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LCRA contested case hearing starts in Bastrop

LCRA still on the stand at the end of Day 1 ---Day 2 is Oct. 16 at

***9 a.m.***

Note different start time -- court will go to 5 p.m.

every day, most likely, and landowners' case is officially postponed until Friday or Monday --- stay tuned!

Tomorrow, cross-examination of LCRA's expert (hydrology) witnesses continues, then the other parties will begin putting on their witnesses --- NO LANDOWNER PARTY needs to be present at any certain time on any day, but you are of course welcome to sit in as your time permits--- your pre-filed testimony will be admitted "as is" , whether you are there or not, and you won't be subject to cross-examination. Your absence does not mean you aren't interested --- we understand!


We had a great audience today of landowners and supporters --- thank you to all who came out. It wasn't lost on this observer that at least 10 or more members of the audience were supporters of those who resisted the very first Water Grab --- Alcoa and SAWS starting in 1998 before we even had a groundwater district.

This observer also thinks the opponents of the permit ---- landowners, Aqua, Elgin, Recharge (formerly, End Op) ---had a relatively good day chipping away at LCRA's lack of foundation to support a permit of this magnitude, their seemingly deliberate disregard of impacts on other wells and other permittees, and presumably, even impacts on the Colorado River they are supposed to steward....and frankly, chipping away at their apparent arrogance that they don't have to worry about these things.... because...well, "We're the LCRA!"

Because one of our experts, George Rice, had a family emergency, the so-called "Brown Landowners" (that's us!) and Environmental Stewardship have been pushed farther down in the "batting order" to give George the opportunity to testify for both Environmental Stewardship and the Brown Landowners when he gets back to town next week.

We don't expect our landowner case to go forward until at least Friday --- stay tuned for an update Wednesday and/or Thursday night --- we might be pushed into Monday. Depending on that update, you might want to sit in on Friday or Monday, and then stick around for Environmental Stewardship's case after us. Support for the effort that has gone into this hearing is always appreciated ---- we have a long way to go, probably in the courts and certainly at the Legislature, but the landowners at least "have their feet under the permitting table" thanks to those of you who stood up.

After LCRA finishes tomorrow, Elvis and Roxanne Hernandez, Bastrop County landowners who are representing themselves, will be next.

Elvis and Roxanne will be followed by Aqua Water Supply and the City of Elgin. Brown Landowners will go next, then Environmental Stewardship and Recharge (formerly, End Op).

After that, the District General Manager's case goes forward, then LCRA gets to do rebuttal of everyone else's case.

All of this has to happen as of end of day Tuesday, October 22 ---- court will probably run until at least 5 p.m. every day.

Closing statements will be in written form. The Administrative Law Judges will take the case under review and will eventually issue a "Proposal for Decision" --- that is, they will recommend a decision to the Lost Pines District. There are some other steps in between for the lawyers, but ultimately, the District makes the final decision on the permit.

Stay tuned for future updates ---- posted here in the News Blog.