FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 3, 2021
TCEQ Hearing Scheduled on Harbor Island Desal Plant for May 19
New UT Marine Science Institute Study Underscores Desal Plant’s Environmental Threats
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has scheduled a hearing on the desalinization plant proposed by the Port of Corpus Christi to be constructed on Harbor Island. Harbor Island is within the city limits of Port Aransas in one of the most environmentally sensitive areas on the Texas Coast. The hearing is scheduled for 9:30 am on May 19.
As currently proposed, the desalination project is opposed by the Texas Coastal Coalition, the Port Aransas Conservancy and a host of other environmental organizations and individuals concerned about the project’s impact on the sensitive resources in and around Harbor Island. In February, the State Office of Administrative Hearings recommended that TCEQ commissioners deny the permit. That recommendation affirms the arguments that the proposed discharge would have a devastating impact on the sensitive marine environment and the communities of Port Aransas and the Coastal Bend.
In a related development, the University of Texas Marine Science Institute recently published a scientific paper that further documents the ecotoxicological risk of the proposed desal plant. The study concludes that the proposed plant “poses a highly uncertain and potentially severe degree of ecotoxicological risk to habitat of high ecological value” and recommends that the Port of Corpus Christi not proceed with plans to develop the project on Harbor Island.
More information about the May 19 TCEQ meeting will be posted here: https://www.tceq.texas.gov/agency/decisions/agendas/comm/comm_agendas.html
Read the UT Marine Science Institute study here: https://repositories.lib.utexas.edu/handle/2152/85059