Recent Eminent Domain News – September 6 Update
Get caught up on the latest in eminent domain news in Texas.
Texas high speed bullet train takes major leap forward
Plans for the high speed rail in Texas that will take you from Houston to Dallas in 90 minutes are racing forward.
Texas Central, the company in charge of the project, announced Thursday its petition to issue a Rule of Particular Applicability (RPA) has been granted by the Federal Railroad Administration.
With this new approval from the Department of Transportation, the FRA will now be able to start writing the regulation that will apply to the project and allow the environmental impact study to move forward.
Court allows city to close mechanic’s shop without compensation
The Texas Supreme Court has delivered a knockout blow to a Dallas auto mechanic fighting to keep open a shop that has served his community for 30 years.
The court refused Friday to hear a challenge by Hinga Mbogo against the city’s closure of his shop so the property can be used for “chain restaurants or coffee shops.”
The lawsuit had protested what is known as “amortization,” a type of retroactive zoning. The city unilaterally changed the zoning for Mbogo’s property and ordered him to shut down his shop.
Permian Highway Pipeline going forward, despite residents concerns
Source: Reform Austin
After a year of protests, town meetings and news story after news story, crews are about to break ground on the Permian Highway Pipeline. Despite an October start date, some Texas residents and lawmakers are still fighting to stop the project.
Although the proposed pipeline is only one of six Permian Basin pipelines expected to come online before the end of 2020, the PHP is by far the most high profile and controversial.
Water Wars Pit Rural and Urban Texas Against Each Other
Source: Texas Observer
Fannin County is the future home of the Bois d’Arc Lake Reservoir, a 26-square mile body of water that will stretch across the central and eastern parts of the county and hold 367,609 acre-feet of water. The projected cost of building the reservoir, which includes a pump station, a dam, and pipelines, is $1.6 billion. Once completed, it’ll be the first major reservoir built in Texas in nearly three decades.
The water district plans to pipe water from the reservoir 40 miles southwest to McKinney starting in 2022.
But some residents of Fannin County will pay a high price to provide urbanites with water — namely their homes and land that’s been in the family for generations.
The public should have a say before anyone cuts a pipeline through the Texas Hill Country
Any construction project that disturbs five acres or more of land in the Edwards Aquifer region requires coordination and permitting from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to protect our groundwater and karst features — except oil and gas projects, including pipelines. This is because of one section in the Texas Water Code that places jurisdiction over oil and gas activity under the Texas Railroad Commission instead of TCEQ.
When these protections for the Edwards Aquifer were established in the 1990s, no one anticipated they’d need to apply to oil and gas. The region doesn’t produce fossil fuels, and no new pipeline had crossed the Hill Country and our vulnerable aquifers since the 1950s. But today, Kinder Morgan hopes to build a 42-inch pipeline across the Hill Country and the Edwards Aquifer, and those of us in the pathway are personally experiencing the state’s lack of oversight.
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