Weatherford Democrat

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June 18, 2013

Sludge spraying stopped for now

County officials plan more steps to prevent sludge placed in fields near homes

(Continued)

Russ Carr, who lives in Stella Estates, said he was raised near cattleyards but has never smelled anything like it.

“Everything you eat tastes like the smell,” Carr said. “I don’t think it’s healthy no matter what the studies say.”

Walker gave an overview of the processing and treatment the sludge goes through to those at the meeting.

“The performance standards are set to protect human health,” Walker stated.

They’ve also been meeting with the Trinity River Authority and the City of Fort Worth about the complaints, according to Walker.

Since this summer, TCEQ’s also been doing their own independent sampling at locations and facility, Walker said.

In addition to making TCEQ aware of any issues, Walker urged residents to document how they are affected with things such as sworn affidavits.

Documentation led to the Wise County enforcement action last month, according to Walker.

Asked about it, Walker said the agency received notification of Renda’s intent to apply the sludge in Parker County prior to the state agency taking enforcement action in Wise County. 

Walker said a petition has been submitted by an Ellis County resident requesting the TCEQ consider a rule change.

If TCEQ accepts the petition today, the process will be opened up with hearings and other input allowed.

The proposed rule change is written to apply to counties with more than 140,000 people and adjacent to counties with 2-4 million in population, which wouldn’t apply to Parker County.

However, that’s not a done deal and could change during the process, according to Walker.

Riley plans on being present in Austin today when the TCEQ decides whether to accept the rule change petition.

As they pursue changes in the regulations, the county will also submit an open records request to get all the information they can from TCEQ regarding not only the Parker County investigation but complaints in other counties, Riley said. A TCEQ hearing in Parker County is also expected to be requested.

The crowd clapped as Precinct 1 Commissioner George Conley told those attending that county leaders were going to try their best so that the company never comes back.

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