'Can ban' lawsuit heads back to Comal County
Ban will remain in effect while judge decides whether to enforce injunction
AUSTIN, Texas - The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung reports the lawsuit against a controversial ban on food and beverage containers on New Braunfels rivers has been transferred from Travis County back to Comal County.
The so-called "Can Ban" will remain in effect on the Comal and Guadalupe rivers inside New Braunfels city limits while the local court decides whether to enforce an injunction against the ban.
Robert Harris, with the Gruene River Company, said the process has been frustrating for businesses.
"It just gets kind of frustrating," said Harris. "It's either do this thing or not do it. I just want to get back with business as usual and people are already confused with the ban being in effect. Now you are hearing that it's going to go to court."
Harris said since the ban has been in effect, it has caused a lot of confusion and that 95 percent of his phone calls are from those who are concerned about what they can and what they cannot bring.
"Other outer cities like Houston, Austin, Dallas aren't getting the word," said Harris. "They are under the assumption that you can't even drink alcohol on the river. So, I wish we would decide one way or the other. Let's go ahead and do it and let's get back to putting people on the river."
Travis County District Judge Scott Jenkins removed the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Texas General Land Office (GLO) from the lawsuit Wednesday morning.
Doing so cleared the way for Jenkins to transfer the lawsuit back to a Comal County district court.
David Dow, a Houston resident who visits the river in New Braunfels frequently, said he's glad the ban is still in place.
"I think that if people were conscience about picking up after themselves it would be unnecessary, but I've been coming down this river and doing things on the river for 20 years and it gets worse and worse every year. People treat the river like a big trash can."
The lawsuit was filed by seven plaintiffs collectively known as the Tourist Associated Businesses of Comal County. They are comprised of beer distributors, river outfitters, and others who believe the ban will sink the tubing industry's profits.
No further action was taken Wednesday.
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