According to Vicki Hujsak, a founding incorporator of TESPA, “TESPA was formed to take action to protect our aquifers and springs. It feels good to be fighting back.”
Jeff Mundy, lead trial lawyer for TESPA summarized the main points of the case. “First, our legal research revealed that the Legislature already passed legislation which attempts to protect all of the groundwater in Hays County through groundwater conservation districts. The Legislature gave the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District default jurisdiction over groundwater in all of Hays County, to the extent jurisdiction has not otherwise been given to another groundwater conservation district. The HTGCD has a legislatively mandated duty to protect groundwater to assure it is used wisely and in a sustainable manner.
According to Vanessa Puig-Williams, an environmental attorney helping TESPA, “The rule of capture is harsh and archaic, dating back to a 1904 decision that referred to groundwater as secret and occult. We are well beyond the occult in our understanding of groundwater today, and we feel that the time is ripe to challenge this doctrine that has long outlived its usefulness.”
As filed, the suit seeks a temporary injunction to stop Electro Purification until the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District decides how to respond to the allegation that they have regulatory responsibility for these contested wells. The Hays Trinity District was served Tuesday with a letter giving them notice that they had 90 days to determine what action, if any, they wished to undertake.
TESPA is holding a public meeting at the Wimberley Community Center on March 21 at 6:30 where members of the legal team as well as other community leaders will speak on the litigation and the challenges that lie ahead in moving toward effective action to protect our aquifer and our springs.