NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - For now, 3.2-billion gallons of water for the use of fracking will not be pumped out of Nacogdoches County waterways.
ANRA has pulled its application to give the oil and gas industry the water purchase opportunity. Opposition from a grassroots environmental group led to the decision.
Resilient Nacogdoches member Kathy Redman has been speaking out and organizing opposition to Angelina Neches River Authority's stand on selling public waters for fracking. The conversations were never awkward at all, she says. In many ways ReNac and ANRA are on the same page.
"We honestly feel like the people who work for ANRA are concerned about our water," Redman said.
Where the difference of opinion lies is how to stop or at least control the unpermitted pumping of water by oil and gas companies.
"They know it's going on. We know it's going on," Redman said. "As landowners a lot of us have come up on this and seen it. It wasn't so much the oil and gas industry should be taking this water. It was that they knew it was going on anyway, and so they felt like by making them get a permit that they could regulate it more."
ReNac argues the sale of billions of gallons of water would dry up creeks and streams. ANRA could revise its application. Compromises with ReNac were discussed, but stalled. Holcomb said there are no plans for refiling.
The Texas Conservation Alliance director Janice Bezanson praised ANRA's decision in a text to Redman.
"Texas Conservation Alliance greatly appreciated the leadership of the Angelina Neches River Authority for working with us for improving the terms of permit to add protection for the streams and the Upper Angelina River Basin," Redman said.
It's a grassroots victory in a battle. The war for the protection of waterways continues as
gas rigs are returning to the horizon of Nacogdoches County
"I think that all of our awareness of water issues have been elevated," Redman said. "Our awareness, but I think it's not over."
A hearing in Austin on ANRA's application was scheduled for early July. The hearing was canceled when the application was withdrawn.