

Before the meeting, submit the text of your speech/comments on TCEQ’s website (and upload any documents)—in case you can’t speak for any reason.

2. Contact Public Officials

Comal County and Comal ISD should each contact TCEQ opposing the proposed wastewater discharge permit and directly request a Contested Case Hearing as an affected party.

3. Prepare

Educate yourself on the proposed Harrison permit using these resources and documents:

While many of the resources and tools on this website are focused on the proposed Vulcan quarry, the TCEQ public meeting structure and public participation process is very similar.

Harrison Tract Wastewater Permit Public Participation Guide
River in the Texas Hill Country overrun with algal blooms from dumping of treated wastewater

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