Presenter: Cindy Loeffler
Colette Barron

Commission Agenda Item No. 14
Action
Environmental Flows Advisory Committee Update
January 25, 2007

I. Executive Summary: On October 2005, Governor Rick Perry signed an Executive Order creating an Environmental Flows Advisory Committee (Committee). On December 20, 2006, the Committee issued a final report. Staff will brief the Commission regarding the Committee's activities and the final report.

II. Discussion: Governor Perry issued an Executive Order on October 28, 2005, creating an Environmental Flows Advisory Committee to "examine relevant issues and make recommendations for [Texas Commission in Environmental Quality] action and legislation on methods for making future decisions to protect instream flows and freshwater inflows, while integrating such needs with human needs, including methods to address allocation of flows during drought conditions." The Committee was also directed to establish a process that will achieve a consensus-based, regional approach to integrate environmental flow protection with flows for human needs.

The Committee consisted of nine members and was chaired by Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) Chairman E.G. Rod Pittman. Other members included Texas Parks and Wildlife Chairman Joseph B.C. Fitzsimons, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Chairman Kathleen White, and representatives of river authorities, municipalities, environmental, agricultural, industrial, and hunting and fishing interests. The Committee met six times from March through November 2006 and solicited testimony and comments from a variety of stakeholders. The Committee also appointed a Science Advisory Committee.

The final report of the Committee was issued December 20, 2006. The Committee's final report contains 32 recommendations. In developing recommendations, the report used Article I of Senate Bill 3 (2005) as a starting point. Although Senate Bill 3 did not pass, Article 1 of that bill had considerable support and called for the creation of a bottom-up process for developing recommendations for environmental flow regimes that the TCEQ would adopt in environmental flow standards. Staff will provide an overview of the Committee's recommendations.

III. Recommendation: The staff recommends approval of the following motion:

"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts the resolution endorsing the recommendations of the Environmental Flows Advisory Committee (EFAC) Report."

Attachments – 1

  1. Exhibit A – Resolution
  2. A Resolution by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission
    Endorsing the Recommendations of the Environmental Flows
    Advisory Committee

    Whereas, by Executive Order dated October 28, 2005, Governor Rick Perry creating an Environmental Flows Advisory Committee (the Committee) to "examine relevant issues and make recommendations for [Texas Commission in Environmental Quality] action and legislation on methods for making future decisions to protect instream flows and freshwater inflows, while integrating such needs with human needs, including methods to address allocation of flows during drought conditions" and to establish a process that will achieve a consensus-based, regional approach to integrate environmental flow protection with flows for human needs; and

    Whereas, the Committee consisted of 9 members, was chaired by Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) Chairman E.G. Rod Pitman and included Texas Parks and Wildlife Chairman Joseph B.C. Fitzsimons, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Chairman Kathleen White, and representatives of river authorities, municipalities, environmental, agricultural, industrial, and hunting and fishing interests; and

    Whereas, on December 20, 2006, the Committee issued a Final Report containing 32 recommendations using Article 1 of Senate Bill 3 (2005) as a starting point; and

    Whereas, within the 32 recommendations are recommendations addressing methods for improving the Texas Water Trust to protect instream flows, the use of market forces to protect instream flows, conversion of existing consumptive water rights to instream use, and the importance of land stewardship in protecting instream flows; and

    Whereas, water for fish and wildlife is the single most important conservation issue facing the State of Texas and is critical to TPWD achieving its statutory responsibility to protect the state's fish and wildlife resources; and

    Whereas, the recommendations contained in the Committee's Final Report will help ensure that processes and mechanisms are in place to help ensure the availability of water for fish and wildlife;

    Now therefore be it resolved that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission endorses the recommendations contained in the December 20, 2006, Final Report of the Environmental Flows Advisory Committee.

    In official recognition hereof, we hereby affix our signatures as approved this 25th day of January 2007.

    • Joseph B. C. Fitzsimons, Chairman
    • Donato D. Ramos, Vice-Chairman
    • Mark E. Bivins, Member
    • J. Robert Brown, Member
    • T. Dan Friedkin, Member
    • Peter M. Holt, Member
    • Philip Montgomery III, Member
    • John D. Parker, Member
    The State of Texas
    County of Travis

    I, the undersigned Executive Director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, do hereby certify that the foregoing resolution is a true, full, and correct copy of a resolution adopted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission of the State of Texas on the 25th day of January 2007.

    Executed under my hand and seal of said Commission on this the 25th day of January 2007.


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