End Op's Pipe Dream needs to be stopped

End Op’s Pipe Dream

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End Op's pipe dream -- pun intended -- to export masses of water out from under Bastrop and Lee counties has been stymied for years.

We hope you have already seen this article, printed in the Bastrop Advertiser on February 8th.. And then there's this article, published in the Giddings Times and News on February 7.  Both articles are about the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District’s --- and End Op’s ---- decisions to appeal a recent court decision in favor of four local landowners.

Lost Pines’ General Manager Jim Totten whom we like and respect, was indirectly quoted to have said this.

”The decision [to appeal] was made to ensure the district has a voice in front of the appeals court and can protect the public interest in the case.”

The District and End Op have fought the landowners for several years. But by not accepting the judge’s decision to allow the landowners to challenge End Op’s permit, the District has once again aligned itself with End Op. Also, according to the District, both End Op and the District are interested in “mediating” their dispute with landowners. Time will tell.

The Lost Pines Board meets this Wednesday night at 7 pm at the Giddings Public Library (agenda here). We wish we knew what to tell you to expect, but we don’t. Note that the meeting agenda calls for a private session with its lawyers about three pending legal matters.

Apparently, revisiting the board’s decision to appeal earlier this month,, is one of those matters. The agenda says any action on the appeal may include “ratifying” the Board’s previous 4-2 vote, whatever that means.

The judge’s decision also yanked End Op’s permit to export 46,000 acre-feet of Simsboro water to the IH-35 growth corridor in order to give the landowners the opportunity to protest the permit. And we now have learned the 3rd Court of Appeals has refused End Op's request to “expedite” the appeal.

End Op's unsuccessful search for a customer has turned into even bigger problems for the Austin-based water marketer! Michele Gangnes, Director Simsboro Aquifer Water Defense Fund

We are sure the District understands one of its duties under state law is to protect “property rights.” But it remains to be seen what the Board believes “protecting the public interest” includes. Does it include protecting the property rights of all Lee and Bastrop landowners in the groundwater below their land? We hope so.

Landowners, with your support, have a real shot at making End Op's pipe dream just that ---- End Op's pipe dream.

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