Frio County judge: Stop pumping toxic fracking waste into our ground

Frio County judge: Stop pumping toxic fracking waste into our ground by Joe Conger, May 16, 2013, KENS 5
PEARSALL, Texas — Geologists say every foot of earth drilled creates about 20 gallons of liquid waste. It has to be disposed of somewhere, but Frio County officials say stop dumping it here. “To me, this waste has zero value,” said Frio County Judge Carlos Garcia. Frio County has only four oil wells located within its boundaries but has plenty of other wells: frack water disposal wells. In total, Frio County has 20 waste injection wells and applications for seven more. It has the least amount of production wells and the greatest amount of waste wells in the Eagle Ford shale play. Just one site alone sends 30,000 barrels of wastewater into a sand formation beneath an aquifer that quenches the thirst of Pearsall, Dilley and other towns. Garcia said, “If we have such a good formation, why not fill it with fresh water than with waste?”

Frack water consists of saltwater, along with other chemicals, hydrocarbons and petroleum waste. Garcia said Frio County has become a dumping ground, surpassing 10 million barrels of waste a year, brought in by 18-wheelers from the surrounding counties. “What we do have is a good location on 35 in the middle of EFS and everybody is taking advantage of it to save money, of course, save on gas and hauling expenditures,” Garcia said.

The judge said the traffic is tearing up the roads, but it’s the future environmental impact he fears, too, in a county that doesn’t have the financial resources to fix it all.
And counties have few legal resources to try to regulate the facilities that are being built. The Texas Rail Road Commission handles the permitting. … Judge Garcia said there are plenty of concerned citizens who have written letters expressing their concerns to the Railroad Commission, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and his office. [Emphasis added]

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