Water District works on rules and regs

Laura Chesner
Staff Writer

Before their regularly scheduled meeting on April 11, the Brazos Valley Groundwater Conservation District members had a workshop to discuss possible rules changes that would affect permitting wells in the future. The members discussed production based acreage rules, the metered production of rig supply and frack supply wells and possible curtailment of permit production for permitters who do not follow guidelines. The workshop was well attended and the members felt it was a productive workshop.
The permit hearing for several wells was called to order at 3:00 p.m. on April 11. Several wells were being brought before the board for permit amendments, new operating permits and renewal. There was little to no discussion about most of the wells asking for amendments or permit applications. The two wells that were being discussed for renewal, however, sparked quite a lot of discussion amongst the public and the Board members. BVGCD has an automatic renewal process for most wells that are paid in full and have met all requirements of the Board for the permit. The two wells that sparked such interest were begun before the BVGCD was in existence, nor the rules of permitting in place. The BVGCD came into being before the wells were completed and the entities involved in drilling the wells applied for permits. A hydrological study that had been completed during the initial permitting process - needed to be ratified before the permits were completed. While the study was completed, it was never ratified, which kept the permits from the automatic renewal process.
Some citizens were concerned about other issues that they felt should disqualify the wells from receiving their permits. John Melvin and Doug Caroun spoke to the problems of the size and pumpage of the wells as well as the entities lack of proper notice to the citizens living in the area of the wells. Jim Matthew with the City of Bryan and a representative from the Wellborn special utility district spoke to those concerns and expressed that all legal steps were taken before drilling had ensued. Ultimately the Board decided that the only hindrance to the renewal came to the Hydrological survey ratification. The board then ratified the study with a 5-3 vote; approved of the permit renewal and unanimously approved the other amendments and applications.
The Board passed a motion to separate the small portion of GMA 14 and to sever their GMA 14 membership. This will allow the Board to me more effective when making decisions about long-range plans for the aquifers in their district

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