TCEQ: Contested Coal Mine Can Release Wastewater Into Drinking Supply

"Locals called the environmental regulators' decision ‘unconscionable.’"

"The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality approved expanding a wastewater permit for a South Texas coal mine over vocal opposition from locals Wednesday.

The permit amendment allows Dos Republicas Coal Partnership, which operates a 6,300-acre mine near Eagle Pass, to discharge waste-polluted stormwater and mine seepage into nearby Elm Creek, which feeds the Rio Grande — the source of drinking water for many Maverick County residents — and Hediondo Creek, a recreational fishing stream.

The agency’s decision is a blow to a broad coalition of groups in Maverick County that oppose the mine, including the county hospital district, the city of Eagle Pass and its school district, native tribes, environmental groups and the more than 8,000 residents who signed a petition asking that the mine be closed."

Naveena Sadasivam reports for the Texas Observer July 6, 2016.

Source: Texas Observer, 07/07/2016