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Port of Corpus Christi Harbor Island desalination permit returned

The Port of Corpus Christi has proposed a desalination plant for Harbor Island
Posted at 12:07 PM, May 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 21:45:15-04

AUSTIN, Texas — The Port of Corpus Christi Authority's permit for a proposed desalination facility on Harbor Island is being remanded back to the State Office on Administrative Hearings (SOAH).

Commissioners with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality voted to remand the permit. TCEQ Commissioner Bobby Janeka encouraged the port to revisit issues brought forth by SOAH judges.

Protestants asked that the permit be denied outright.

The order by TCEQ established several points, including:

Criteria by which potential larval flow disruption would be considered.

It also set consideration of whether the proposed discharge will adversely impact the marine environment, aquatic life, and wildlife, including birds and endangered species, spawning eggs, or larval migration.

Whether the proposed discharge will adversely impact recreational fishing, commercial fishing in Corpus Christi Bay or the ship channel.

Whether the application and representations are complete and accurate.

Whether the modeling complies with applicable regulations to ensure the draft permit is protective of water quality, including utilizing accurate inputs.

Whether the Port of Corpus Christi Authority executive director's anti-degradation review is accurate

Whether the draft permit meets all appropriate and necessary requirements.

It also set a 30-day order from the issuance of the commission's order for the applicant to provide information to all parties, including the depth of the channel, site-specific ambient velocity, and the depth of the diffuser.

Parties are then allowed 30 days to revise the information before setting a preliminary hearing .