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Tag Archives: Watershed Protection Department

Friday, July 20, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

City’s new flood plain maps would affect building regulations

New federal data on Austin’s rainfall patterns will cause the city to expand the size of areas in the 100-year flood plain and likely lead to a change in development requirements for properties exposed to flash-flooding risk.The city’s Watershed Protection…

Monday, July 16, 2018 by Elizabeth Pagano

Austin Monitor Radio: Environmental Officer Chuck Lesniak

After 28 years with the city, Environmental Officer Chuck Lesniak is retiring. In this week’s show, he sits down with freelancer Caleb Pritchard and editor Elizabeth Pagano to talk about the lessons that he’s learned during his time at the…

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Watershed Protection budget accounts for approval of CodeNEXT

This year, as the Watershed Protection Department goes through its annual budgeting cycle, things are looking good.At the June 6 meeting of the Environmental Commission, Watershed Protection staff presented an overview of its upcoming projects and the related finances. According…

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin’s cave frontier gets slowly uncovered

Austin is home to a complex of underground aquifers that we know are filled by a system of underground caves. However, if we know that to be the case, why we don’t see caves everywhere?“Basically, because all of them were…

Tuesday, May 8, 2018 by Mose Buchele

Section of Shoal Creek Hike and Bike Trail suffers massive storm damage

Jessica Zarowitz was in for a surprise while walking her dog, Lady Bird, along the Shoal Creek Hike and Bike Trail on Monday: The trail that had been there for years suddenly wasn’t. Trees had fallen over it, and the…

Thursday, March 22, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Austin’s 100-year flood plain looks more like today’s 500-year flood plain

In Austin, flooding has been a concern for decades, but in the last several years, the urgency with which the city is conducting the conversation has escalated. In the last four years alone, Austin has experienced four federally declared flooding…

Friday, March 2, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

CodeNEXT Draft 3 makes significant changes to water-quality and drainage regulations

After months of waiting, last month the third and final staff draft of CodeNEXT was released. After allowing adequate reading time, on Feb. 21, Matt Hollon, the manager of the Watershed Protection Department Planning Division, gave the Environmental Commission an…

Monday, February 5, 2018 by Jack Craver

Another postponement for Champion case

City Council decided Thursday that a legal and political battle surrounding the Champion tract in Northwest Austin that has spanned two decades will be extended yet another two weeks.Council voted 7-4 to postpone action on an amendment to a settlement…

Monday, January 15, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

Environmental Commission recommends Watershed Department issue a middle-of-the-road bond in 2018

The beginning of 2018 marked the beginning of a bond election year. At the latest meeting of the Environmental Commission, the Watershed Protection Department presented plans to ask the public for help conserving Austin’s environment through the acquisition of green…

Monday, January 8, 2018 by Jessi Devenyns

CodeNEXT: City says few environmental surprises in store

Conversations today about the city run like clockwork: You can guarantee that at some point CodeNEXT will be mentioned.However, although it is spoken about with regularity, there are so many varying opinions, stances and regulatory improvements being presented that it…

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Environmental Commission moves Onion Creek buyout plan forward

Over four years after the 2013 Halloween floods racked the Onion Creek neighborhoods, the Environmental Commission voted unanimously at its Dec. 6 meeting to approve staff’s recommendation to move forward with 128 buyouts of houses at immediate risk of flooding…

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 by Jo Clifton

Two districts now oppose sewage permit

The board of directors of the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District voted Monday night to protest Dripping Springs’ draft permit to discharge 995,000 gallons of wastewater per day into a tributary of Onion Creek. The vote means that the district…

Monday, October 23, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

AISD seeks environmental flexibility in redevelopment of Barton Springs schools

The Austin Independent School District is one step closer to reaching an agreement with the city that would allow it to redevelop some of its overcrowded campuses in order to accommodate growth in student populations. At its meeting last Wednesday,…

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

In a gesture of goodwill, the city wants to reward those who are reusing their stormwater

Most Austin residents are aware of the sometimes economically painful reality of fixed stormwater drainage charges adding up on their monthly bills. However, after years of operating under this system, the Watershed Protection Department is changing its approach by rolling…

Monday, September 18, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Watershed Protection begins testing to change Waller hydrology

After two years of toying with the possibility of emulating the natural hydrology of Austin’s pre-urbanized watersheds through man-made controls, the Watershed Protection Department is finally putting its theories to the test at Reilly Elementary School.Reilly Elementary sits at the…

Friday, August 18, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

Watershed Protection reports on youth outreach successes

Just as it does every year, the Watershed Protection Department came to present a summary of its Youth Education outreach program to the Environmental Commission. Susan Wall, who is the department’s conservation program coordinator, on Wednesday updated the commissioners on…

Thursday, August 17, 2017 by Mose Buchele

How zebra mussels will change Austin lakes (and maybe Barton Springs) forever

The invasive zebra mussel has been moving south for years, leaving destruction in its wake. Now, it’s in Lake Travis, and it will soon make its way downstream, changing the look, feel and maybe even the taste of Austin’s lakes…

Monday, July 24, 2017 by Jack Craver

City looks to bond to protect water, reduce flooding

The city needs to do a lot more to protect its water supply from contamination and its residents from flooding, officials from the Watershed Protection Department told members of the Environmental Commission Wednesday. They believe that a bond package that…

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 by Jo Clifton

EPA drops objection to Dripping Springs’ permit

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has withdrawn its interim objection to Dripping Springs’ application to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to discharge 995,000 gallons of treated wastewater into a tributary of Onion Creek.Dripping Springs officials have always said that…

Friday, May 19, 2017 by Joseph Caterine

Environmental Commission calls for investigation into hidden junkyards

In the same way that it’s hard to pinpoint how many pieces of garbage it takes to make a heap, the Environmental Commission deliberated Wednesday night how many instances of localized dumping in the city would amount to a serious…

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