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Hays County group sues over groundwater permit

Trinity Edwards Springs Protection Association is suing the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District.

WIMBERLEY, Texas — Property rights group Trinity Edwards Springs Protection Association (TESPA) is suing the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (BSEACD) over a decision to allow access to groundwater in Hays County near Wimberley.

According to a lawsuit filed on Monday, BSEACD issued a permit to Needmore Water LLC to access the water following a bill passed by the 2015 Texas Legislature that gave BSEACD jurisdiction over previously unregulated portions of the Trinity Aquifer.

RELATED: Hays County resolution requests hearing over permit to pump water from Middle Trinity Aquifer

“Every drop counts, and in this situation 289 million gallons of water are being allowed to be taken without our having a chance to properly protect our property rights,” TESPA president Jim Blackburn said in a release. “This is wrong, and we are going to fight it.”

The lawsuit alleges the well in question was not operating at the time the permit application was filed and so does not meet the requirements for a “grandfathered” well. Grandfathered wells do not have to meet all regulations of the district but are subject to requirements established by the statute.

The lawsuit was filed in the Travis County District Court.

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