DALLAS -- The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate each passed and President Obama signed a bill Friday that will allow the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) to resume pumping water from Lake Texoma.
Pumping could resume as early as fall of 2013, depending on when a new $300 million pipeline is completed to transfer water directly from the Texoma pump station directly to the water treatment plant in Wylie. The pipeline is needed to prevent the spread of zebra mussels.
In October, News 8 found the City of Sherman was violating federal law by pumping drinking water out of Lake Texoma.
The passed bill is an exemption to the federal Lacey Act, which says you cannot transfer zebra mussels from one state to another. The regulation is designed to stop the spread of invasive species, like zebra mussels, that — once they're in a lake — devour the food fish like to eat and they can never be killed.
Because of the zebra mussel infestation in Texoma, the NTMWD can't currently use water from the lake, which represents 28 percent of its water supply.
The NTMWD issued a news release Friday thanking Senator Cornyn along with Representatives Hall, Sessions and Johnson for their efforts to get the bill passed.