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EPA questions Dripping Springs wastewater permit

Tuesday, December 13, 2016 by Nina Hernandez

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency objects to a request from the city of Dripping Springs for a permit that would allow the municipality to dump 995,000 gallons of wastewater per day into Onion Creek. The Austin Monitor reported in November that the city of Austin objected to the plan because Onion Creek recharges Barton Springs. In a letter to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality earlier this month, the EPA questioned “how this permit conforms to the guidelines and requirements established by the Clean Water Act,” expressing concern that increases in phosphorus and nitrogen levels could artificially stimulate algae growth. Onion Creek watchdog group Protect Our Water released a statement on Monday calling the decision “a rare move” for the EPA that “signifies real problems with the (Dripping Springs) Draft Permit.” The group went further, suggesting “a legally binding no-discharge plan from the City of Dripping Springs.”

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