Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

February 19, 2011

Groundwater board finds years of driller violations

JACKSONVILLE — Since 2007, more than 100 wells have been drilled in violation of the Neches and Trinity Valleys Groundwater Conservation District (NTVGCD) rules, found NTVGCD General Manager Roy Rodgers.

“They’re primarily rig supply wells,” Rodgers said. “Oil wells are under authority of the railroad commission, and under the state water code, we have to issue them a permit to drill a rig supply well because they have to have water to run that drilling rig.”

Over the past four years, 61 wells were drilled without permits and for 50 wells NTVGCD never received the state well reports.

“Some of them actually were permitted but they didn’t send their well report in, so there’s two issues here — some of them were not permitted and not reported, others ... were permitted but they didn’t send in their well reports,” Rodgers said. “The state law is real clear that they have to send us a report within 60 days.”

Rodgers uncovered the violations after receiving a state well report for a well that had never been permitted, he said.

“I went to the state database and found all these drillers by entering their county, their drilling number,” Rodgers said.

The Neches and Trinity Valleys Groundwater Conservation District covers Cherokee, Anderson and Henderson counties.

Pinnergy, Ltd. in Palestine received administrative penalties for drilling 18 wells without permits and failing to send in reports for 10 wells. Ameri-Tex Drilling Co. in Tyler received administrative penalties for drilling 7 wells without permits and failing to send in reports for 12 wells. LTW Services in Kilgore received administrative penalties for drilling 36 wells without permits. Chandler Water Well Drillers received administrative penalties for failing to send in reports for 12 wells. Palestine Water Well Service, Inc. received administrative penalties for failing to send in reports for 12 wells.  

The Neches and Trinity Valleys Groundwater Conservation District board has collected $2,050 in administrative penalties, and is in the process of collecting another $2,000, Rodgers said.

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