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Honey Creek Wastewater Dispute Pits Environment Against Development In Texas Hill Country

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Brendan Gibbons
/
San Antonio Report
Honey Creek, taken Aug. 14, 2018, from the Honey Creek State Natural Area

Two wastewater fights have been ongoing in Comal County since 2019. The battle over Honey Creek near Bulverde, which began when a developer proposed a wastewater treatment plant attached to a massive residential subdivision, is considered an important case study for Hill Country development.

Developers' plans call for discharging up an average of 365,000 gallons per day — a smaller amount than originally proposed, but still a concern for local residents. A hearing related to the controversial permit request is scheduled for Feb. 4.

The area is fast-growing so development is inevitable, but some landowners and environmental advocates say this specific project has gone too far and will pollute the sensitive Hill Country watershed. Developers say their plan "goes way above and beyond the call" to protect Honey Creek.

What are the environmental implications if the project moves forward as planned? How far along is the development process?

How does wastewater permitting work in Texas? What are the requirements for approval?

What can the Honey Creek dispute tell us about the bigger picture for Hill Country development and environmental protections?

Guest: Brendan Gibbons, environment and energy reporter for the San Antonio Report

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 833-877-8255, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Wednesday, February 3.