Senate’s Turn to Address Protection for Texas’ Pristine Waters

There are only a few truly pristine rivers left in Texas. HB 4146 (passed by the House on 5/11/21) would help protect them.  Lt. Gov. Patrick will send it to the Senate for consideration soon.  Help by voicing support for this bill. 

Only about 40 streams out of over 2,000 streams in all of Texas are considered pristine because they have no detectable phosphorous–found in wastewater. Included, for example, is the beloved Upper Frio River, which flows through the most popular State Park in Texas, the Upper San Marcos River, a very short portion of the stream fed by the largest spring in the State and the iconic Devils River.

Representative Tracy King’s HB 4146 uses decades of data collected through the State’s Clean Rivers Programs to identify river segments and assessment areas that have no detectable phosphorous (found in wastewater) and avoid direct wastewater discharges to those segments.  Direct discharges increase nutrient loads which degrade water quality and can lead to algal blooms and poor habitat.

HB 4146 was narrowly passed in it’s second reading on Monday, May 10, but for the third and final reading, Representatives had done their research and had heard from their constituents–that was reflected in a decisive passage with bipartisan support.  On Tuesday, May 11, HB 4146 received 82 ayes and 61 nays, and therefore, it is officially passed by the Texas House of Representatives!

Senator Zaffirini and Senator Gutierrez are co-sponsors of HB 4146 for the Senate.

How you can help:

It is important to encourage the Senators serving on the Senate Committee on Water, Agriculture & Rural Affairs to quickly pass the bill out of committee for vote on the Senate floor before the last day of the legislative session–May 30.

Passing HB 4146 is important to protecting Texas’ remaining pristine rivers.  I am proud that Rep King’s bill, HB 4146, passed the House with bipartisan support.  It is good for all Texans. I support this bill and encourage the Senate Committee on Water, Agriculture & Rural Affairs to expeditiously refer this bill to the Senate Floor for consideration.  Please vote in favor of HB 4616 to keep Texas’ most beautiful rivers pristine for generations to come.


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