Railroad Commission Approves Toxic Waste Ponds Next to Baptist CampInside Climate NewsMedia Coverage

Martin Water is building an oil and gas waste recycling facility next to the Circle 6 Baptist Camp in the Permian Basin despite concerns of water and air pollution.


By Martha Pskowski
February 26, 2024

Image: Circle 6 Baptist Camp, bottom, and produced water ponds, constructed by Martin Water, top, in Lenorah on Feb. 24, 2024. The Railroad Commission approved the construction of the ponds, used to treat and recycle produced water from fracking, next to the Circle 6 Baptist Camp in the Permian Basin. Credit: Julian Mancha for The Texas Tribune/Inside Climate News

From the article:

A TCEQ spokesperson recommended that individuals impacted by air pollution from waste pits file a complaint with the agency. TCEQ has followed up on complaints in places like Orange Grove, Texas, where residents have reported that fumes from the Blackhorn Environmental Services waste facility caused headaches, nausea and itchy eyes. TCEQ eventually sued the company in 2022 over violations of the Texas Clean Air Act, the Texas Solid Waste Disposal Act and Texas Water Code.

Palacios said this split jurisdiction between the two agencies stymies effective regulation of waste pits.

“If there are any problems with air quality and public health, that gets punted to the TCEQ,” Palacios said.

Palacios has called on the Railroad Commission to actively solicit feedback from impacted communities around Texas. Residents of places like Nordheim, Orange Grove and Paxton have raised concerns about waste pits in recent years, but the only public, in-person hearing on the draft rules was held in Austin, hundreds of miles from many impacted communities.

“At the end of the day there is nothing standing in the way between a polluting facility and the people who live next to it,” she said.


Read the full article here

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