Drilling Company Takes Over East Texan's Backyard - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

3/15/05-Ore City

Drilling Company Takes Over East Texan's Backyard

For nearly six years, Alice Hotaling and her husband have been living happily in their cozy Ore City home.

"We had made a little paradise out here that was peace and quiet and everything and we could walk around the pasture with our cows...and now all that's gone," says Alice at her kitchen counter.

Gone because their land was leased to Burke Royalty Company by the previous landowner who still owns the mineral rights. All Alice can do is watch as the drilling began just steps away from her back porch.

"There was a constant vibration in the house. And then when they were changing pipes and stuff there was this great big noise like whhoooooo, like an air hammer going off!"

But that's not all. Pictures her and her husband have taken show what was on their property just days ago. Large equipment surrounded a rig, that stood 130 feet in the air. Several trailers, trucks and mobile homes lined their property so contractors can work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. One disturbing image includes a trailer that Alice is certain is dumping human waste.

"Yes ma'am, because my husband can see the toilet tissue. All of that stuff is running right towards that well and running down hill and going into a little creek right over here and feeding into the Lake of the Pines."

Because she doesn't own the mineral rights Alice knows there's nothing she can do. "Months? Darling it could go on forever as long as there is oil or gas on this property." Until the system changes she hopes these images can let the next homeowner know about these unexpected neighbors.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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