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Aquifer Alliance Says SAWS Has Alternative In Bat Cave Controversy

Bat Conservation International

The Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance said the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality can issue a variance to its rule that SAWS provide water to the Crescent Hills Subdivision, which is located near the Bracken Bat Cave.

SAWS has said it has no choice but to provide the sewer and water mains because of its Certificate of Convenience and Necessity, but GEAA Executive Director Annalisa Peace said the group's attorneys have research the issue and say the TCEQ can change the certificate at the request of SAWS.

"They said that since SAWS applied for the Certificate of Convenience and Necessity that designates them as the sole service provider for this area, they can easily request that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality amend those permits to exclude this area so that they are not required to provide service to anybody who asks for it," Peace said.

Peace said the GEAA is concerned with the extension of sewer mains across creek beds that recharge 80 percent of San Antonio’s drinking water.

The action would not necessarily save the bat cave, however, and other technicalities would need to be found to work through that problem, but Peace said if the subdivision went forward with a different water supplier, it would have to adhere to City of San Antonio ordinances that protect the aquifer, such as impervious cover limits.

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.