It’s been awhile since our last post, but there has not been anything new to report UNTIL NOW!

Last year we made a formal appeal to oppose the TCEQ decision to issue the City of Granbury a permit to construct a sewage plant at 3121 Old Granbury Road. Data submitted during the permit review process confirmed that the sewage plant violates TCEQs minimum standards, standards that would ensure that Rucker Creek and Lake Granbury will not be degraded by the discharge of 2-million gallons of sewage effluent every day.

A District Court Hearing on the Merits of the TCEQ Permit for Granbury is scheduled for this Thursday, April 11, 2024 at 2:00pm at the Travis County Civil and Family Courts Facility (1700 Guadalupe Street, Austin, TX 78701). The courtroom is on the 8th floor, room 8D. Our attorney will be presenting our case. The public is welcome to attend the hearing, but attendance is not required.

We are hopeful that our appeal results in a Court-mandated reversal of the TCEQ permit issued to the City of Granbury especially since the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals just reversed another TCEQ permitting decision in January.

As soon as we know the judge’s ruling on the case, we will notify you. Thank you again for your support!

14 February 2023 – The latest news & press release

We wanted to share this press release which outlines EPA’s investigation of the TCEQ for their failure to enforce the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts, both of which TCEQ is responsible for enforcing for all permitted activities within the state. Links in the press release will take you directly to the documents being referenced.

Please keep in mind that the City of Granbury DOES NOT have a final permit for construction of a sewage plant on Old Granbury Road. Our attorneys have appealed TCEQ’s recommendation to grant a permit for the plant, so the court system will be deciding the merits of our case, which clearly demonstrated that the proposed sewage plant does not meet TCEQ’s own minimum standards and will result in degradation of the environment.

With your support, we have been fighting this plant since March 2020. And, with your continued support, we will continue this fight throughout the entire legal process available to us. We are confident that we will prevail because this facility clearly violates the Clean Water Act. Keep in mind that even though the City of Granbury has had ample time to develop and implement plans for an alternative site (almost 3 years now and counting), they prefer to blame GranburyFresh and our supporters for delaying their ill-conceived project. They blame the years long development moratorium on our fight to protect the environment, Lake Granbury, and our neighborhoods; and continue to cite numerous monetary and job losses caused by insufficient sewage treatment capacity instead of accepting responsibility for their failure to provide adequate infrastructure in a timely manner.



For Immediate Release
January 31, 2023

Clean Water Advocates Claim Texas Not Meeting Minimum Protections for Air and Water Quality;
Must Take “Corrective Action” or Risk Losing Authority Over Clean Water and Clean Air Programs

Media Contacts:
Becky Smith, Clean Water Action TX, 617-314-2347
Eric Allmon, Attorney, 512-469-6000
Annalisa Peace, Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, 210-275-9336
Steve Box, Environmental Stewardship, 512-300-6609
Alex Ortiz, Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter, 512-923-4487

Texas — United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials are conducting an investigation into whether Texas’s environmental regulators are fully carrying out their delegated duties under the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Acts. In a letter dated January 24, 2023 (letter linked here), the EPA’s Region 6 Acting Regional Deputy Administrator explains that there is an ongoing informal investigation.

In short, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is being investigated by EPA for failure to carry out the protections required by the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Acts. Residents upset or concerned about their local water quality and air quality have joined with other advocates to lodge legal complaints that set these reviews into motion. Water violations enforcement petitioner information link here; air violations enforcement petitioner information link here

Acting Regional Deputy Administrator, Charles Maguire, states, “If proven to be true, the allegations outlined in the Petition are concerning. As noted in our discussions, CWA § 402(c)(3) provides that whenever the EPA ‘determines after public hearing that a state is not administering a program approved under this section in accordance with requirements of this section, he shall so notify the State and, if appropriate corrective action is not taken within a reasonable time, not to exceed 90 days, the Administrator shall withdraw approval of such program.’”

“The Clean Water Act is largely carried out by individual states across the country, allowing great flexibility in the process and manner used to achieve protecting water, humans, and the natural environment. When one or more states is doing a poor job — either deliberately or by accident — the federal government has always been understood as a backstop to assure that these critical protections are achieved,” said Becky Smith, Clean Water Action Texas Director.

Retired CWA Director, David Foster, said: “Delegating the authority to enforce the federal Clean Water Act to a state only works if that state actually follows the law. The TCEQ’s failure to do this has exposed Texas waterways and the people and ecosystems that depend on them to enormous risk. It’s time for the EPA to take matters into its own hands.”

Elements of concern under investigation include:

· The TCEQ places the burden on members of the public to prove that a permit violates legal requirements rather than requiring that parties applying to pollute prove that they will be doing so at legally acceptable levels;

· TCEQ creating unlawful barriers to public participation and judicial review of permitting decisions; and

· TCEQ’s failure to recognize large volume water-polluting projects as “major facilities and subsequent denial of consideration for wastewater effluent discharge as pollution that can degrade receiving waters.

Taking “corrective action” could be done by the Texas Legislature’s currently open sunset review process and directions to the TCEQ by legislation. A report issued by the Sunset Review Staff of the Texas Legislature states “TCEQ’s Policies and Processes Lack Full Transparency and Opportunities for Meaningful Public Input, Generating Distrust and Confusion Among Members of the Public.”

According to Annalisa Peace, Executive Director of the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance, “The TCEQ is not effectively engaging citizens in protecting our natural resources. As Texas becomes more densely populated, uniform enforcement of EPA regulations are (sic) essential if we are to maintain the quality of life that Texans currently enjoy.”

“Environmental justice communities like my neighborhood along Refinery Row in Corpus Christi, Texas, already suffer from disproportionate water and air pollution,” said Lamont Taylor, officer of the Hillcrest Residents Association. “We are asking EPA to fix Texas’ water and air permitting programs to protect Hillcrest and all communities across the state and ensure that we have a meaningful voice in the review of these permits.”

Steve Box, Executive Director of Environmental Stewardship, commented, “Despite the Clean Water Act’s goal of maintaining water quality, Texas has systematically enabled significant degradation of the Colorado River and many other rivers in the State. Hopefully, this investigation will address those systematic problems.”

“It’s not surprising as TCEQ continues to fail Texans.” said Alex Ortiz, Water Resources Specialist from the Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter. “The ongoing Sunset review process of TCEQ clearly found that the agency is a “reluctant regulator,” shirking its responsibilities under the Clean Water Act. As EPA continues its investigation, we must focus on doing our part to fix this broken state agency.”

Short of a solution at the legislature, such as adoption of the recommendations issued by the Sunset Review Staff and budgeting funds adequate for robust enforcement by TCEQ of EPA mandated Clean Water and Clean Air acts, the citizens of Texas would be better served by the EPA assuming management and enforcement of the Acts.


2 November 2022: WE NEED YOUR HELP!

As part of the TCEQ’s process for granting sewer plant permits, we have an opportunity to file an appeal to TCEQ to reconsider their recent decision to grant the City of Granbury a permit for a sewage plant on Old Granbury Road.  We are now 7 days into the 25-day deadline for our attorneys to file this appeal.  After receiving our request for reconsideration, TCEQ has 15 days to evaluate our appeal. If they do not grant our request, we may then pursue recourse through the courts system.  During the hearing before the administrative law judges in March, our legal team laid the groundwork for this phase of the process, and established justifiable legal grounds for making a formal request for TCEQ to reconsider their decision.  

In 2021, our attorney won a case very similar to ours at Dripping Springs, resulting in TCEQ being forced to retract a permit they had awarded for a sewage plant near that spring.  Much like our situation, significant risks to the environment and water quality had been confirmed.  As a result of information presented by our attorneys, the risks to Rucker Creek and Lake Granbury were detailed by TCEQ’s attorneys with the Office of Public Interest Counsel in their opinion, which concluded that there were grounds to deny the City of Granbury’s permit request.

Many of us have invested in protecting the Brazos River, as well as the environment, quality of outdoor life, health, and our property values.  We need your immediate support to go forward with a formal legal request to TCEQ for reconsideration of the proposed sewer plant permit and next steps.

If you are opposed to this highly objectionable sewage plant location, please show your support by making a tax-deductible contribution today at:


Scroll down to the Red “Donate” button and indicate that your contribution is for Granbury Fresh

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, input, and/or wish to serve in further support of this important effort. Thank you for your involvement and support! 

Best regards, 

Victoria Calder, Ph.D.

Friends of the Brazos Board Member

Granbury Fresh Project Chair


TCEQ Commissioners Hearing, October 5th at 9:30am

The TCEQ Commissioner’s Court will hold a hearing next week on Wednesday, October 5th at 9:30am in Austin to render a decision on a final permit for the sewage treatment plant being proposed on Old Granbury Road. This hearing will likely result in a decision to either deny or grant a permit for a wastewater plant, however, the Commissioners could also recommend sending the case to another court, or arbitration.

All persons are welcome to attend the hearing in Austin, but you can also participate by telephone or by watching the proceedings online.

Here’s how you can participate:

In person: 12100 Park 35 Circle Building E, Room 201S

By Telephone: (562) 247-8422
Access Code: 615-278-887

Online by Computer:

Webinar ID: 887-618-571

October 5th will be a big day for those interested in this permit since the outcomes from this hearing will dictate next steps available to citizens opposed to this facility. Please join us if you can.

UPDATE: 24 June 2022

We have received word that the two Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) who heard our Contested Case back in March have recommended that TCEQ issue the permit for the sewage treatment plant on Old Granbury Road. We consider this to be a setback, but it is important to remember that this is just another step in the process, and a permit for the sewage plant has NOT been granted. Our attorneys are responding to this ruling by ‘filing exceptions’. This basically means that they will argue points in the preliminary ruling that we believe contradict the evidence that was presented at the hearing. Exceptions will be filed by 11 July, and then a final ruling from the ALJs will follow a few weeks after. At that point, it will be sent to commissioners at TCEQ to render a decision on the permit. There are several months left in the process, so please continue to support this fight.

In response to a request from the Hood County News, our attorneys have issued the following statement:

Granbury Fresh and Dr. Calder will be filing exceptions. The ALJs in this matter failed to follow the plain and unambiguous language of the TCEQ’s rules regarding odor buffer zones, based upon unfounded testimony by witnesses for the City. Further, the ALJs did not adequately consider the potential degradation of water quality that was indicated by the City of Granbury’s own water quality modeling. The proposed discharge will create an unacceptable risk of excessive algal growth and elevated bacteria levels in the receiving waters. The errors made by the ALJs in the interpretation and application of the TCEQ rules are appropriate for the TCEQ Commissioners to correct when making a final decision on the permit application. Granbury Fresh and Victoria Calder will ask that the TCEQ Commissioners follow the Commission’s own rules and deny the permit.

UPDATE: 3 June 2021

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 review of the City’s application and found it to be administratively complete (meaning all the boxes associated with supplying the required information have been checked).  The letter issued is TCEQ’s standard letter for this stage of the permitting process.  Since City officials have not withdrawn their application, we have been expecting this letter since the public meeting that was held remotely on 10 September 2020.

A “Breaking News Release” from the Hood County News has misrepresented what this letter actually means.  It is most definitely NOT a Final Permit, nor is it a “green light” for the City to 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 a 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 request for a Contested Case Hearing), our attorney (a former TCEQ attorney) will present the inaccuracies that were included in the application. If a Contested Case Hearing is granted, our attorney and engineers will use relevant science and engineering to prove that the City’s application failed to capture the health, environmental, and economic risks of the proposed sewage plant location and its discharge on both Rucker Creek and Lake Granbury. 

To give you an idea of just one of the risks that we face if this plant is constructed, we only have to go downriver to Waco. Over the Memorial Day weekend, the sewer plant at Waco malfunctioned (as most sewer plants eventually do, especially after heavy rains).  This malfunction discharged 4.5 million gallons of raw sewage into a flooding 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 Waco sewage spill has a relatively 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, and other adjacent neighborhoods in Hood County.   

To highlight why we are fighting so hard to have similar sewage spills in Granbury, please watch the video of the KCEN Waco TV interview this week with Friends of the Brazos President, Dr. Nick Dornak, and Granbury Fresh President, Dr. Victoria Calder:


We gratefully thank all who have donated to www.friendsofthebrazos.org (or through our previous GoFundMe account) in order 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 fees.  We also have a good 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 made to support this effort 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.

Many thanks,

Dr. Victoria Calder

Granbury Fresh, President 

Friends of the Brazos, Board Member