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The Immediate Crisis

The single most important issue facing the City Council now is dealing with "The Man" to secure affordable water for the people of Brady. Everything else is secondary. The City of Brady has a serious problem when dealing with "The Man" about water because they have postponed, evaded, defied and lied to him for 40 years while wasting resources on other things. The City of Brady is one of the few Texas communities that has NEVER been in compliance with the 1972 Clean Water Act.

"The Man" is running out of patience.

Brady has been operating under continuous and overlapping enforcement agreements with The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) at least since 2007. The most recent agreement was signed by then Mayor James Stewart in July 2009. In it, the City agreed to come into compliance within one year. Nothing was done except to file for an extension in 2010. That extension expired September 23, 2011 without any serious  effort by the City of Brady to bring the public water system into compliance.

Continuing violations led to the most recent Notice of Enforcement dated June 8, 2012. This time the enforcement action was initiated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) instead of TCEQ. The deadline for compliance is December 2013, just 14 months from now.

How did the City Council respond to the EPA enforcement order? They talked about it a little and initiated work on a new Sewer treatment plant that Susan Horton said would cost $11 million on Sept 20 (later revised to $17 million in the Oct 1 City Council Meeting). We will write about sewer plant violations (if any) when we have documentation. Notice that the Sewer (Waste Water Treatment) has absolutely nothing to do with clean drinking water.

Water - Bigger Picture

Fresh water is the basic foundation for human life. With it, food, clothing and shelter are possible.  Without it, human beings cannot survive. The size and wealth of a city is determined largely by the availability of fresh water. Look at a map if you doubt that. The largest, wealthiest cities on earth are where major rivers flow into the sea. Upstream, the cities become smaller and poorer.

Given that simple fact, one would think that the City of Brady and Chamber of Commerce would put the highest priority on providing fresh water. But that is not the case. In fact, it is seldom discussed at City Council meetings unless there is a crisis. There is a crisis now.

The crisis we face now is partly natural and partly caused by "The Man" (See The Terrible High Price of "Free").

The natural part we must accept. McCulloch County receives, on average, about 24 inches of rain each year. That is all there is to keep the creeks flowing and recharge the underground aquifers. A hundred years ago there were few people here, so that was enough for everyone to have all they wanted with plenty left over for the folks downstream. The aquifers were full to overflowing. Numerous springs kept creeks running during dry times.

That is no longer true. It becomes less true with each passing year. There are many reasons why, but why is a useless question. Even if we had the answer, it would not change the facts. The fact is that as water became more precious, "The Man" stepped in to take control of it.

TCEQ and EPA Notices of Non-Compliance and Enforcement Action:


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