Texas Brine takes legal action against DNR order

Friday, January 4, 2013 - 11:00pm

The Texas Brine Company wants a judge to put a stop to part of the orders handed down by the Commissioner of Conservation.

Texas Brine filed the petition in district court asking a judge stop the Office of Conservation and Department of Natural Resources from enforcing orders sent down in December.

The company says the state's demands won't help get the people back in their homes any faster and could put workers at risk.

The order issued back in December requires Texas Brine to drill two new wells 6,000 feet underground to help monitor what's going on at the bottom of the failed brine cavern.

The company said the state's timeline to perform the tasks is unrealistic and it could hurt the environment.

Right now the company plans on performing two different styles of seismic monitoring that they say would be less risky and get the same results.

Here is Texas Brine’s petition in full:

The petition filed with the Clerk of Court for the 19th Judicial District applies only to the fifth amendment to DNR’s original Declaration of Emergency. The fifth amendment was issued on December 7th. Our petition will have absolutely no impact on current operations in response to the sinkhole or Texas Brine Company’s continued financial support for those residents of the evacuated area. Texas Brine remains committed to responding to this incident and mitigating any additional impact to the environment.
Due to the complexity of the tasks set forth in the fifth amendment, the unrealistic timeline for delivery, and our position, based on expert advice, that some of the directives are not justified and may actually present serious safety and environmental consequences, we were forced to seek relief from the court until a more thorough and comprehensive review of the work ordered can be done. Some of the requirements in the fifth amendment are not deemed by industry standards and practices to be necessary and carry potential risks to human health and the environment.
From the beginning, our approach to the response has been guided by facts and science and the need for proper engineering to ensure safe and effective actions. To date, there has not been a single injury as a result of the incident or subsequent response activities and TBC is committed to making sure that remains the case. Texas Brine continues to pursue less risky and less invasive actions including Vertical Seismic Profiling (VSP) and 3D Seismic Study in order to get the information necessary to make informed decisions. When some of the world’s leading talent assembled to examine such information analyzes the data produced from these cutting edge technologies, we will be much closer to getting the critical answers necessary to inform a strategy for bringing residents home.
TBC remains committed to working within the Unified Command. As part of the response effort, TBC has completed or is in the process of completing 24 of the 33 tasks set forth in the directives and amendments to the directives mandated by DNR in addition to other related activities. We are hopeful that the scientific and technical experts involved in this incident can work together to develop an informed consensus that will serve as the foundation for all future requirements.

The Order issued back in december requires texas brine to drill two new wells 6 thousand feet under ground to help monitor what's going on at the bottom of the failed brine cavern. TEXAS Brine spokesman tells me the state's timeline to perform the tasks is unrealistic and it could hurt the enivornment. Right now the company plans on performing two different styles of seismic monitoring that they say would be less risky and get the same results.

 

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