Proposed permit would allow 3 billion gallons to be pumped from Angelina River a year

Proposed permit would allow 3 billion gallons to be pumped from Angelina River a year

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A proposed project could drain water from area waterways for the use of fracking.

If the Angelina Neches River Authority has their way, a permit will be put in place that could pump over 3 billion gallons of water a year from the upper Angelina River Basin.

"Allow us to use surface water from rivers and streams for the oil and gas industry over in the Haynesville Shale which is Nacogdoches, Shelby, San Augustine, and Rusk County," said Kelly Holcomb, ANRA's director.

Holcomb said what they are trying to do is get control of a fracking boom that started in in 2010.

"The affected counties were getting calls by their constituents saying, 'Hey what's going on. We got people here and there pulling water,'" Holcomb said. "The intent of this is to bring some semblance of order to what was a chaotic situation, 5, 6, 8 years ago."

Holcomb said the yearly 3.2 billion gallons of water is the most they can pull from the basin. There are also water level restrictions.

"The little bit of water we are talking about taking out of there is just a drop in the bucket," Holcomb said.

The main water rights group affected could be the city of Nacogdoches. East Texas News reached out to the city, but they said they couldn't go on camera for an interview because they are still researching the issue.

Lufkin's Kurth Lake also sits in the basin, but right now the city

"It's not going to concern the city of Lufkin at all. We will be able to pull water before they pull the water for fracking," said Chuck Walker, an engineer for the City of Lufkin.

Holcomb said the last thing people would see is a dried-up river system.

"You just can't have people pulling water out of the river at their discretion," Holcomb said. 'That is a violation of state law."

People who live in the areas affected have until January 22 to file a comment. Click this link to comment.

Copyright 2017 KTRE. All rights reserved.