Local News

Feb 12, 2014 11:17 AM

Orange Grove Residents Worried About Potential Oil Waste Site

ORANGE GROVE - Residents in Orange Grove are fighting a local company that wants to put an oil waste disposal site in a rural part of town.

Some residents even took the issue to the Railroad Commission, and now, the State won't allow construction until they review the case.

Tuesday night, the community held a meeting urging residents to take action, send the Commission letters, and try to get the project stopped.

Residents are worried about increased traffic from oil trucks on already beaten roads, property values that they feel will drop, and the smell from the pit.

But their main concern is that contaminants will get into the soil, and the water supply.

Jonathan Hinze has land near the site, and he points out that it's not just Orange Grove that needs to worry, because if contaminants do get into the water supply, that means they'll get into Agua Dulce Creek, and then Baffin Bay, and further downstream.

"And it's gonna end up in Corpus Christi. It's gonna end up on top of y'all," Hinze says.

Sable Environmental is the company in question, and they say the site will be completely safe, and that residents have nothing to worry about.

Sable says the pit will have a deep, thick clay base, and liners that will prevent any leakage.

But residents who live right next to the site, are not buying it.

Residents like Gaile and Allen Green. "My husband and I have leased that land before for cattle grazing. We're very familiar with that land. You get the right rain fast enough and that caliche pit fills up with, we've seen it with nine foot of water in it," Gail Green says.

"If you took a bathtub and buried it in the ground, and put oil in the bottom of it, and hope like hell it don't rain two or three inches, it's gonna come out," Allen Green says.

The Railroad Commission says the review process on this case will take roughly 90 days, and then a final decision will be made as to whether or not this project will actually get done.

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