Posts by Jeremy Brown

Jeremy Brown is a research fellow at the Energy Center. His current work focuses water management and environmental finance. He previously practiced energy and environmental law at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Scarcity and the Safe Drinking Water Act: When Could an Aquifer Serve as a Source of Drinking Water?

The local Farm Bureau chapter and other Goliad County interests recently petitioned the Fifth Circuit to review an EPA action that would exempt a portion of the Goliad Aquifer from certain provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act (“SDWA”). The exemption would allow a Corpus Christi company, Uranium Energy Corp., to mine uranium near the town of Anders by pumping oxygenated water... Full Story

University Study Finds San Antonio Is Most Water-Vulnerable City

The State Water Plan (SWP) and the impacts of the current drought have painted an unsettling portrait of water in Texas.  And giving still more reason for concern, a new study has found that San Antonio has less water available per capita than any big city in the country. The University of Florida surveyed metropolitan areas with populations of greater than 100,000.  Its authors started... Full Story

Interior Department Should Maintain Focus on Conservation

The tone and priorities of the Department of Interior will no doubt shift somewhat when Sally Jewell replaces Ken Salazar this March.  But the department should take care to maintain its commitment to water conservation under its new secretary. While other federal agencies such as the Department of Energy and the EPA regulate water, none... Full Story

The TCEQ Drought Rule Caused Confusion When Used on the Brazos River and That is Just the Start

On Wednesday, the Texas House and Senate Committees on Natural Resources held a joint hearing on water issues.  The hearing included testimony from a climatologist, the mayor of Abilene, and representatives from the State Water Development Board and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The TCEQ presentation cycled through the agency’s ongoing drought efforts.  But lawmakers focused... Full Story

TCEQ Drought Rule Could Result in Takings

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts the current drought will continue or intensity for most of Texas over the coming months.  The Lower Colorado River Authority has warned that, unless conditions improve, drought conditions this year could be worst on record. In its current session, the Texas legislature has responded to drought primarily by looking to the long-term. ... Full Story

Brazos River Lawsuit Raises Questions about Methods Texas Should Use to Modernize Its Surface Water Rights System

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has rescinded a controversial order suspending certain water rights in the Brazos River basin.  The agency had been scheduled to consider a recent modification to the order at its hearing this Wednesday. In many ways, the order had served as a trial balloon of a policy the agency wants to use to manage water as... Full Story

Under Bill, Homeowners Associations Can’t Block Water Conservation

Water planners have warned that Texas cannot meet its future water needs unless it conserves more water.  The 2012 State Water Plan – the starting point for water negotiations during this legislative session – calls for about a third of the additional supplies needed by 2060 to be achieved through conservation or reuse. That is a tall... Full Story

Fracking and Seismic Risks

With explorers and producers looking to expand their operations in the Monterey Shale, in quake-prone California, even more attention is likely to be put on the uncertain seismic impacts of hydraulic fracturing and the proper way to regulate against harmful ground movements. In recent years, as fracking has become more common, seismologists have recorded a significant... Full Story

Supreme Court to Consider Oklahoma Restrictions on Water Exports

The Supreme Court has agreed to review a Tenth Circuit opinion holding that Oklahoma water embargo statutes do not violate the Commerce Clause or the Red River Compact. The case will be the first in more than a quarter-century that the Court has heard regarding protectionist water policies.  The outcome will shape the water future of the... Full Story

Alaska Fracking Regulations Raise Bar for Disclosure Requirements

Alaska has issued proposed fracking regulations that would require drillers to disclose the chemical composition of pumping fluids and would offer no trade secret protection for that information. Disclosure requirements have been a focal point in the ongoing struggle between industry and environmental and community groups over fracking.  The regulations that have been adopted in other states have largely given cover to proprietary... Full Story