Judge Don Burgess Friday officially entered an order which permanently prevents the City of New Braunfels from enforcing a ban on taking returnable bottles and cans onto the Guadalupe and Comal Rivers.
The judge also ordered New Braunfels taxpayers to pay $250,000 to cover attorneys fees of the river outfitters who challenged the law, and prohibited the city from enforcing the ban during any appeals.
A judge earlier this year issued a preliminary injunction that the ban violates state law, which says only the state, not cities and other local jurisdictions, have authority over what happens on navigable rivers.
That means the can ban will no longer be enforced, effective immediately.
City officials said the can ban was needed to protect the rivers from pollution, but outfitters said their business fell by half in the summer of 2013, the first summer when it was completely enforced.