HPWD Board schedules Nov. 24 public hearing to receive comments on proposed rule revisions

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(Photo provided by High Plains Underground Water Conservation District No. 1.)

LUBBOCK, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) — The following is a news release from the HPWD:

The High Plains Underground Water Conservation District (HPWD) Board of Directors have scheduled a Nov. 24 public hearing to receive comments on proposed revisions to the Water District’s rules.

The hearing is at 1:30 p.m. in the A. Wayne Wyatt Board Room at the High Plains Water District office, 2930 Avenue Q, in Lubbock.  A special Board meeting follows at 2:30 p.m.

HPWD Board Members met with the District’s County Advisory Committees (CAC) during a series of annual meetings in March 2020. At that time, the CAC members provided feedback on current HPWD rules and recommended that the Board proceed with draft revisions.

The proposed revisions include:

Adding:

  • Sunset provision for contiguous acreage connected by pipeline.
  • Sunset provision for the HPWD conservation reserve (water banking program). 

Removing:

  • Abandoned well language from definitions in the rules.
  • Illegal well language from definitions in the rules.
  • Meter sealing provisions from the rules.
  • Requirement for pump log submittal in order for a water well permit to be considered administratively complete.
  • Requirement for a litigation policy. 

Other Revisions:

  • Changing production reporting language from “Reports shall be submitted to the District” to “Reports may be submitted to the District.”
  • Revising property line spacing for Ogallala Aquifer wells producing greater than 390 g.p.m. as recommended by the CAC members.
  • Separating permit application and permit language to help identify when a permit application is administratively complete and when the HPWD Board must act on it. This also includes revisions to the HPWD permit application work flow.
  • Establishing a policy for managing open, uncovered, or deteriorated wells.
  • Making other non-substantive rules cleanup, such as numbering and grammatical edits.

 “These proposed rule revisions are based upon four guiding principles,” said Board President Lynn Tate of Amarillo. “They are: 1) Leave the District in a better place than when this Board started; 2) Do no harm by creating rules where people can comply; 3) Examine longer term issues that may be confusing or problematic; and 4) make certain staff can follow and implement policies,” he said.

The Board will consider public comment and could take possible action on the proposed rule revisions at either the Nov. 24 special meeting or the Dec. 8 regular meeting.

A complete copy of the current HPWD rules and proposed revisions is available for public inspection at the HPWD office, 2930 Avenue Q, in Lubbock or by calling (806) 762-0181.  These documents are also available online at www.hpwd.org/rules.

Written comments regarding the proposed rule revisions should be sent to General Manager Jason Coleman. They must be received in the HPWD Lubbock office no later than 5 p.m., Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. They may also be submitted by email at rulecomments@hpwd.org

Created in 1951 by local residents and the Texas Legislature, the High Plains Water District works to conserve, preserve, protect, and prevent the waste of underground water within its 16-county service area. HPWD is the first groundwater conservation district created in Texas.

(News release from the High Plains Underground Water District No. 1)

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