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Letter: Disposal wells — destructive for natural resources
A group of Wilson County’s citizens, the Wilson County Community Values Association, has organized in an effort to prevent conversion and expansion of a private saltwater disposal well to a commercial toxic oilfield operations waste disposal site on F.M. 539.
The entrance to this well is between F.M. 2772 and Lake Valley Drive. The owner’s application projects processing from 4,500 to 15,000 barrels per day.
The public should be aware that should a transport truck accident or spill occur at this site, this waste would flow through private property on its way to Cibolo Creek only 0.3 mile away. That creek drains into the San Antonio River and the Guadalupe River delta on the Texas coast. These rivers flow through several counties on the way, including my own Dewitt County and also Goliad County, where citizens organized and fought a two-year battle to protect their aquifer and wells from uranium mining permitting. Concerns about the endangerment of Wilson County’s aquifer are also valid.
What is happening in Wilson County with regard to disposal wells is quietly happening in every county around us, including my own Dewitt. Only alert citizens living next to the current site have prevented this from going forward in Wilson County, just as only the effort of alert citizens in Goliad County halted the permitting of a uranium mine over potable water there.
Despite the decisions of two federal judges that the Goliad permit was in violation, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality twice issued the permit anyway. Only an EPA hearing at the invitation of the Goliad County Groundwater Conservation District and the EPA’s previous return to the TCEQ for corrections of the permit as “deficient” brought that mining company’s ambitions to a halt.
Hats off to these citizens in both these counties. Their battles against big money entities on behalf of God’s creation, His “Cradle of Life” for humans and all biological life, are always reminiscent of David’s battle against Goliath.
Town hall meetings are held by the Wilson County Community Values Association on a regular basis. It is in the interests of all Wilson County citizens to attend them and learn more about the issues surrounding the proposed expansion to several disposal wells and their destructive potential for your natural resources.
SISTER ELIZABETH RIEBSCHLAEGER, CCVI
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