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AUSTIN, Texas – The Lower Colorado River Authority Board of Directors on Wednesday adopted a one-year moratorium prohibiting commercial dredging on the Highland Lakes.
LCRA’s Highland Lakes Watershed Ordinance, which is designed to protect water quality, addresses non-commercial dredging related to projects such as retaining walls, shore stabilization and boat docks and marinas, but does not address large-scale commercial dredging activities that take sand and gravel from a lake for processing and sale. The Board determined that new rules are necessary to address commercial dredging projects and their potential impact on water quality, aquatic life and public safety on the lakes.
During the moratorium, LCRA will not accept new applications, review pending applications or issue permits for commercial dredging.
LCRA has canceled a March 10 public meeting on a permit application for a commercial dredging operation filed by Collier Materials, Inc. The application, which requested permission to dredge and remove sand from Lake LBJ, has been returned to the applicant.
Over the next year, LCRA will review potential water quality impacts of commercial dredging, coordinate with other entities, and conduct a robust public and stakeholder input process. Before the end of the moratorium, LCRA staff will report to the LCRA Board of Directors and either make a recommendation related to regulations on commercial dredging, or request additional time to propose an effective recommendation.
The moratorium does not apply to non-commercial dredging projects.
The resolution adopted by the LCRA Board of Directors is available at lcra.org/hlwo.
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.