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TR Council endorses waste facility protest
by BEN TINSLEY
Jun 14, 2014 | 258 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Three Rivers Mayor Sam Garcia, right, was emphatic about preventing area water from being potentially poisoned by a planned oil and gas waste disposal facility near Tilden.
Three Rivers Mayor Sam Garcia, right, was emphatic about preventing area water from being potentially poisoned by a planned oil and gas waste disposal facility near Tilden.
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Members of the Three Rivers City Council don’t simply want to endorse opposition to a planned McMullen County oil and gas waste disposal facility—many of them wish to actively oppose it.

Council members fear such a facility could negatively impact Coastal Bend area residents who depend on the water supply from the Frio River as it flows into Choke Canyon and the Nueces River down in Corpus Christi.

Three Rivers Mayor Sam Garcia said at the council’s Monday night meeting that here is no room for mistakes in this regard.

“There is always the potential for it to leak into our water, and then there is no turning back,” the mayor said.

Council member Murrell Foster and other members were equally emphatic about preventing any possible contamination of water.

They were swift Monday night to endorse an opposition letter to the creation of the facility composed by McMullen County Judge James Teal and his commissioners court.

The Railroad Commission may or may not hold a hearing to hear the complaints, officials said.

Members of the Three Rivers council could actually petition the Railroad Commission requesting to become an active party in the McMullen County opposition.

Such an action could be authorized through the passage of a second council resolution.

Acting on a motion from Three Rivers Councilman Rey Trevino and a second from Councilman Tim Stroleny, the council unanimously endorsed the opposition letter presented to them by Live Oak County Judge Jim Huff Monday.

They also retained the option to become further involved if need be.

This was after Judge Huff explained to the council that he became involved after Judge Teal communicated to him his concerns about the project.

Judge Teal believes the company plans to “dump and dispose of a broad variety of oil and gas related operational waste” on the 1,500-acre McMullen County project.

The forms of oil and gas waste listed in the formal letter of protest include water and based drilling fluid and associated cuttings, tank bottoms of various kinds, waste materials from produced water collecting pits, produced formation sand, non-injectable waste waters, soil contaminated with produced water, crude oil or condensation solid waste from gas dehydration and sweetening, iron sulfide, spent activated carbon and other filtering and separation media, and waste such as contaminated concrete or wood.

George Wommack, chief executive officer of Petro Waste Environmental LP of San Antonio, has denied allegations the planned facility could pose a threat to the water supply – but officials said they retain their doubts.
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