PECOS COUNTY, TX (KWES) - The Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District is looking into cases involving oil and gas companies allegedly dumping waste on private properties illegally. The water district is now trying to get everyone on board to stop it. They plan to meet with landowners and even district attorneys during a seminar this week, to not only warn them about potential threats to the land and water, but also, on what to do if they find waste on their property.
Paul Weatherby, General Manager of the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District, said, "There are some individuals and some companies taking advantage of a situation to save money, cut corners and whatever it takes to get rid of this oil field waste. They end up dumping it out on the surface, in our pastures, where they might be able to get away with it."
Groundwater officials are mostly concerned with the ongoing illegal releases of oil/gas industry waste on land and sub-surface areas. The unlawful act can cost illegal dumpers up to $10,000 per day, per violation.
"Through the investigative process, if it shows that there's an imminent danger of the oil and gas waste penetrating into our groundwater or aquifer supply, then we get actively involved," said Weatherby.
The meeting is geared towards landowners to inform them on how to deal with issues related to the oil/gas industry and how illegal dumping can threaten their land and water.
"There's just many avenues that a landowner can do to protect his own land and his own water. I believe a lot of the public is not really aware of that at this day and time," said Weatherby.
The meeting will be hosted by the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District. They will have guest speakers from various attorneys offices in the Basin that specialize illegal waste dumping. They will also have a professional geoscientist and an extension range specialist in attendance.
"We've been discussing having an educational type seminar, but to have one, we wanted to research it good enough to show people the actual pictures and actual examples of what's going on," said Weatherby.