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OUR NEXT SIERRA CLUB MEETING IS Tuesday, DECEMBER 17, 2002  
Time: 12:15 pm
Place:  Art Community Center, 100 Shoreline
Topic:

Comments from the Chair:
- Pat Suter

This months’ program was to be a vidiotape, "Water: For the Life of Texas",
but downtown water drainage (or the lack thereof) washed out the Art Center’s
player. Catch the tape at next month meeting or at the Coastal Bend Bays
Foundation meeting Dec. 9.

Pat Suter, Chair, reported that the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) has
offered CB Sierra "participation" in three downtown transportation proposals:
(l) Setting parking fees, with higher fees nearer to the Convention Center complex;
(2) lease a parking lot at One Shoreline Plaza; and (3), park at City Hall/County
Courthouse and take a shuttle.

BNP Petroleum  Co. has come in for serious criticism for their oil and gas exploration
project on the Padre Island National Park --- problems with heavy trucks running over
nesting grounds of the endangered Kemps' Ridley turtles, as well as scouring the beach,
off-site dumping in a Flour Bluff area of oily uncontained) waste, etc. Pat and Johnny French
met with a New York Times environmental reporter, Blaine Harden, to look over the operation.
Johnny--with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service before retirement--explained that the
Environmental Assessment, which had to be approved before the BNP project could begin,
was a done deal: that people who answered comments and criticisms of the EA did not have
the facts to back up "what they were saying."  (Harden subsequently met with the National Park
people plus interviews with Loyd Neal, Carlos Truan, and others. His writeup appeared in the
New York Times, Nov. 21.)

Johnny commented on a very important but hard to obtain document named
Nueces River Basin Section 905(b) Analysis Renaissance Report. Prepared by
HDR for USACE Aug. 2002. Johnny obtained it from the U.S. Corps of Engineers.
(You will remember that HDR engineers brought us the Mary Rhodes pipeline and
cutoff any chance of desalination. Now this report, a public document, is
"unavailable" –editorial comment.)

Johnny pointed out that San Antonio is our major threat in water diversion, with very
organized, wealthy backers. He said that there are no provisions in any of the
engineering plans for water for the environment.

Member Teresa Carrillo, who is Executive Director of the Coastal Bend Bays Foundation, added
that Rincon Study, a part of the Renaissance Report, will be put on the CBBF web site, http://www.baysfoundation.org.

Frank Hankins