CROWing About Injection Wells
There has been much debate about the prudence of allowing an oilfield waste disposal company to dump oilfield waste into old abandoned oil wells in Montgomery County north of Houston, Texas. After reading a letter to the editor that condemned Concerned Residents Opposed to Wells (CROW) activists in the July 24th edition of the Villager I couldn't help but wonder what vested interest she might have in the wells being approved to be such a staunch supporter of something that would put our drinking water at risk. The proposed injection wells have received substantial resistance from many individuals and groups.
She rightfully cites that we are exposed to harmful chemicals on a daily basis, but does so as if to justify the potential for exposing us to even more of them. I, for one, prefer clean air and water. It's one thing to be exposed to the harmful chemicals in nail polish remover or gasoline through usage of those products; it's another to have them in your drinking water.
She also correctly points out that most ground water contamination comes from households and landfills but again does so to create the impression that contamination from industry is not something to be concerned about. Well, if that's how you feel, put a little benzene and toluene in a glass of water and drink up!
I am very thankful for all the selfless hard work and time being put in by the CROW activists in an effort to try to keep ALL of us a little bit safer from a potentially dangerous situation. It is the good fight. That is why many local neighborhood associations and politicians have supported and assisted their efforts. Unfortunately the wells have received preliminary approval from a Texas state government that is full of politicians and appointees who believe in the rights of corporations above the rights of individuals.
The proposed site is directly over an aquifer that supplies drinking water to the area. With so many improperly plugged and undocumented abandoned oil wells in the area nobody can guarantee that there won't be migration of toxic fluids into the ground water or to the surface. If you want to see what can happen, just google Winona, Texas and you'll read about what was supposed to be a harmless injection well that turned into a nightmare for the residents of Winona. How about the gigantic sinkhole in Daisetta, northeast of Houston? Could it be that was caused by injection wells? Then read about the Odessa Superfund Site where contaminated water had to be pumped out of the Trinity Aquifer, treated, and then pumped back in after it was contaminated by surface spills and discharge of toxic waste into a septic tank.
Injection wells can be safe, but when they do fail it's disastrous for the local community. Why take the chance on polluting our drinking water for generations to come when we don't have to? How about the potential damage to property values for a very long time? If this well is allowed we will have to watch the cancer and birth defect rates in the area very carefully for the indefinite future. If the worst does happen, being able to say "I told you so" won't make any of us feel any better when one of our loved ones dies of cancer.
I fully support the efforts of CROW and hope they succeed in preventing the site in Montgomery County from being approved for an injection well. Please let your local and state politicians know how you feel about this threat to our health and safety.