Senator Tommy Williams
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0104

January 31, 2007
Contact: Amanda Montagne
(512) 463-0104

A River in Trouble

Sen. Williams Files Legislation to Protect the East and West Forks of the San Jacinto River

Austin -- State Sen. Tommy Williams, (R - The Woodlands), filed SB 359 establishing a pilot program to protect the water quality of portions of the San Jacinto River.

"The San Jacinto River is an important and significant part of our state's history and future, but changes along the river's west and east forks have been dramatic. Without modifications, the drinking water for one of the largest cities in our nation will be at risk, critical protection from flood damage will be lost, and a valuable ecological and recreational area will be gone," said Williams.

Senate Bill 359 will allow the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, San Jacinto River Authority and Texas Parks and Wildlife to monitor sand and gravel mining operations on the west and east forks of the San Jacinto River within one mile of the water by annual visual inspections and water sampling. The bill also requires reclamation and restoration of quarries located within the pilot program.

In the past year, the San Jacinto River was named one of the nation's most endangered rivers by American Rivers, a national non-profit river-conservation group.