Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District Cracking Down on Illegal Dumping

Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District Cracking Down on Illegal Dumping

PECOS COUNTY, TX (KWES) - Illegal dumping of oil and gas waste is becoming a big issue in Pecos County. Today officials from Pecos County and Ector County talked about how to tackle the issue. The meeting was aimed at educating land owners on what to do if they're victims.

Illegal dumping has been an issue for years in West Texas. Thursday, the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District held a seminar to bring awareness to the problem. One of the groups there was the Environmental Enforcement Office from Ector County. They've been around since 2011, and were the first environmental task force in West Texas. Now, their goal is to help other counties fight the ongoing battle of illegal waste dumping.

Paul Weatherby, General Manager of the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District, said, "The Groundwater District is supported by ad valorem tax in Pecos County, so we all drink water, and it's our job to try to protect it."  

Rickey George, Criminal Investigator for the Ector County Attorneys Office, said, "Our main goals is to create a task force, an environmental task force. You always hear of the drug task force or other task forces, but having an environmental task force is one of our goals. Where we can come into a county such as Pecos County and assist them with investigating, getting them trained on what to do, so five years down the road they're at where we are now." 

The Environmental Enforcement Office is working with other groups and attorneys to not only find illegally dumped waste, but to also prosecute the oil and gas companies that are doing it.

Officials say illegal waste dumping of any kind is a threat to the ground and surface water and they are working around the clock to conserve it. NewsWest 9 will continue to cover this issue in our NewsWest 9 Special Report that airs on Wednesday, July 29th.