The Board of Directors of the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District will hold a Feb. 21 public hearing to discuss, consider, receive public comment, and potentially act on adoption of an enforcement policy/penalty schedule for violations of district rules.

The public hearing begins at 10:00 a.m. in the A. Wayne Wyatt Board Room of the High Plains Water District office, 2930 Avenue Q, in Lubbock.

Comments may be presented verbally or in written form.

The proposed enforcement policy discusses general guidelines, defines and establishes civil penalties for minor/major violations of District rules, and defines violations relating to groundwater production in excess of the allowable production rate (APR).

In addition, the proposed policy includes a temporary moratorium on civil penalties for violations of certain district rules relating to the Allowable Production Rate during calendar years 2012 and 2013.

“Temporary provisions in the proposed enforcement policy state that no fines will be assessed in calendar years 2012 and 2013 for persons who produce groundwater in excess of the allowable production rate,” said Jim Conkwright, general manager.

“A fine of $15 per acre-foot in excess of the APR is proposed for calendar year 2014 and 2015. It increases to $25 per acre-foot in 2016. The proposed policy will establish civil penalties that are substantially lower than the maximum amount authorized by state law,” he said.

A copy of the proposed enforcement policy and civil penalty schedule may be requested by e-mail at info@hpwd.com, may be reviewed during regular business hours at the High Plains Water District office in Lubbock, or is available on the District web site at www.hpwd.com

Created in 1951 by local residents and the State Legislature, the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District No. 1 is charged with the responsibility of conserving, preserving, protecting, and preventing waste of groundwater within its 16- county service area.