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Harbor Island desalination permit process hits roadblock

The Port of Corpus Christi has proposed a desalination plant for Harbor Island
Posted at 9:08 PM, Jun 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-30 22:08:44-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The effort to obtain a water rights permit for a desalination plant on Harbor Island has hit a roadblock.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers notified the Port of Corpus Christi two months ago that its application for a Nationwide Permit 7 did not meet the criteria.

While the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is the entity tasked with issuing permits, any application must also go through USACE.

According to the USACE letter, the application for the NWP does not comply.

It noted that applications for these type of permits require the applicant to already have a Clean Water Act National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Program authorization.

While TCEQ awarded this discharge permit for the purposed desalination plant on Harbor Island, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has saidit is still a draft permit.

That letter from USACE said that objections raised by the EPA had yet to be resolved.

The USACE also said that the "proposed project may result in more than minimal individual or cumulative adverse environmental effects."

Given that assessment, the USACE notified the Port that it would be required to resubmit the application.

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