Update On Opening the Mouth of the San Bernard
Posted on Nov 21st, 2020
Photo A.G. “Bert” Smith, 6-20-20
The permit to open the mouth of the San Bernard has FINALLY made it to the the last step in the long process of getting it done.
On Friday Nov 20, 2020, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) was reviewing the 401 certification for the San Bernard River project of reopening its mouth. The Clean Water Act (CWA), a federal agency, may not issue a permit or license to conduct any activity that may result in any discharge into waters of the United States unless a Section 401 water quality certification is issued.
Once the 401 certification is completed, it goes back to the USACE for finishing touches and then sent to Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta for his signature. After which, It returns to USACE for final approval and signing. The estimated timeline for completion of this action is early December of this year.
The next step is for the Corps to award bids on the project which take place according to bid specifications. Watch for updates on when the work is scheduled to begin.
The mouth of the San Bernard was first dredged open in February 2009 but due to lack of planning to maintain the opening by the original planners, it silted shut by the end of 2012. Port Freeport and Brazoria County have a 25-year interlocal agreement to split the cost of future periodic maintenance dredging of the mouth of the San Bernard River to keep it open and flowing to the Gulf.