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Company moves to withdraw plans to build waste facility near Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Montana-based company PA Prospect Corporation has filed to withdraw its application to build a...
Montana-based company PA Prospect Corporation has filed to withdraw its application to build a 256.7-acre facility to store, handle, treat and dispose of non-hazardous oil and gas waste in San Augustine County.(Angelina & Neches River Authority)
Published: Apr. 6, 2022 at 11:31 AM CDT
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SAN AUGUSTINE COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - Montana-based company PA Prospect Corporation has filed to withdraw its application to build a 256.7-acre facility to store, handle, treat and dispose of non-hazardous oil and gas waste in San Augustine County.

The issue first arose in 2019 when PA Prospect, a company that constructs oil and gas waste disposal sites, applied for a permit at a site in San Augustine County. Residents who live in the area voiced their concerns about the facility. County officials said about 700 people sent protest letters to the Railroad Commission of Texas.

On March 25, PA Prospect filed to withdraw its application citing the administrative law judge’s recommendation issued earlier in the month that the RRC reject the permit.

Elizabeth Mathews is a member of Friends of Lake Sam Rayburn. She said the group has been fighting for more than a year to have PA Prospect Corporation withdraw its application. Mathews said she was overjoyed when news broke that the company did so.

“The only glitch is that they could reapply. And of course, we hope that that doesn’t happen. Senator Robert Nicholas, who represents this area, was able to get some legislation passed that would make it more difficult for them to get this application approved. Because they have to consider multiple day rain events, and that was not the case with their last application,” Mathews said.

Mathews said the Administrative Judge and the Technical Advisor listened to testimonies and recommended Railroad Commissioners deny PA Prospect Corporation’s permit.

“They knew it was going to get denied because once the Railroad Commission staff makes a recommendation, it is very difficult for commissioners to go against that recommendation,” Mathews said.

Mathews said the company withdrew their application before commissioners made a decision.

“I felt so sorry for the landowners that surrounded this area. It was just going to ruin their land value and many of them, that land had been in their families for generations, all the way back to the Spanish land grants and so now they’ll be spared,” Mathews said.

In a joint statement, State Sen. Robert Nichols and Rep. Trent Ashby recommended the Texas Railroad Commission deny the permit with prejudice to prohibit the company from attempting to file another permit application.

“Following the Railroad Commission’s staff recommendation to deny PA Prospect’s permit application to construct a waste facility in San Augustine, PA Prospect folded under pressure and made a motion to withdraw their application and requested the RRC allow them to do so without prejudice,” the lawmakers said in the statement. “If granted, this means the applicant could reapply at a later date without any partiality from the RRC with respect to the previously discredited application.

Railroad commissioners are expected to consider PA Prospect’s case at a hearing on April 12.

RELATED:

+ San Augustine Co. residents voice concerns over proposed oil and gas waste disposal site

+ Hearings on proposed oil and gas waste disposal facility in San Augustine County to begin Tuesday

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