Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Contested Case Hearing: April 22-23, Gainesville Civic Center

Be sure to be present by 9:00 A.M.  RRMT's attorneys will be presenting a review of what has happened in the case so far for those who have not been able to attend the Austin portion of the hearing.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Second Public Meeting: July 11, Gainesville

TCEQ has scheduled a second public meeting on EOG's proposed air quality permit #95412.  The official notice is available here.

The public meeting is to be held at 7:00 PM in the Gainesville Civic Center (Main Room), 311 S. Weaver, Gainesville, Texas.

The purpose of the public meeting is to allow the public an opportunity to ask questions about the permit and the proposed industrial sand processing plant.

A couple of fresh questions on the minds of many in the wake of the notice of this second public meeting include:
- Why was such short notice given of the second public meeting?  TCEQ mailed the notice on July 3, and it appeared in local mailboxes on July 5, six days before the meeting.  No notice of the public meeting appeared in the Saint Jo Tribune.
- Why was the public meeting, which is likely to run well into the late evening, scheduled for the night before the 10 AM beginning of the contested case hearing?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Request a Second Public Meeting on EOG Frac Sand Processing Plant

Requests and public comments due by June 30th

In its notice of the contested case hearing for EOG's Cooke County industrial frac sand processing plant, TCEQ stated that it will hold a second public meeting on EOG's application if "there is a significant degree of public interest in the application or if requested by a local legislator."

The purpose of the public meeting is to "provide the opportunity to submit comment or to ask questions about the application."

Considering that many people were unable even to find parking or standing room at the first public meeting last August, and that changes have been made to the permit application since that time, a second public meeting seems more than justified.

Please submit your requests for a second public meeting to TCEQ. The process is the same as that for the hearing and meeting requests that were placed previously, available through this link: (Enter this permit number: 95412)

Remember, the deadline for public comments and meeting requests is June 30.

Please also contact state representative Rick Hardcastle and state senator Craig Estes, and ask them to request a second public meeting on EOG's permit application for its Cooke County frac sand processing facility.

Senator Craig Estes

Capitol Address: State Capitol, Room 3E.8 P.O. Box 12068 Capitol Station Austin, Texas 78711 (512) 463-0130 Fax: (512) 463-8874

District Address: 2525 Kell Blvd., Suite 302 Wichita Falls, Texas 76308 (940) 689-0191 Fax: (940) 689-0194


Representative Rick Hardcastle

Capitol Address: Room 4N.04, Capitol P.O. Box 2910 Austin, TX 78768 (512) 463-0526 Fax: (512) 463-6003

District Address: 1930 Fannin Vernon, TX 76384 (940) 553-3825 (940) 553-3861 Fax

Contested Case Hearing Set to Begin July 12 in Gainesville

TCEQ has set the date for a preliminary hearing on EOG's permit application for the industrial frac sand processing plant in northwestern Cooke County. Anyone can attend this preliminary hearing, which will take place at 10:00 AM on July 12, at the Cooke County Court Annex Building at 112 South Dixon, Gainesville, Texas.

This preliminary hearing is the first phase of the contested case hearing. At the preliminary hearing, the parties to the contested case hearing will be determined, and the schedule for the contested case hearing will be set. The rest of the contested case hearing will most likely be conducted in Austin.

Anyone can request to become a party to the contested case hearing. Those wishing to become parties must attend the preliminary hearing and show 1) that they would be adversely affected by the application and air emissions from the facility in a way not common to the general public; 2) the location and distance of their property relative to the facility; and 3) how they use the property which may be impacted by the facility.

Please make every effort to attend the preliminary hearing in Gainesville on July 12, whether or not you intend to seek party status to the case.

Revised Permit Application and Draft Permit Now Available

The revised permit application, and TCEQ's preliminary decision and draft permit, for EOG's Cooke County industrial frac sand processing plant, are now available online (click here), as well as in hard copy at TCEQ's central and D/FW regional offices, and at the Muenster Public Library.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

EOG Applies to Build Waste Processing Facility on CR 343

Protests must be filed by September 7.

Residents along CR 343 in southwestern Cooke County received a packet on Friday, August 26, from EOG concerning the company's August 25 application to the Railroad Commission for a permit to process oil and gas drilling waste into roadbase material.

The application states that "types of waste to be treated will incluce RCRA exempt, oil based drilling fluid and cuttings, crude oil contaminated soil, production tank bottoms, and flow back sand." The application estimates a volume of between 200-800 tons of these wastes per day.

These wastes would be mixed with on-site aggregate in a pug mill and then dispersed to lease roads and well pad sites as roadbase. Area residents' concerns include leaching of toxic chemicals, and additional heavy truck traffic.

A copy of the application can be viewed here.

Protests must be filed within 15 days of the August 25 application date.

Protests should be addressed to
Michael Sims
Texas Railroad Commission
P.O. Box 12967
Austin, TX 78711

Friday, August 26, 2011

Public Meeting Concerning Sand Mine Draws Record Crowd

from a report submitted to the Saint Jo Tribune

A standing room only crowd attended a five-hour public meeting August 23 at the Muenster ISD cafeteria. Those attended expressed their opinions on the EOG Resources application for an air quality permit permit for a proposed frac sand mine and processing facility just west of Bulcher on the south side of FM 373.

The meeting involved two parts, an informal session and a formal session. The informal session consisted of a question and answer period allowing the public to ask questions to representatives from EOG and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

The audience in the packed cafeteria listened attentively to local citizens expressing their concerns and objections to the pending air quality permit, the frac sand processing facility, and the negative environmental impact it might have.

Questions asked of the TCEQ and EOG representatives covered topics ranging from air quality, truck traffic and emissions, water availability and quality, facility lighting, and the effects on the natural wildlife.

Wylie Harris asked questions regarding the accuracy of some of the numbers in the permit application. One specific question he asked of EOG was how many water wells would be needed. EOG representative Curt Parsons replied, ”a handful.” Patty Fleitman asked if there would be independent air quality monitoring done in and around the facility. TCEQ responded that the agency does not require this.
The TCEQ also responded that if members of the public had a concern or issue, they could file a complaint and submit any evidence of the dust to the agency.

Nancee Turlington stated that the silica dust is not visible to the human eye and cannot be seen in the air. She asked the TCEQ how she would know if she were breathing the dust if it cannot be seen, and how she is supposed to collect it to submit a complaint if it is invisible? James Schoppa and B.B. Lozano addressed the TCEQ with environmental questions on how this facility would impact them in the long term.

In the formal comment section, 39 people formally addressed the TCEQ. Twelve of those spoke in support of EOG and the proposed facility. Of those 12, 11 were EOG employees and the other was Tommy Fenoglio of Montague. The other 27 people who were opposed to this permit were local Cooke and Montague County citizens.

Brandon and Holly Harris-Bayer addressed the TCEQ regarding the negative environmental and economic impact that the proposed EOG facility would have on the Red River Motorcycle Trails, which has been in operation since 1972. They have requested a contested case hearing from the TCEQ on the permit application.

EOG Resources employees showed up in full force to offer their support. Ricky Oneal, a local EOG employee, praised his employer for all of the opportunities the company has brought to this area . Tommy Fenoglio stated that he supported EOG and the proposed facility, and that EOG has been very good to Montague County.

Greg Bohl, Muenster city councilman, raised his concern over the water usage at the facility. Since the Muenster water supply is also out of the Trinity Aquifer, he was worried the huge use of water at the sand facility would jeopardize the Muenster water supply. Penny Jordan, of the Gladys community, challenged the TCEQ to do the right thing for this community, and asked agency representatives how they would like the facility next door to them.

Throughout the meeting, while citizens expressed serious concerns on the issue of air quality, the topic of water availability, quality, and usage was brought up continually by the people speaking to the TCEQ and EOG. TCEQ representative continually responded that they were there to address only the pending permit, which deals strictly with air quality.