The community within the small town of Nordheim, which is located in South Texas, is up in arms about a proposed oil and gas drilling dumpsite. The small town that is made up of 307 individuals is against the proposition that would make their town’s backyard a waste destination. Despite their opposition, the Texas Railroad Commission will likely approve the dumpsite soon. The areas elected officials attempted to derail these efforts but were unsuccessful during the last legislative session.
The proposed facility, which will be built by Pyote Reclamation Systems, will take up 200-acres and is located outside of Nordheim. The facility will be strategically placed on the southeastern outskirts of the town close to the Eagle Ford fracking patch. The Railroad Commission was told by George Wommack, CEO of Petro Waste Environment, which will operate the proposed dump area outside of Nordheim, that the location of choice perfectly suits the needs of the industry. He went on to say that the next possible area was over 70 miles away.
The community of this small Texas town is concerned about the health and safety of the public. Groups within the town have organized to speak against the possible negative effects the waste area could have on people of all ages within DeWitt County. They stated concern about the water wells, pollution and even property value of the homes within Nordheim. These organized groups are planning to appeal the process by going to Austin themselves to speak against it. Mayor Katherine Payne has gone on record stating that she doesn’t have anything against the waste itself, but she just doesn’t want the dumpsite to cause people to move from the town. Representative Geanie Morrison, who represents DeWitt County, also heads the House Environmental Regulation Committee. She said that those who will make the final decision should take into consideration the concerns of those who will be most affected by the facility. The Railroad Commission appears to be resolute on approving the facility since it does meet health and safety requirements and will not cause pollution. The community seems to be outnumbered on the decision due to the political climate that surrounds the oil and gas industry in their area. Members of the community recognize the “David and Goliath” situation they are currently facing. But they are confident that the ending is yet to be written.
The new facility has a couple of positive aspects. The Nordheim site will bring jobs to the small town, and it will reduce waste runs made by trucks in the shale field. Regardless, natives of the town still feel threatened by the change that may upset their way of living. Their opposition may not be what causes this project to move forward. Instead, it may be suspended due to the current state of the oil and gas industry. However, Wommack feels confident that it will move forward since investments are currently being made with the future in mind. He also has submitted changes to proposed aspects of the project to include special considerations for pollution and the like.