| For three months, Skull Creek – a small tributary creek south of Columbus that feeds into the Colorado River – has run black. If you’ve been following the story, you know it’s a complicated one with lots of state agencies and red tape involved. An oil and gas waste recycling facility near the creek owned by Inland Environmental and Remediation was pointed to as the source of the toxic waste causing the black sheen covering the creek and devastating the fish population. The Texas attorney general sued the company in early April and the Lower Colorado River Authority filed a petition to intervene in the state’s lawsuit in early May. The LCRA petition cited several harmful chemicals allegedly flowing from Inland’s discharge area.|
Just last week, based on these suits, Inland agreed to a 90-day timeline to clean up the recycling facility and ensure no more contaminated materials can reach Skull Creek. Failure to comply will lead to a trial in district court in January 2020. LCRA and other entities have rights to check in on Inland’s progress at any time during the year to ensure they are complying. The Texas Tribune did an overview and the Colorado County Citizen has been covering the topic continuously.
If you ever see water that seems contaminated, it’s our duty to report it through the proper channels. If you notice contaminated water, you can report it through this website, or you can call 512-730-6843 or 800-776-5272, ext. 6843.