Paxton area water customers, residents voice protest over proposed oil & gas waste disposal site

Group faces Aug. 9 deadline to file protests with Texas Railroad Commission

There's a growing swell of protest against a proposed oil and gas disposal well planned for the Paxton area of northern Shelby County, according to Linda Wheeler.

She's among residents and customers of the Paxton Water Supply fearful of the environmental, health and economic impact the disposal site could have.

“We have a community meeting set for 6 p.m., next Monday (Aug. 5) at the Paxton Methodist Church,” Wheeler said. The protest group is also circulating petitions from water customers and residents in the vicinity of the disposal well which R360 Environmental Solutions of Texas has filed a permit application for with the Texas Railroad Commission.

She said a representative from the company is supposed to attend Monday's meeting.

R360 is proposing to build a waste facility on a 112-acre tract at the northeast corner of the intersection of U.S. 84 and FM 699.

“It's right across the road from our water plant,” Wheeler said. “We've hired a lawyer and at least one land owner hired one on their own.”

Among the concerns the group has is the potential for contamination of the Paxton Water Supply Corp., and possible ground water contamination which could impact private water wells, ponds and creeks which flow into the Sabine River just a couple of miles away, she said.

Landowners and water customers are also about the impact on air quality in the vicinity of the disposal site from possible toxins which could inhaled and absorbed into bodies of humans and livestock.

From an economic standpoint, the protest group is concerned about the reduction in property values due to having the oil and gas disposal site in the area.

Wheeler said the concerns of group members is not only for those living and working in the area now, but also in the future.

“We're concerned about the overall health of not only ourselves, but our children and grandchildren,” she said.

The notice of application for the commercial surface treatment and disposal facility by R360 said the site would be used for the treatment and disposal of non-hazardous oil and gas waste.

“The proposed treatment and disposal site is located approximately five miles east of

Tenaha” on property owned by Sandhill Foundation and leased by R360.

Written protests must be made to the Technical Permitting Section, Oil and Gas Division, Texas Railroad Commission of Texas, P.O. Box 12967, Austin, TX, 78711. For questions from the Texas RRC, call (512) 463-3840.

“We're wanting to have the permit application declined,” Wheeler said.

She urged anyone interested to contact not only the Texas Railroad Commission, but also elected officials:

  • Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian - 512-463-7131 - wayne.christian@rrc.texas.gov

  • Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick - 512-463-7140 - Christi.craddick@rrc.texas.gov

  • Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton - 512-463-7147 - ryan.sitton@rrc.texas.gov

  • Chris Paddie (State Representative) - Austin Office 512-463-0556 (Toll Free 877-839-2709) District Address: 102 West Houston St, Marshall, Texas 75670 Office #: 903-935-1141

  • Robert Nichols (State Senator) - Austin Office 512-463-0103 (Toll Free 800-959-8633) District Address: 202 East Pilar St, Suite 309, Nacogdoches, Texas 75961 Office #: 936-564-4252

  • Louie Gohmert (US Congressman) - 866-535-6302

The application by R360 asks that the facility be permitted to accept and treat and/or dispose of the following oil and gas waste:

  • water base drilling fluid and the associated cuttings

  • oil base drilling fluids and the associated cuttings

  • tank bottoms from gas plants, crude oil reclamation plants, and crude oil production and separation facilitates

  • waste material from produced water collecting pits

  • produced formation sand

  • non-injectable waste waters

  • soil contaminated with produced water, crude oil, or condensate

  • solid wastes from gas dehydration and sweetening

  • iron sulfide

  • spent activated carbon and other filtering and separation media

  • liners from pits that contained exempt oil and waste, and

  • inert waste as defined by Statewide Rule 8, such as uncontaminated concrete or wood

Below are just a few of the potential effects community residents said they are concerned about:

  • contamination of Paxton Water Supply, Corp

  • contamination of private water wells, fresh water ponds and creeks

  • contamination of soil bordering the facility

  • depletion of our underground water supply (private water wells) by high volume water consumption

  • air quality — potential toxins that are absorbed in our bodies by skin and lungs

  • Sabine River and all waterways downstream

  • effects on our livestock and wildlife

  • traffic at the intersection of US Hwy 84 and FM 699

  • decline in property values

  • the overall health of not only ourselves, but our children and grandchildren to come.

 

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