This is a brief summary of the Public Meeting on Exxon’s Water Quality Permit. It was well attended, with many questions asked. 29 or 30 individuals made formal comments and some provided written comments as well. 75% of the comments were either against the Permit or otherwise challenged provisions of the permit. Those speaking for the permit were confined to those with economic interests such as the Port, the Economic Development Corporations, etc.
Private citizens from Rockport, Aransas County, Nueces, and San Patricio County, along with the Sierra Club and business interests in the Copano Bay area spoke eloquently and deliberately, raising a variety of issues, including the lack of an overall risk assessment and environmental study, the degree and extent of spent caustic, chemicals, and oil and grease flowing to the bays, bacteria growth, and the impact on recreational and fishing interests. Of particular concern were the polyethylene pellets, the temperature of the effluent, and the impact on the pristine waters of Copano Bay and the Whooping Crane Habitat.
It is also important to note the presence of the Mayor and council members of the City of Portland. The Council has retained an environmental law firm and engineering firms to address the permit, submitting both oral and written comments last night.
TCEQ must respond to all comments and we expect their formal reply in two months or so. Thank you to all who made it to the meeting, particularly those from Rockport who are still recovering from Harvey.
You can listen to the Public Comment section of this meeting below. This does NOT include the informal Q&A session held.
Stay tuned, stay strong.