Council adopts protections for central and eastern streams: protections against pollution, erosion and development included – News
During the June 9 municipal council meeting, a council member Kathie Tovo sponsored a resolution to protect creeks and creeks in central and east Austin from growing pollution threats. These areas are in the city Desired development areaa classification (by watershed) adopted in 1999. According to the city’s 2020 “State of Our Environment” report, streams in these DDZ watersheds are still in poorer condition than those in the Drinking Water Protection Zone , mostly west of MoPac.
This is because the DDZ has (for over two decades) had more permissive development regulations that allow impermeable cover closer to streams and on the slopes above them. According to the report, about a third of creeks in central and eastern Austin are unsafe for swimming during the summer.
Tovo’s resolution, supported by environmental actors including Texas environmentthe Save Barton Creek Associationand clean water Stock, requires regular testing of streams downstream of industrial sites; communication between city staff when high levels of E.coli are detected; green stormwater methods; wetland protections and buffer zones along Lady Bird Lake to prevent shoreline erosion; and encourage large projects to capture and use rainwater for irrigation.
The Council’s unanimous vote comes after an acid waste spill earlier this year from the Samsung Austin Semiconductor facility in northeast Austin in a tributary of Harris Branch Creek. Luc Metzger of Environment Texas said of the resolution, “From industrial discharges of toxic chemicals into our streams to dog-killing algae blooms in our lakes, Austin continues to have serious water pollution problems. [This] The resolution takes essential steps to make all our waterways safe for people and animals. »