Monday, April 12, 2010

More Water Fears in another Texas Town

The small town of Daisetta, Texas has another worry. Back in 2008, a large sink hole formed in the town. Causing damage to some residents' homes. Now there is worry that their water may be contaminated.

The sink hole grew to the size of two football fields. An injection well was determined to be the culprit. DeLoach Oil and Gas Wastewater Disposal Co. has been injecting drilling waste here since 1983.

It is just another example of the terrible oversight of the Texas Railroad Commission. The agency that is suppose to regulate the Oil & Gas Industry.

DeLoach declined to comment, but his former fluid manager, Lonnie Baines, told city attorneys that DeLoach employees seldom verified what trucks were hauling there.The Railroad Commission, which regulates the oil and gas industry in Texas, said operators are required to inspect a driver's paperwork.

During the 10 months Baines worked there before the collapse, he said “very rarely” was the paperwork checked even though the waste often burned his eyes and many of the trucks were marked “flammable.”

After the sink hole collapse, Mr. Baines was let go. The Texas Railroad Commission said they found no violations but again there was evidence of paperwork that showed DeLoach was often injecting double the amount of waste that his permit had allowed.

Mayor Lynn Wells said he had to cut down 100 trees after toxic fluids sprung up from the flooding underground his property. No sample was taken of the fluid by Mayor Wells or state officials before it soaked into the ground. The TRC said it found no contamination in the soil samples taken from Mayor Wells property. But while drilling a back up well for the town, the engineering company hired by the town, found contaminants that are not naturally occurring. It seems that Daisetta troubles may not be over.

If that were not enough, an engineering company drilling a backup well for the city detected traces of toluene and naphthalene in its water sample. Since these contaminants are not naturally occurring — and the naphthalene was at a level twice what the state of New Jersey would allow (Texas has no standard) — the engineer recommended abandoning the $93,000 project and drilling somewhere else.

Urban or rural, it is time for better regulations and ACCOUNTABILITY.

Click here for article.

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