Residents learn risks of possible facilities

Sara  Sneath By Sara Sneath

March 14, 2014 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated March 13, 2014 at 10:14 p.m.

YORKTOWN - Two oil-field waste facilities are being proposed near the town of Nordheim.

The applications for the sites have been denied once, but the applications have been amended and again are in the hands of the Texas Railroad Commission.

Known and suspected cancer-causing compounds as well as mutagens are among the chemicals that will be going into the two facilities, said environmental scientist Wilma Subra in a public meeting Thursday night at the Yorktown Public Library.

One of the sites proposed is a quarter-mile east of Nordheim. The site will be about the same size as the town of Nordheim itself.

"I don't want it that close to my town. Period," said Kathy Payne, mayor of Nordheim.

Residents near these facilities can expect to smell something similar to fingernail polish remover and/or rotten eggs, Subra said

"It's going to be really bad, and it's going to be really hard to get relocated," Subra said.

Residents of Nordheim and Yorktown who attended the meeting said they were concerned about potential air and water pollution from the site.

The applications for the site were first filed in April 2013, said Pete Dlugosch, the landowner who is leasing the proposed sites in a letter he prepared for Thursday's meeting.

A public hearing on the waste facilities will be in Austin within the next 60 to 90 days, Dlugosch said in his letter.

"We can prevent it from coming here. That's what we need to do," said Lyn Janssen, who lives on the same road as one of the proposed sites.

Residents near Nordheim created a group to fight the first applications called Concerned About Pollution, or CAP. The group, which has about 70 members, has hired a lawyer, a petrochemical professional and a groundwater professional to help in the fight, said John Hohn, whose family lives on Hohn Road, one of the waste facility proposed sites.

"We're not saying that they're wrong. The industry needs them. They're just in the wrong place. They're less than a mile down the road of our public schools," Hohn said.

The mayors of Nordheim and Yorktown were among the 66 people who attended the meeting Thursday night. Both mayors said they opposed the locations.



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