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Public Hearing for Harbor Island Desal Plant

Located within the city limits of both Port Aransas and Aransas Pass, Harbor Island is zoned for industry. It has deep water, a highway, and channel frontage access.

People opposed to having a desalination water plant built on Harbor Island in Port Aransas will have a say before any final decisions are made. A public hearing on the matter begins at 7 p.m. Monday, April 8, at the Port Aransas Civil Center, 710 W. Avenue A. The hearing is part of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s process for water quality permits.

The Port of Corpus Christi applied for a permit to allow a desal plant to discharge brine into the ship channel that separates Harbor Island and Mustang Island. Port officials have said the port has no plans to build a desal plant but wants the permits in place for any other entity that might be interested.

The plant is needed as a future water source for growing industry in the area, port officials said. The port’s goal is to hurry that process along. The permit request is for a 50-million-gallon-per-day plant.

Last April, the city of Corpus Christi hired Freese and Nichols Inc. to plan two desalination plants for the Coastal Bend. Harbor Island is not one of the five locations under consideration. The firm began looking at 19 potential sites, which must have access to power and water.

Like the port, the city currently does not plan to build a desalination plant. The information from the Freese and Nichols study will be shared with potential industrial partners that would build the plant.

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