HOWARD COUNTY, TX (KWES) - Solid waste like crushed rock and oil-based mud from drilling rigs need a place to go. That's why Petro Waste Environmental now has their second waste facility in West Texas.
With geological studies and testing, they finally got their permit approved by the Texas Railroad Commission.
"The permitting, the design, the construction, this facility has been in the planning stages for about four years," said Petro Waste Environmental CEO, George Wommack.
In between Howard and Martin County, the 144-acre facility was created to cut down on mileage for drivers since their goal is to be within 30 miles from oil activity. It also allows drivers to pass through the facility quickly so they can be in and out and back to the rig.
"What we focus on is the high concentration of drilling rigs and we want to be as close as possible to the drilling activity," said Wommack.
Trucks bring the waste to a pit where it's separated, dried and tested before its goes to a permanent disposal site. There, the waste is compressed and flattened.
The facility was designed to operate through all types of weather since it's on an elevated surface so heavy rains can pass through their storm water system.
But the company must follow guidelines to protect groundwater and surface water. By doing this, they can't have hazardous material dumped at the site and the facility has three liners with a leak detection system.
"You have a very thick and highly engineered series of liners that provide the ultimate level of safety between the waste material and the groundwater," said Wommack.
The company hopes this new facility is a step further to reduce environmental impacts while continuing to serve the oil industry.
"More and more drilling activity is going to be happening here rather than other parts of the country," said Wommack. "These improvements and efficiency have kept the Permian Basin so strong."