Project Status & Updates

Current Phase: Pre Construction-Permitting

Currently, Lake Columbia is in Pre Construction Phase activities. These activities primarily include obtaining a 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This permitting process addresses a number of environmental issues such as determining jurisdictional wetlands, evaluating functional habitat, identifying impacts and mitigation of impacts. It will allow for input from state and federal agencies as well as the public. The 404 permit application was filed in the fall of 2000.

Project Updates

Updates For 2015 (Click to show)

Progress Report September 2014 - August 2015

This progress report covers the time period from September 2014 to August 2015. The following is a summation of the activities and progress to date.

Water Supply Marketing

Meetings were held with Dallas Water Utilities and Tarrant Regional Water District. Dallas Water Utilities notifies ANRA of their intent to put Lake Columbia in its long range water supply plan and to initiate the process of developing agreements for water supply. The context of Dallas Water Utilities interest is predicated on being able to obtain a water supply of 50 MGD.

ANRA and its Board of Directors initiate and finalize Letters of Intent in which existing participants state their intentions for future participation in Lake Columbia. Unofficially, there is enough water supply made available through this process to meet Dallas Water Utilities water supply requirements, however, there are conditions.

ANRA began the process of applying for State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) funds by submitting an abridged application to the TWDB and received an invitation to submit the full financial application using the contract with Dallas Water Utilities as a revenue pledge on the loan. ANRA developed and submitted the 1,267 page SWIFT financial application by the posted deadline.

ANRA and Dallas Water Utilities continued to make progress negotiating the terms of an agreement that meets their requirements and provides the assurances that ANRA and its participants require. Unfortunately, Dallas Water Utilities was not able to obtain approval of an agreement for water supply before TWDB’s financial commitment deadline.

ANRA continues to market unallocated water supply from the Lake Columbia project.

Major Dates of Interest
September 2014
  • September 4, 2014 - Joint meeting with Dallas Water Utilities, Tarrant Regional Water District, Freese and Nichols and ANRA. Purpose of the meeting was to coordinate the path forward on Dallas Water Utilities contracting for Lake Columbia water.
  • September 17, 2014 - Dallas City Council approves the revised Long Range Water Supply Plan for Dallas Water Utilities. The plan has Lake Columbia as a recommended strategy.
  • September 23, 2014 - ANRA hosts a Lake Columbia participants meeting in Jacksonville.
December 2013
  • December 1, 2014 - Conference call with Freese and Nichols to coordinate SWIFT funding application for Dallas Water Utilities participation.
  • December 4, 2014 - TWDB conducts a pre-application meeting with ANRA for SWIFT funding.
January 2015
  • January 26, 2015 - Conference call with Freese and Nichols to coordinate SWIFT funding application for Dallas Water Utilities participation.
  • January 30, 2015 - Dallas Water Utilities notifies ANRA by letter of Lake Columbia’s inclusion in Dallas’ Long Range Water Supply Plan. Dallas encourages ANRA to make application for SWIFT funding.
February 2015
  • February 2, 2015 - ANRA submits abridged application to TWDB for State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) funding.
  • February 10, 2015 - ANRA Board of Directors approves Letters of Intent with Lake Columbia participants. Letters of Intent state each participant’s unofficial position relating to their continued participation.
  • February 12, 2015 - TRWD sends letter of support for Lake Columbia, encourages ANRA to make application for SWIFT funding.
March 2015
  • March 2, 2015 - Conference call with Freese and Nichols to coordinate SWIFT funding application for Dallas Water Utilities participation.
April 2015
  • April 17, 2015 - Conference call with Dallas Water Utilities regarding deal points for contract development. ANRA provides a data submittal #1 to Dallas Water Utilities.
  • April, 28, 2015 - ANRA provides Data submittal #2 to Dallas Water Utilities.
May 2015
  • May 6, 2015 - Conference call with Dallas Water Utilities. ANRA receives notice from TWDB for $100 million in SWIFT funding commitments which includes $20 million loan deferment.
  • May 12, 2015 - ANRA’s Board of Directors approves a Letter of Intent with FGE Power for wholesale water supply.
  • May 14, 2015 - Conference call with Freese and Nichols to coordinate SWIFT funding application for Dallas Water Utilities participation.
  • May 15, 2015 - Conference call with Dallas Water Utilities regarding deal points for contract development.
  • May 29, 2015 - Conference call with Freese and Nichols to coordinate SWIFT funding application for Dallas Water Utilities participation.
June 2015
  • June 5, 2015 - ANRA submits full SWIFT financial application. Completed application is 1,200 pages long. Funding is contingent upon obtaining an executed contract with Dallas Water Utilities.
August 2015
  • August 6, 2015 - ANRA holds meeting with Sencillo Energy. Sencillo is seeking to site a refinery in Smith County.
  • August 10, 2015 - Meeting with City of Dallas City Manager, Assistant City Manager, Director of Dallas Water Utilities and elected officials.
  • August 11, 2015 - Meeting in Lufkin with Sencillo Energy regarding water supply to their proposed project.

Updates For 2014 (Click to show)

Progress Report September 2013 - August 2014

This progress report covers the time period from September 2013 to August 2014. The following is a summation of the activities and progress to date.

Water Supply Marketing

With the work in the New EIS halted, ANRA began focusing on developing new water demands for the project by attempting to develop an interruptable short term water supply from Mud Creek. This short term supply would then be used to supply local demands from a perspective industrial development.

ANRA continued to market unallocated water supply from the Lake Columbia project. In addition, ANRA also continued to interact with elected officials both local and statewide to maintain widespread support for the project.

As a result of the marketing efforts of ANRA and others, Dallas Water Utilities has expressed interest in water supply from the Lake Columbia project. As a result, preparations were made for a joint meeting with Dallas Water Utilities and Tarrant Regional Water District.

What Will Happen Next

A meeting with Dallas Water Utilities and Tarrant Regional Water District will take place in the near future. The context of the meeting is to present the project’s status and details associated with water supply availability.

Major Dates of Interest
September 2013
  • September 1, 2013 - Meeting with USFWS regarding listing of threatened and endangered species in Lake Columbia watershed.
  • September 17, 2013 - Meeting with TWDB and Governors staff in Austin regarding Lake Columbia.
October 2013
  • October 1, 2013 - Conference call with Freese and Nichols regarding metroplex participation in Lake Columbia.
  • October 30, 2013 - Meeting with an electric generator regarding their request for siting information for a proposed steam electric generator in Cherokee County. Long term water supply is proposed to come from Lake Columbia.
December 2013
  • December 2, 2013 - Conference Call with Freese and Nichols regarding Rusk County Refining.
February 2014
  • February 10, 2014 - Meeting with Tunista Construction in Ft. Worth. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss project details with the next decision maker for Tunista. A presentation was made regarding the investment opportunity.
July 2014
  • July 1, 2014 - ANRA General Manager initiates site visits to all participants regarding their water needs and costs associated with current participation.
August 2014
  • August 26, 2014 - Meeting with Freese and Nichols to complete development of presentation to Dallas Water Utilities and Tarrant Regional Water District for upcoming meeting.

Updates For 2013 (Click to show)

Progress Report September 2012 - August 2013

This progress report covers the time period from September 2012 to August 2013. The following is a summation of the activities and progress to date.

New EIS Process

The New EIS process in firmly underway. ANRA and its consultants continue to meet with and provide data to the USACE and the 3rd Party EIS Contractor. Purpose and need as defined by USACE continues to be an unresolved issue. ANRA pushes the matter all the way to Southwest Division Headquarters in an attempt to resolve the impasse.

A meeting is held at Division HQ with USACE high level staff members and TWDB staff members participating. The meeting was not productive in resolving the purpose and need issue, the state participation issue or the use of regional and state water planning data.

How This Affected the 404 Permitting Process

ANRA is forced to perform a detailed independent study of population and water demands for its participants and water providers within the Neches river basin. ANRA and its consultants perform the study and it is determined that there is not enough demand for new water within the Neches river basin to meet the purpose and need threshold as established by USACE.

The 3rd Party EIS Contractor requested a budget amendment for Phase I tasks which include Introduction, Description of Proposed Action and Alternatives. The Lake Columbia project does not have the funding to approve the budget amendment request. As a result, the New EIS process is officially placed on hold until additional funding can be obtained.

What Will Happen Next

ANRA and its consultants will initiate an all-out approach to marketing Lake Columbia. In order for the project to move forward, a new participant(s) with exhibited water demands and the financial ability to fund the remainder of the EIS process must be found.

Major Dates of Interest
September 2012
  • September 18, 2012 - Conference call with Freese and Nichols regarding Purpose and Need.
  • September 26, 2012 - Meeting with Freese and Nichols and Tomlin Infrastructure Group to discuss the overall project and specifically mitigation.
  • September 29, 2012 - Conference Call with Dallas Water Utilities regarding Lake Columbia.
October 2012
  • October 15, 2012 - ANRA General Manager is the keynote speaker at the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce.
  • October 18, 2012 - Tomlin Infrastructure Group issues press release regarding funding agreement.
  • October 29, 2012 - Conference call with Dallas Water Utilities regarding water availability from Lake Columbia.
November 2012
  • November 1, 2012 - Meeting with Cintra US regarding possible P3.
  • November 7, 2012 - ANRA Executive Committee meeting to discuss legislative agenda for Lake Columbia in the 83rd legislative Session.
  • November 16, 2012 - Conference Call with USACE regarding status of funding for the project.
  • November 20, 2012 - Conference Call with Cintra US regarding P3.
  • November 20, 2012 - Meeting with USACE to discuss purpose and need for the project. Participants included:
    • Southwestern Division Commander, Brigadier General Kula
    • Southwestern Division Chief of Civil Works, Ray Russo
    • Southwestern Division Deputy Chief, Vicki Dixon
    • Southwestern Division Director Regional Business, Pete Perez
    • Fort Worth District Commander, Colonel Klinge
    • Fort Worth District Chief Regulatory, Eric Verwers
    • Fort Worth District Deputy Chief Regulatory, Stephen Brooks
    • Fort Worth District Chief, Permits Section, Jennifer Walker
    • TWDB, Deputy Director of Water, Carolyn Brittin
December 2012
  • December 4, 2012 - Tomlin Infrastructure Group makes the interim payment per contract.
  • December 11, 2012 - Meeting with staff members of Executive Branch leadership regarding ANRA’s legislative agenda for the upcoming session.
  • December 28, 2012 - Meeting with the City of Nacogdoches regarding Lake Columbia.
January 2013
  • January 3, 2013 - Meeting with Forestar regarding mitigation activities for Lake Columbia.
  • January 4, 2013 - Conference call with Freese and Nichols to discuss the status of their work regarding Purpose and Need.
  • January 8, 2013 - Meetings in Austin at the Capital with legislators to present ANRA’s legislative agenda.
  • January 15, 2013 - Meeting with TCEQ Executive Director regarding ANRA legislative agenda. Made legislative visits at Capital.
  • January 23, 2013 - Meeting with Tomlin Infrastructure Group regarding status of P3 funding activities. Met with Freese and Nichols to finalize the Purpose and Need presentation for Presentation to USACE on January 30, 2013.
February 2013
  • February 28, 2013 - ANRA Board of Directors approves a contract extension with Tomlin Infrastructure Group. The contract extension has an earnest money requirement. Tomlin Infrastructure Group declined the contract extension.
May 2013
  • May 7, 2013 - ANRA’s Board of Directors approves a Letter of Intent with Rusk County Refining LLC. for wholesale water supply.
June 2013
  • June 11, 2013 - Meeting with Tunista Construction regarding their interest in Lake Columbia. Their interest includes participant level buy-in and construction.
July 2013
  • July 3, 2013 - Dallas Water Utilities made a formal request for information regarding evaluation of Lake Columbia for inclusion in their long range water supply plan.
August 2013
  • August 19, 2013 - Meeting with Western Summit, a construction company, in Ft. Worth. The purpose of the meeting is Kiewit (a subsidiary of Western) to perform a preliminary due diligence on our Lake Columbia project.

Updates For 2012 (Click to show)

Progress Report September 2011 - August 2012

This progress report covers the time period from September 2011 to August 2012. The following is a summation of the activities and progress to date.

3rd Party EIS Contractor

TRC, the 3rd Party EIS contractor, and its subcontractor began work on the New DEIS. The EIS Contractor team consists of over 20 professionals in the environmental permitting industry from TRC Solution, URS Corporation, Wetland Training Institute, Harvey Economics and others.

ANRA and the 3rd Party EIS Contractor began working on purpose and need as required by the USACE. TRC and Harvey Economics will begin to hold bi-monthly conference calls. TRC will develop formal data requests, with the approval of USACE, to begin the process of reviewing ANRA’s need to construct Lake Columbia.

How This Affected the 404 Permitting Process

The USACE and the 3rd Party EIS Contractor began working through the process of analyzing ANRA’s publicly declared need for Lake Columbia. This process generated two official data requests, one dealing with purpose and need and the second dealing with physical aspects of the project. ANRA and its consultants spent dozens of hours developing the responses to USACE and the 3rd Party EIS Contractor. The process hit a major hurdle with regard to purpose and need.

The USACE questions the State of Texas participation in the project and unofficially rejects the TWDB’s regional and state water planning data. Ultimately, the USACE requires that ANRA meet a threshold range for actual water demands of at least 50% but not more than 100% of the project’s water supply. As a result, ANRA renewed the process of marketing unallocated pro rata shares of the project’s water supply to public and private entities.

What Will Happen Next

ANRA and its consultants will continue to press the issue of the state’s participation in the project and the purpose and need it represents. ANRA will also continue to market the project to entities both public and private.

Major Dates of Interest
September 2011
  • September 15, 2011 - TCEQ, TWDB and TPWD, under a joint agency cover letter, submit the proposed Lake Columbia mitigation plan to USACE.
  • September 23, 2011 - USACE held a kickoff conference call with ANRA, TRC and all subcontractors to discuss how the permitting process would progress.
  • September 28, 2011 - Meeting with EXCO Resources, an energy company, regarding their interest in steam electric generation.
October 2011
  • October 3, 2011 - ANRA hosts Lake Columbia participants meeting in Jacksonville.
  • October 5, 2011 - ANRA General Manager is the keynote speaker at the Lufkin Rotary Club about the status of Lake Columbia.
  • October 6, 2011 - Received a Letter of Agreement regarding communications between ANRA, USACE and TRC.
  • October 13, 2011 - Meeting with Matt Valdez, Mark Shilling, Shawn Rosensweig and Freese and Nichols staff to discuss potential for steam electric generation at Lake Columbia.
  • October 18, 2011 - Received Data Request No. 1 from USACE; received draft meeting minutes of Kickoff Conference Call from USACE.
  • October 20, 2011 - Phone conversation with Jeff Simmons with Luminant regarding their interest in steam electric generation.
November 2010
  • November 8, 2011 - Received Data Request No. 2 from USACE.
  • November 8, 2011 - TRC holds bi-weekly conference call regarding overall progress on DEIS.
  • November 14, 2011 - Meeting with Luminant Energy to discuss potential partnership on Lake Columbia.
  • November 18, 2011 - ANRA formally responds to Data Request No. 2.
  • November 22, 2011 - TRC holds bi-weekly conference call regarding overall progress on DEIS.
December 2010
  • December 9, 2011 - At ANRA request, USACE holds an In Process Review with TRC and ANRA.
  • December 13, 2011 - TRC holds bi-weekly conference call regarding overall progress on DEIS.
  • December 14, 2011 - ANRA meets with Phillips and Jordan regarding Lake Columbia.
  • December 22, 2011 - ANRA formally responds to Data Request No. 1.
January 2012
  • January 5, 2012 - TRC and USACE requests clarification of data submitted for Data Request No. 2.
  • January 10, 2012 - TRC holds bi-weekly conference call regarding overall progress on DEIS; TRC submits a draft Section 1 of the DEIS.
  • January 24, 2012 - TRC holds bi-weekly conference call regarding overall progress on DEIS.
  • January 27, 2012 - ANRA meets with Phillips and Jordan regarding Lake Columbia.
February 2012
  • February 14, 2012 - TRC holds bi-weekly conference call regarding overall progress on DEIS. Conference call with Freese and Nichols regarding potential participant.
  • February 23, 2012 - Meeting with Freese and Nichols and potential participant, Phillips and Jordan.
  • February 28, 2012 - TRC holds bi-weekly conference call regarding overall progress on DEIS.
March 2012
  • March 6, 2012 - Meeting with USACE, TRC, Freese and Nichols and potential participant as part of due diligence.
  • March 13, 2012 - TRC holds bi-weekly conference call regarding overall progress on DEIS. Conference call with Lloyd Gosselink, Freese and Nichols and potential participant.
  • March 19, 2012 - Meeting with Freese and Nichols and potential participant.
  • March 20, 2012 - Conference call with USACE, TRC, Harvey Economics and Freese and Nichols regarding Purpose and Need.
  • March 23, 2012 - Conference call with Lloyd Gosselink and Freese and Nichols regarding potential participant.
  • March 27, 2012 - TRC holds bi-weekly conference call regarding overall progress on DEIS.
April 2012
  • April 3, 2012 - Conference call with Freese and Nichols regarding upcoming meeting with potential participant.
  • April 4, 2012 - Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia with potential participant.
  • April 9, 2012 - Conference call with Pineywoods Mitigation Bank owners and Freese and Nichols regarding letter of intent for an option agreement on mitigation bank purchase.
  • April 16, 2012 - Delivered Lake Columbia project prospectus to potential participant.
  • April 23, 2012 - Conference call with Freese and Nichols to discuss TRC response to Purpose & Need.
  • April 25, 2012 - Meeting with new potential participant, Greg County Refining (GCR).
May 2012
  • May 3, 2012 - Meeting with Freese and Nichols to discuss three new potential participants; Meeting with GCR to discuss Lake Columbia.
  • May 8, 2012 - TRC holds bi-weekly conference call regarding overall progress on DEIS.
  • May 9, 2012 - Meeting with Freese and Nichols in their Richardson office to meet with three new potential participants, the Shaw Group, AZB Engineering Group and Tomlin Infrastructure Group (TIG).
  • May 29, 2012 - Meeting in Lufkin with Tomlin Infrastructure Group to discuss the Lake Columbia project.
June 2012
  • June 4, 2012 - Conference Call with Greg County Refining.
  • June 19, 2012 - Conference call with Freese and Nichols regarding potential participants.
  • June 26, 2012 - Meeting with the principles of Greg County Refining.
July 2012
  • July 3, 2012 - Conference call with TRC and Harvey Economics (subcontractor to TRC) regarding purpose and need.
  • July 5, 2012 - Dallas Water Utilities (DWU) sent a letter of interest for Lake Columbia water supply.
  • July 17, 2012 - Made presentation to Nacogdoches City Council regarding status of project.
  • July 20, 2012 - Conference call with Freese and Nichols and Lloyd Gosselink regarding status of project.
  • July 23, 2012 - Conference call with Tomlin Infrastructure Group regarding participation in Lake Columbia.
  • July 26, 2012 - Meeting in Lufkin with Greg County Refining regarding water supply to their project site.
  • July 30, 2012 - Conference call with Tomlin Infrastructure Group.
August 2012
  • August 14, 2012 - ANRA approves funding agreement with Tomlin Infrastructure Group.

Updates For 2011 (Click to show)

Progress Report August 2010 - September 2011

This progress report covers the time period from August 2010 to September 2011. The following is a summation of the activities and progress to date:

EIS Amended Scope of Work and Contract

After months of preparation and several revisions, the US Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) approved the Amended Scope of Work (SOW) on April 27, 2011. This Amended Scope of Work is a detailed document that outlines the tasks that must be completed, the order in which they must be completed and provides for the basic structure of the New Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).

EIS Amended Scope of Work
Task No. Task Description
1. Introduction;
2. Description of Proposed Action;
3. Alternatives;
4. Affected Environment and Environmental Consequences;
5. Impact Minimization and Mitigation Measures;
6. Remaining EIS Sections;
7. DEIS Comment Hearings;
8. Comment Responses;
9. FEIS Preparation;
10. Development of the Administrative Record;
11. 404(b)(1) Analysis;
12. Project Management (to include sub-tasks 12a, 12b, and 12c,
reflecting project management costs for Phase I, II, and III, respectively).

The approved Amended Scope of Work can be found on the Lake Columbia Documents page.

On August 12, 2011, after several months of negotiations and revisions to the proposed contract, ANRA’s Board of Directors approved the contract with TRC Solutions for creation of the Draft EIS and the Final EIS. This Amended Scope of Work was the basis for contract negotiations with the 3rd Party EIS Contractor. The estimated cost to complete the New DEIS and the Final EIS is $1.374 million. With mutual agreement between USACE, ANRA and TRC, the contract was separated into three distinct phases in which work would be completed on the EIS.

Phase Corresponding Tasks
Phase I Tasks 1-3, and 12 a
Phase II Tasks 4-6, and 12 b
Phase III Tasks 7-11, and 12 c
How This Affects the 404 Permitting Process

As a result of USACE’s requirement to create a New Draft EIS, we’re having to go through the tedious process of re-evaluating the all of the studies that have been performed to date. USACE and the 3rd Party EIS Contractor have told us that all of the studies performed to date can and will be used in the new Draft EIS. We have been told that downstream effects to hydroelectric generation at Sam Rayburn Reservoir will require additional study, but to what extent is yet to be determined.

ANRA’s engineering consultants, Freese and Nichols (FNI), have committed to assisting us in this process. Again, USACE and TRC have committed to working through this process as quickly as possible. State and federal regulatory agencies are cooperating agencies and have agreed to actively participate in the permitting process. The primary goal of the cooperating agencies participation is that all technical issues should be resolved during the preparation of the documents. However, this does not mean that the agencies are giving their approval of the EIS or that they agree with the outcomes presented in the EIS.

What Will Happen Next

TRC, the 3rd Party EIS Contractor, has agreed to have all subcontractors under contract and working no later than September 1, 2011. They have already begun working on Phase I activities. Phase I activities are scheduled to conclude by March 2012.

Major Dates of Interest
September 2010
  • September 13, 2010 - ANRA holds first Mitigation Planning meeting with TCEQ, TPWD and TWDB in Austin
  • September 30, 2010 - USACE holds agency scoping meeting with all Cooperating Agencies in Belton Texas
October 2010
  • October 18, 2010 - ANRA and its Consultants meet with 3rd Party EIS Contractor regarding contract for the New DEIS in Houston, Texas
November 2010
  • November 10, 2010 - ANRA meets with its Consultants for mitigation planning activities via conference call
  • November 12, 2010 - ANRA and its Consultants meet with USACE in Ft. Worth regarding 3rd Party EIS Contractor
  • November 19, 2010 - ANRA meets with its Consultants regarding 3rd Party EIS Contractor via conference call
  • November 19, 2010 - ANRA and its Consultants meet with 3rd Party EIS Contractor regarding New DEIS Scope of Work via conference call
  • November 23, 2010 - ANRA and its Consultants meet with 3rd Party EIS Contractor regarding New DEIS Scope of Work via conference call
  • November 24, 2010 - ANRA holds Mitigation Planning meeting with its consultants
December 2010
  • December 15, 2010 - ANRA meets with Pineywoods Mitigation Bank Owners
  • December 16, 2010 - ANRA meets with TCEQ to discuss mitigation planning
  • December 17, 2010 - ANRA meets with TPWD to discuss mitigation planning
  • December 23, 2010 - 3rd Party EIS Contractor submits Draft Scope of Work to USACE and ANRA outlining tasks necessary to create the New Draft EIS
  • December 28, 2010 - USACE submits revised Draft Scope of Work to 3rd Party EIS Contractor and ANRA
January 2011
  • January 11, 2011 - ANRA meets with TRC regarding contract amendment issues
  • January 20, 2011 - The Revised Amended SOW is submitted to Cooperating Agencies
February 2011
  • February 3, 2011 - Cooperating Agencies comments are due to USACE
  • February 8, 2011 - Mitigation planning meeting with ANRA, FNI and state resource agencies
  • February 23, 2011 - Conference Call between ANRA, FNI, USACE and TRC regarding the draft Amended SOW
  • February 28, 2011 - ANRA meets with FNI and USACE regarding Mitigation and Functional Assessment
March 2011
  • March 3, 2011 - ANRA meets with FNI and Martin Rochelle regarding revised Amended SOW
  • March 4, 2011 - Comments due from TRC regarding Cooperating Agencies comments and input on the revised Amended SOW
  • March 8, 2011 - ANRA and FNI meet with SUEZ North America about their interest in Lake Columbia
  • March 24, 2011 - ANRA Receives the revised Amended SOW with Cooperating Agency Comments from TRC
  • March 28, 2011 - ANRA Requests Copies of Agency comments from USACE
April 2011
  • April 19, 2011 - ANRA Receives agency comments on the revised Amended SOW
  • April 25, 2011 - USACE, ANRA and its consultants participate in a conference call regarding ANRA’s final comments on the Amended SOW
  • April 27, 2011 - ANRA Receives approval letter from USACE on final Amended SOW
May 2011
  • May 11, 2011 - ANRA meets with Bart Bauer, Cherokee County Electric Coop regarding their interest in Lake Columbia and the potential for electric generation
  • May 31, 2011 - ANRA meets with FNI and ANRA’s Public Relation consultant to brief them on the Lake Columbia Project
June 2011
  • June 1, 2011 - Mitigation planning meeting with ANRA, FNI and State Resource Agencies           
  • June 16, 2011 - ANRA meets with Col. Muraski, District Engineer for the Ft. Worth District regarding the Lake Columbia project
  • June 22, 2011 - ANRA meets with FNI and TRC at the Lake Columbia project site to tour the project area with TRC staff
July 2011
  • July 7, 2011 - ANRA meets with TRC staff and attorney in Houston to complete staff level negotiations on the agreement for completion of the EIS
  • July 21, 2011 - Mitigation planning meeting with ANRA, FNI and State Resource Agencies
August 2011
  • August 12, 2011 - Called ANRA Board of Directors meeting to consider the agreement with TRC for completion of the EIS

Updates For 2010 (Click to show)

Lake Columbia Participants Meeting - 404 Permit Progress Report (Aug 17, 2010)

This progress report covers the time period beginning January 29, 2010 to August 17, 2010.
On January 29, 2010, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) published notice of the Lake Columbia Draft EIS public comment period in the Federal Register. The following is a summation of the activities and progress to date:

Public Comments Received By USACE

The initial deadline for submittal of public comments was March 30, 2010. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) were the only state agencies to submit comments. The US Department of Interior, US Department of Energy, and Southwestern Power Resources Association were the federal agencies to submit comments. These agencies did not submit their comments by the March 30, 2010 deadline.

The US Environmental Protection Agency asked for and received four official deadline extensions. Their comments were officially submitted on May 21, 2010. Of the public comments received, the EPA comments were the most critical. The EPA gave the project and the Draft EIS an EU3 rating and recommended that the USACE publish a revised DEIS. The EU portion of the rating stands for Environmentally Unsatisfactory and refers to the project itself and the numeric value of 3 scores the Draft EIS, both of which are the lowest possible ratings that can be given.

How This Affects the 404 Permitting Process

Essentially, this means that the Draft EIS will have to be revised and re-published as a draft document. This also means that notice of a new public comment period will have to be published in the Federal Register and a new public hearing will be held. The USACE, the 3rd Party EIS Contractor, ANRA and it’s consultant have already begun the administrative process to accomplish this goal.

The USACE has made the decision that a revised Draft EIS will have to be produced. As part of that process, the USACE has also determined that they will back the project up to what is called the Agency Scoping process. This process is where the state and federal resource agencies have the opportunity to present and discuss what they feel are relevant issues related to the project. Because we have their detailed comments in writing, they will be limited to the issues they have already provided as part of public comments.

What Will Happen Next

Since the close of the public comment period, ANRA has been working with USACE and the 3rd Party EIS Contractor to define the process for moving forward. Because we are being backed up to the agency scoping process, a revised scope of work is being generated and working its way through the approval process. The comments generated during the public comment period will be used as a baseline for making the required revisions.

USACE, in response to the comments by state and federal resource agencies, has solicited the resource agencies to become cooperating agencies. Becoming a cooperating agency has several distinct advantages. First, it means that these agencies will be directly involved with USACE in the creation of the revised Draft EIS. Second, it means that when the revised Draft EIS is published in the Federal Register, there should only be minimal comments by these resource agencies.

As of this date, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Water Development Board, US Fish and Wildlife, and the Environmental Protection Agency have all formally agreed to be a cooperating agency. The agency scoping meeting is scheduled for September 28, 2010.

In addition to the criticisms of the Draft EIS, there were general comments made about the lack of specificity in ANRA’s Mitigation Proposal. Our mitigation proposal is the only document that ANRA owns and has control over. The document essentially describes how ANRA will mitigate for all of the impacts as identified in the Draft EIS. The primary criticism revolved around the concept of identifying specific land to be used for mitigation, a formal process for addressing any threatened or endangered species found during construction, and environmental flow releases.

To address the perceived deficiencies of ANRA’s mitigation proposal, on July 27, 2010, we officially requested that state resource agencies collaborate with ANRA and its consultants to revise its mitigation proposal. As of this date, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and Texas Water Development Board have all agreed to participate in that process. Our first meeting is anticipated to take place by the end of August 2010.

Time Line For Moving Forward

The process for revising the Draft EIS has already begun. USACE has promised that they will step through these previously covered processes as quickly as possible. Realistically, it is possible that the revision process could be complete by the end of calendar year 2010. This would put publication of the revised Draft EIS shortly after January 1, 2011. Based on these events, the following time line is conceivable but not a guarantee:

  • January 2011 - Publication of Draft EIS in Federal Register
  • March 2011 - Public comment period ends
  • 90 days to incorporate comments and any additional required information into Final EIS
  • June 2011 - Publish Final EIS for comment
  • 60 days to resolve comments on Final EIS, if any (typically minimal)
  • August 2011 - USACE prepares Record of Decision (ROD) (at least 30 days after Final EIS)
  • August 2011 - ROD sent to TCEQ to address Water Quality Certification
    • Favorable ROD – Permit issued with or w/o conditions after receipt of WQ Certification
    • Unfavorable ROD – Permit denied, TCEQ closes WQ Certification
  • September 2011 - Permit issued
Major Dates of Interest
  • January 6, 2010 - Met with TCEQ and TPWD in Austin
  • January 29, 2010 - Notice of Availability of the Draft EIS published in the Federal Register commencing a 60-day comment period.
  • February 11, 2010 - Met with former EPA Region 6 Director
  • February 19, 2010 - Met with US Fish and Wildlife in Ft. Worth
  • February 23, 2010 - Lake Columbia Day in Washington DC to engage Texas Delegation
  • March 1&2, 2010 - USACE holds public information meeting and public hearing in Jacksonville
  • March 8, 2010 - Met with TPWD Austin
  • March 29, 2010 - TCEQ comment letter received by USACE
  • March 30, 2010 - TPWD comment letter received by USACE
  • March 30, 2010 - Public comment period ends
  • April 2, 2010 - US Department of Interior comment letter received by USACE
  • April 7, 2010 - Met with EPA Region 6 in Dallas
  • April 16, 2010 - TCEQ issues clarification letter
  • April 26, 2010 - US Department of Energy comment letter received by USACE
  • April 30, 2010 - TPWD issues clarification letter
  • May 4, 2010 - TCEQ meets with ANRA in Lufkin
  • May 13, 2010 - Met with USACE in response to public comments received by USACE
  • May 21, 2010 - US Environmental Protection Agency comment letter received by USACE
  • June 16, 2010 - Met with TCEQ in Austin
  • June 28, 2010 - TCEQ and TPWD agree to assist USACE by becoming a cooperating agency
  • July 7, 2010 - Met with USACE and 3rd Party EIS Contractor
  • July 27, 2010 - ANRA invites TCEQ, TPWD and TWDB to assist with revisions to its mitigation plan
  • August 3, 2010 - TPWD agrees to assist ANRA
  • August 6, 2010 - TWDB agrees to assist ANRA
  • August 9, 2010 - TCEQ agrees to assist ANRA

Updates For 2009 (Click to show)

March 2009 Newsletter

March 2009 (500 kb)

January / February 2009 Newsletter

January / February 2009 (700 kb)

Updates For 2008 (Click to show)

September / October 2008

September / October 2008 (1 mb)

February / March 2008

February / March 2008 (1 mb)

Updates For 2007 (Click to show)

September / October 2007 Newsletter

September / October 2007 (1.3 mb)

ANRA Board approves water quality regulations - (8/31/2007)

At their regular Board of Directors meeting on August 7th the ANRA Board approved the Lake Columbia Water Quality Protection Regulations. The regulations are designed to address watershed protection issues which could contribute to increases in sedimentation and other forms of pollution flowing into the reservoir.

The regulations utilize widely recognized practices for controlling point and non point sources of pollution.

The full text of the regulations are available on this website under "General Project Info"

June / July 2007 Newsletter

June / July 2007 (1.2 mb)

April / May 2007 Newsletter

April / May 2007 (1 mb)

Lake Columbia newsletter - (4/4/2007)

Prior to the establishment of this website, ANRA published a newsletter for the Lake Columbia project. Once the website began to fulfill the informational needs of the public, the newsletters were discontinued.

Beginning in April, ANRA will again produce a newsletter for this project on a bi-monthly basis. The intended target audience of this newsletter will be the elected county officials within the five county planning area, participants in the project, state and federal elected officials who represent the planning area constituent base, and others who will be in a position to impact the successful outcome of the review by the US Army Corps of Engineers of the 404 permit application.

An electronic version of the newsletter will be available for public viewing at this website each time they are published.

Environmental Impact Study - (4/4/2007)

The Preliminary Draft Environmental Impact Study will be submitted to the US Army Corps. of Engineers Ft. Worth District by the end of April, 2007

Several components have already been submitted as they were completed, but the remainder of the document will be sent in by the end of the month.

Water Quality Protection Regulations - (4/4/2007)

ANRA staff and the Board of Directors are continuing work on a final draft version of regulations designed to assure the protection of water quality generated from the Lake Columbia watershed.

When these regulations are finalized, they will be printed at this website.

TWDB State Participation Fund - (4/4/2007)

The recently awarded funding commitment for the Lake Columbia project depletes the funds remaining in this fund.

The Texas Water Development Board is seeking appropriations from this session of the Legislature to replenish this fund which will include additional dollars for the Lake Columbia project.

TWDB funding commitment award - (4/4/2007)

The Texas Water Development Board voted on February 27, 2007 to award ANRA an additional $5.7 million in loan commitments for the Lake Columbia project.

The funding comes from the State Participation Fund. This commitment is to be utilized for surveying, appraisal, and acquisition of land necessary to construct the reservoir.

The commitment carries a condition as did the previous commitments, in that the funds will not be released until ANRA is successful in obtaining a 404 permit from the Corps. of Engineers which will allow for the construction of the dam.

Updates For 2006 (Click to show)

ANRA seeks additional funding - (8/31/2006)

At its August, 2006 meeting, the ANRA Board of Directors authorized the filing of an application with the Texas Water Development Board for additional loan funding from the State Participation Fund. $5.6 million is being requested in addition to the $10 million previously committed by the TWDB in 2005.

The funds would pay for surveying, appraisal, and acquisition of lands necessary to build the reservoir.

No funds will be released by the TWDB until a 404 permit is issued by the Corps of Engineers, but a funding commitment will hold the funds for the Lake Columbia project.

City of Alto votes to become Lake Columbia participant - (7/20/2006)

At their regularly scheduled City Council meeting on July 10, the City of Alto voted to join with other cities and water supply providers within the five county planning area as a participant in the project.

Its participation level will be .5%.

Alto is located in southern Cherokee County along US Hwy 69.

Archaeological field survey complete - (6/26/2006)

Beginning in February, 2006, archaeologists from Horizon Environmental Services, of Austin, Texas conducted an archaeological survey of the proposed 10,000 acre reservoir site. The purpose of the survey was to search for prehistoric and historic archaeological sites, native and historic cemeteries, historic standing structures, as well as other cultural resources, in order to record any cultural sites that occur within the limits of the proposed Lake Columbia reservoir.

The archaeological survey is an integral and required element of the US Army Corps of Engineers Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which is being prepared to fulfill the Corps environmental review duties.

During this phase of the project, Horizon performed (1) an archaeological field survey of the impoundment area, (2) a preliminary geomorphological study of the Mud Creek floodplain, (3) historical and archival research at local libraries, historical societies, and other repositories. These investigations were performed to obtain enough information for the Corps. of Engineers to characterize the kind, quality, and number of cultural resources that may be affected by construction of the proposed reservoir.

Field work was completed in May, 2006 and an interim report is being written describing the findings.

Jacksonville/ANRA agreement - (6/26/2006)

The City of Jacksonville and the Angelina & Neches River Authority have recently entered into an Interlocal Cooperation Agreement to preserve instream flows and protect water quality in Mud Creek. This agreement assures that the city will continue to release at least 80% of the wastewater stream released into Ragsdale Creek which flows into Mud Creek below the proposed dam of Lake Columbia.

Over the course of the last three years, the volume of water treated and discharged by the city's two wastewater treatment plants has averaged 2.88 million gallons per day. This agreement will guarantee the continuation of the majority of these flows and will provide a valuable and assured base line flow for this section of Mud Creek.

ANRA expresses its appreciation to the staff and City Council of Jacksonville for their efforts in developing and approving this historic document.

Water Treatment & Pipeline Planning Meeting Held - (1/26/2006)

ANRA hosted a meeting on January 20, 2006 in Jacksonville for thirty area water providers from the five county Lake Columbia planning area.

The purpose of the meeting was to begin discussions and preliminary planning for water treatment and transmission of Lake Columbia water.

Discussions centered around possible water treatment plant locations, transmission line routing, and water storage facility locations. An overview of the regional water planning results as they relate to the five county (Smith, Rusk, Cherokee, Nacogdoches, and Angelina) lake planning area were also presented.

Participants were asked to respond to a questionnaire to provide ANRA with information concerning their existing infrastructure and water needs. This information will allow ANRA to begin building a data base on which future discussions on a regional or subregional basis can take place. The utilization of existing infrastructure where practical will allow for cost savings in the final delivery of treated water.

Updates prior to 2006 (Click to show)

Archaeological survey portion of the Environmental Impact Study to begin - (12/13/2005)

Click to to view the Press Release.

Downstream Impact Analysis Completed - (10/17/2005)

ANRA's engineers for the Lake Columbia project have completed the above named study. An electronic version is available from the TWDB website. The address is:

CLICK HERE for more information

Shoreline created - (9/9/2005)

ANRA's engineers have recently calculated the miles of shoreline which will be created at Lake Columbia when it is at its normal pool elevation.

94.5 miles

Public scoping meeting turnout - (9/9/2005)

120 members of the public turned out during the course of the six hour Public Scoping Meeting held in Jacksonville.

A number of written comments were submitted at the meeting. The comments still show a significant level of support for the project from individuals within the five county planning area.

Corps. of Engineers officials were able to gain some valuable insights into the feelings of the local population regarding this reservoir project. Local historical experts were also able to provide specific information to the Corps. regarding potential historical and cemetery sites.

A separate meeting was held the following morning with invited state and federal agency personnel to solicit their comments on the scope of the EIS study. The comments were not significantly different than those submitted during the initial 404 application comment period.

ANRA appreciates the cooperation of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce and the Jacksonville Public Library for providing excellent meeting facilities for these two meetings.

Written comments will be accepted by the Corps. of Engineers office in Ft. Worth through September 18th.

TxDoT Commission Acts to Close Roadway - (8/3/2005)

Action by the Texas Department of Transportation Commission on July 28 officially completes the closure of Farm to Market Roads 2064 and 2750. ANRA had requested the closures at the point where the roadways enter the proposed Lake Columbia. Closure is conditional on the completion of the reservoir project.

The closure of these two lightly traveled roadways will save between $12 and $16 million by avoiding the need to build bridges for these two roadways across the lake. Alternate routes are available and the closures will cause very little driver inconvenience.

ANRA extends its appreciation to the TxDoT Tyler office and to the Commission for their assistance in this lengthy process.

U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers Issues Public Notice - (7/28/2005)

The U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers in Ft. Worth has issued a Public Notice regarding an upcoming Public Scoping Meeting to be held in Jacksonville, Texas on Thursday, August 18, 2005. The meeting will be from 3:00 pm until 9:00 pm at the Norman Activity Center, 526 E. Commerce Street.

No formal presentations will be made at this meeting. The meeting format will be "open house, come and go", with attendees able to visit booths concerning various aspects of the Environmental Impact Study (EIS) process. Topics of the information booths will range from cultural resources, to environmental, water and land issues, and general information. Maps and various project graphics will be available for reference and viewing. Members of the Third Party EIS Study Team, Angelina & Neches River Authority staff, and staff from the U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers will be in attendance to answer questions as the public stops by the various information booths.

As part of the EIS procedure, this meeting is required in order to solicit public comments concerning the scope or breadth of the study. The public is encouraged to attend and submit their verbal or written comments to the Corps. of Engineers. Written comments concerning the study scope will be accepted by the Corps. until September 18, 2005.

A full copy of the Public Notice is available on the Corps. of Engineers website at www.swf.usace.army.mil/

November 2001 Newsletter

November 2001 (146 kb)

March / April 2001 Newsletter

March / April 2001 (918 kb)

October / November 2000 Newsletter

October / November 2000 (662 kb)

June / July 2000 Newsletter

June / July 2000 (492 kb)