IF YOU GO

When: 3 p.m. Tuesday, June 8

Where: Edwards Aquifer Authority office conference center, 1615 N. St. Mary's, San Antonio

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A habitat-conservation plan designed to protect endangered species living in New Braunfels' Comal Springs will be discussed when the Edwards Aquifer Authority board meets at 3 p.m. Tuesday, June 8, in San Antonio.

The Edwards managers will also consider new rules concerning the storage of hazardous substances in areas of Comal County and other places overlying the aquifer, a major water source for South Central Texas.

"They have a deadline to finish the habitat-conservation plan by the end of the year," said New Braunfels State Rep. Doug Miller, former chairman of the EAA board.

The purpose of the plan is to determine how to protect endangered species in the Edwards' major springs, Comal Springs and San Marcos Springs, and to assess the impact on water supplies that might result from those habitat-conservation efforts, Miller said.

Endangered species of salamanders, beetles, water plants and tiny fish call the springs home. Their habitat is threatened by reduced springflows caused by increased pumping, elimination of habitat and degradation of water quality caused by urban expansion.

The EAA board will also consider adoption of rules that would "deal with those establishments that may be storing hazardous substances or any kind of substance that might leach into the aquifer," Miller said.

He said the rules were drafted in response to a long-burning mulch fire in Helotes in 2006 and 2007, which threatened drinking water supplies.

"(The rules) require facilities that may be storing hazardous substances to have firefighting and containment facilities to keep them from leaching into the aquifer," Miller said.

The board will meet at the EAA office at 1615 N. St. Mary's.

 

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