The Sabine-Neches River Conservation District was created by the Texas Legislature in 1935. In 1949 the legislature divided the Sabine-Neches River Conservation District into the Sabine River Authority and the Neches River Conservation District (NRCD). In 1977 the NRCD’s name was changed by an act of the legislature to the Angelina & Neches River Authority (ANRA) and its territorial jurisdiction was defined as lying wholly or in part of 17 East Texas counties. The major functions of ANRA are water quality management, water resource development, and conservation of water resources.
Today, ANRA administers several water quality related environmental programs including the Texas Clean Rivers Program, Upper Neches Basin Surface Water Quality Monitoring Programs, Permit Compliance Monitoring Program, Industrial Pretreatment Program and the Water/Wastewater Sample Collection Program.
In 1972, the Authority was assigned responsibility, by the Texas Water Quality Board, for private wastewater facility regulation around Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Today, the Authority continues to manage this regulatory program and has issued approximately 3,800 septic system permits.
In the early 1970's ANRA began to provide water and wastewater utility operational assistance to cities, industry, school districts and other government agencies in the region. Services provided include sample collection, field and laboratory analysis, preparation of reports and contract operation of water and wastewater treatment plants. ANRA continues to provide these services and today owns or operates water and wastewater utilities in Angelina and Jasper counties.
The ANRA laboratory has served the region since 1972 by providing laboratory analysis services. The laboratory is NELAC certified by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and provides environmental testing services to over 130 clients throughout the East Texas region including the petroleum service industry, wood products industry, private citizens, cities, government agencies, and water supply corporations among others. Types of analyses include drinking water, wastewater and water treatment plant influent and effluent, process control samples and water quality samples.
In the late 1970's the state legislature authorized the creation of the non-profit corporation called the Angelina & Neches River Authority Industrial Development Corporation. The purpose of this corporation is to provide tax exempt financing through Angelina & Neches River Authority tax-exempt revenue bonds for wastewater and solid waste pollution control facilities. These bonds typically bear interest rates lower than taxable corporate debt, thus reducing the cost of pollution control regulatory compliance. The Angelina & Neches River Authority has financed over $200,000,000 dollars for projects undertaken by East Texas industries such as Champion International Corporation, Temple-Inland Forest Products Corporation, Pilgrim’s Pride and Aspen Power.
In 1992, the Authority began planning initiatives to construct a wastewater treatment plant byproducts recycling facility to be located in the Upper Neches Basin. The Neches Compost Facility was brought on-line in August 2000 and is currently providing services to five municipalities and one industry in the basin. The facility was upgraded and expanded in 2004 and 2006. It currently generates approximately 15,000 cubic yards of compost per year which is sold to the public.
Planning for the Lake Columbia Water Supply Reservoir began in the 1980's. The project was given renewed attention in the late 1990's. It is currently in the pre-construction 404 permitting stage and is scheduled for completion in 2010/ 2011.
In 2002, ANRA began operations of the North Angelina County Regional Wastewater Facility. The project consolidated three permitted wastewater treatment facilities into one upgraded facility. The plant is owned and operated by ANRA. The completion of the project successfully concluded two years of negotiations and planning.