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Stay up to date with findings from our aci team.

Well RegistrationThe link below will take you to the BSEACD press release from today discussing which wells need to be registered versus permitted.  If you have a well on your property south of the Colorado River in Travis or Hays County the BSEACD jurisdiction has expanded and you may now be within their regulatory area.  For wells where a permit is required, there are 11 days left to register your well and have the $500 application fee waived.  For those of you who don’t need a permit, registering your well is a great way to be informed about any potential issues that may affect y our well’s production capability or water quality.

BSEACD Press Release

If you have any questions regarding wells on your property, please contact aci consulting’s Austin office.

Federal Judge Vacates Listing of Lesser Prairie-ChickenLesser Prairie Chicken

On September 1, 2015, the U.S. District Court: Western District of Texas: Midland-Odessa Division vacated the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Final Rule listing the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus; LPC) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Senior United States District Judge Robert Junell granted summary judgement to the plaintiffs (Permian Basin Petroleum Association; Chaves County, New Mexico (NM); Roosevelt County, NM; Eddy County, NM; and Lea County, NM) that the, “[US]FWS failed to properly apply [Policy for Evaluation of Conservation Efforts When Making Listing Decisions] PECE to its evaluation of the [Range-wide Plan] RWP resulting in material error. This caused [US]FWS to arbitrarily and capriciously list the LPC as a threatened species.” A copy of the Order Granting Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgement can be found here.

If you have questions regarding the decision or how any state- or federally-listed species may affect your project, please contact aci consulting’s Austin office.

 

Posted by: In: Clean Water Act 28 Aug 2015 0 comments

A North Dakota federal judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) new Clean Water Rule from taking effect. The new rule, which further defines the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA), was to take effect today, August 28, 2015. The injunction is based on lawsuits brought by 13 states arguing the rule will diminish the states’ authority over waters. In all, 29 states, along with various other groups have filed suits to block the rule.

The EPA issued a statement shortly after the ruling declaring the new Clean Water Rule to be effective in all states but the 13 that filed for the injunction: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

If you have questions regarding the new rule or how it may affect a current or proposed project, please contact aci consulting’s Austin office.

Posted by: In: Clean Water Act 25 Aug 2015 0 comments

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New Clean Water Rule in Effect August 28, 2015

On May 27, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) published the Clean Water Rule: Definition of ‘‘Waters of the United States.’’ This rule further defines the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA), such as adjacent waters, waters considered to have a significant nexus to jurisdictional waters, and otherwise isolated waters that occur within a floodplain. This rule goes into effect on Friday, August 28, 2015. A copy of the published rule can be found here.

If you have questions regarding the new rule or how it may affect a current or proposed project, please contact aci consulting’s Austin office.

 

Posted by: In: Technology 15 Jun 2015 0 comments

aci consulting made a strategic connection at the TCEQ Trade Show and Conference! We brought Midstream Integrity Services (MIS) to our Austin office to demonstrate the capabilities of their unmanned aerial systems, commonly known as drones. We were curious to see how we might be able to utilize their technology to streamline some of our inspections to spend less time traveling and more time analyzing data. They can send drones into areas that are difficult to navigate to do 3D mapping, LIDAR (Laser Illuminated Detection and Ranging), Point Cloud Files, and Orthomosaics. Check out the video showing this capability in action.

Posted by: In: Edwards Aquifer 27 Mar 2015 0 comments

Georgetown SalamanderIn February 2015, the City of Georgetown approved clarified Water Quality Regulations for the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone with the further intent of regional protection of the recently-listed Georgetown salamander.  The ordinance is anticipated to be an integral component of a USFWS prepared Section 4(d) Rule related to the Georgetown salamander.  The City council previously codified the water quality ordinance into the Unified Development Code in December 2014.  This newest version includes an appendix to the Unified Development Code which details the federal standards for the known occupied Georgetown salamander sites within Georgetown’s city limits and ETJ.  These federal standards have been included in previous versions of the water quality ordinance and define: 1) No-Disturbance Zone (Red Zone), 2) Minimal-Disturbance Zone (Orange Zone), 3) the adaptive management working group, and 4) requirement for Geologic Assessment to delineate red and orange zones. A copy of the ordinance can be found here.

 

 

The City of Austin has updated the forms used to complete their Environmental Resource Inventories (ERIs).  This is the new terminology for what was formerly their Environmental Assessments (EAs).  In order to finalize the ERIs, coordination with the project engineer is necessary.  Also, variance forms have to be filled out in order to request buffers of less than 150 feet for Critical Environmental Features (CEFs).  These new ERIs went into effect on December 30, 2014.  Additionally, the City has created a redline version of edits they are making to their Environmental Criteria Manual (ECM) to update it in keeping with the various updated forms.  The finalized updated form is available for download here.