3 June 2021, Response to Comments Received

Hello Granbury Fresh Supporters,

With regard to the City of Granbury’s application for a permit to build a sewer plant at 3121 Old Granbury Road, the TCEQ Response to Comments (RTC) was issued on 3 June 2021.  In the accompanying letter, the TCEQ Executive Director stated that the agency had completed a review of the City’s application and found it to be administratively complete (meaning all the boxes had been checked).  The letter issued is TCEQ’s standard letter for this stage of the permitting process.  We have been expecting this letter for the past nine months, since City officials have not withdrawn their application. 

A “Breaking News Release” from the Hood County News misrepresents what this letter actually means.  It is most definitely NOT a Final Permit, nor is it a “green light” for the City to go proceed with construction of a sewage plant on Old Granbury Road as Chris Coffman was quoted as saying.  To the contrary, the letter from TCEQ states:

This decision does not authorize construction or operation of any proposed facilities.  This decision will be considered by the commissioners at a regularly scheduled public meeting before any action is taken on this application unless all requests for contested case hearing or reconsideration have been withdrawn before that meeting.

At this stage of the permitting process, TCEQ addresses only what the applicant has presented in the permit application.  During the next phase of the permitting process (which is a Contested Case Hearing), our attorney (a former TCEQ attorney) will show the inaccuracies in the application; and will use relevant science, engineering, and facts to prove that the City failed to capture the health, environmental, and economic risks of the proposed sewage plant location and discharge on Rucker Creek and Lake Granbury. 

Over the Memorial Day weekend, the sewer plant at Waco malfunctioned (as most all sewer plants do, especially after heavy rains).  This malfunction discharged 4.5 million gallons of raw sewage into the Brazos River, necessitating the closure of all boat ramps downstream of the sewage plant, and the issuance of the following warnings to Waco citizens:

  • Persons using private drinking water supply wells located within ½ mile of the spill site or within the potentially affected area should use only water that has been distilled or boiled at a rolling boil for at least one minute for all personal uses including drinking, cooking, bathing, and tooth brushing.  Individuals with private water wells should have their well water tested and disinfected, if necessary, prior to discontinuing distillation or boiling.
  • Persons who purchase water from a public water supply may contact their water supply distributor to determine if the water is safe for personal use.
  • The public should avoid contact with waste material, soil, or water in the area potentially affected by the spill.
  • If the public comes into contact with waste material, soil, or water potentially affected by the spill, they should bathe and wash clothes thoroughly as soon as possible.

Keep in mind that the Brazos River in the area of the sewage spill has a large volume in which to disperse the sewage.  Contrast that with the narrow, shallow, frequently dry creek that is the City’s chosen discharge for the sewage plant on Old Granbury Road.  When – not if – this happens in Granbury, there will be profound negative impacts on the health of all of us living in Mallard Pointe, Bentwater, Hideaway Bay, Meander Estates, Ashley Oaks, Emerald Bend, other surrounding neighborhoods, and the entire county.   

To highlight the importance of EVERYONE to contribute to this effort, please watch the video of the KCEN Waco TV interview this week with Dr. Nick Dornak and Granbury Fresh president, Dr. Victoria Calder:

https://www.kcentv.com/article/news/local/environmental-group-disappointed-brazos-river-sewage-spill/500-df834516-c0d0-48e3-b34a-a4050843e86d

We thank all who have donated www.friendsofthebrazos.org to support this multi-neighborhood effort to oppose, through appropriate legal channels, the sewer plant location.  Your donations to date have been used to pay for engineering reports, technical experts, and attorney costs.  We also have a great start on contributions that will be used to cover the costs of a Contested Case Hearing.  Now that we are partnering with the Friends of the Brazos, a highly-respected, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, all contributions are tax deductible, so we ask that you donate BIG in order maintain our quality of life, and to protect our health, the environment, and our property values. (www.friendsofthebrazos.org

Many thanks,

Dr. Victoria Calder

Granbury Fresh, President 

Friends of the Brazos, Board Member