NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Earlier this year, the Angelina Neches River Authority asked permission to pump up to 3 billion gallons of water for the purpose of fracking. The plan would affect the upper Angelina and Neches river basins.
Environmentalists weren't aware of the request until East Texas News broke the story in January. Members rallied to file opposing comments with state regulators.
Today, conservation groups will lead a panel discussion at Nacogdoches Austin Heights Baptist Church. East Texas News has a preview of their opinion.
Resilient Nacogdoches researcher, Kathy Redman looked over the property she owns near Martinsville. The Martin Creek runs through it. It's one of about 16 creeks in a five-county region that if permitted could be used for fracking.
On the list is the Lanana Creek Bayou that feeds the popular Lanana Creek Trail through Nacogdoches. Redman said many creek tributaries could be affected.
"If you don't have a creek on the list, that doesn't mean that water will not be taken from your creek because basically, what this says anywhere the fracking industry needs, it the closest source to get that they would be able to draw it," Redman said.
ANRA director Kelley Holcomb said in the breaking story that it's a practice that will be happening anyway and the permitting will bring some order to a chaotic situation.
Conservationists argue it's giving permission for a practice that shouldn't happen at all.
"Some of the smaller streams will be sucked dry by this," Redman said.
ANRA said a dried-up river system is the last thing people will see, but comments to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality filed by RE-Nac and Texas Conservation Alliance members say otherwise.
The permit request states water conservation plans, including recycling and reuse of water, are in place. Redman said the law makes that impossible.
"Once the fracking industry combines salt and their carcinogenic fracking chemicals to this water, by law, it cannot re-enter the water cycle," Redman said,
With the return of rigs on the East Texas horizon, Resilient Nacogdoches is wanting to alert property owners of their concerns. At the same time, there are economic developers who are praising the return of the rigs and hoping for an economic boom."
The comment period for both sides has ended, but people can still do a written request for a contested case hearing, forcing the TCEQ to look further into the debate.
Resilient Nacogdoches begins its meeting at 6:30 p.m. tonight with no cut off time. Five panelists will present their concerns. For information on how you can attend the meeting click here.