AUSTIN – Today, the Texas House of Representatives considered an amendment offered by State Rep. Gary VanDeaver to review the Marvin Nichols Reservoir. The House took up HB 1565, commonly known as the “Texas Water Development Board Sunset Bill.” The Sunset Commission’s report on the Board found it has an inefficient review process and outdated policies. The bill aims to identify opportunities to increase the Board’s efficiency and project review processes.
State Representative Gary VanDeaver offered an amendment to the bill, saying: “This amendment was actually part of the original language that was laid out but was removed in the committee substitute. It is specific to my district and to the Marvin Nichols Reservoir. The amendment asks for a feasibility review of the Marvin Nichols Reservoir by the Texas Water Development Board Executive Administrator by 2025. Roughly 66,000 of private land would be used to build this reservoir, but at least an additional 130,000 acres of land [would be] taken out of production and out of private hands. This would make the proposed Marvin Nichols Reservoir one of the most expensive public works projects and one of the largest land grabs by eminent domain in Texas history.”
While legislators tabled the amendment to advance the bill without any modifications, this is a vital step in raising awareness of the devastating impacts the Marvin Nichols Reservoir would have on the land, wildlife, economy, and people of Northeast Texas.
“We are grateful for Rep. VanDeaver’s leadership on this issue,” said Janice Bezanson, Preserve Northeast Texas Steering Committee. “For more than two decades, the people in Northeast Texas have lived with the threat of Marvin Nichols looming over them. Today’s effort in the Texas Legislature confirms that this reservoir is by no means a done deal, but rather it confirms that Marvin Nichols is an inefficient, outdated proposal that warrants removal from the State Water Plan.”
You can view the video from the House Floor here.