The Lower Colorado River Authority is considering legal action to help protect water quality in Skull Creek in Colorado County.
Recent water quality testing in the creek downstream of Inland Environmental and Remediation Inc. has detected high levels of hydrocarbons such as ethylbenzene, toluene, xylenes and total petroleum hydrocarbons. Residents and LCRA employees have observed parts of the creek are almost black and have a strong chemical odor.
“LCRA is alarmed by the water quality data we are seeing downstream of the Inland facility,’’ said LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson. “We are very concerned, and we are considering taking action to resolve this issue quickly to protect water quality in the creek and the Colorado River.”
LCRA has taken water quality samples from the area and has provided results to Colorado County. LCRA also has been in communication with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Texas Attorney General’s office regarding the water quality in the creek, and attended a hearing on a temporary restraining order on Friday, April 12, 2019, in a lawsuit filed by the State of Texas against David Polston, Inland Environmental and Remediation Inc., and Inland Recycling LLC.
Recent LCRA water quality sampling data results consistently show the presence of hydrocarbon-based constituents in water samples taken from Skull Creek downstream of the Inland facility. The detected hydrocarbon-based constituents include ethylbenzene, toluene, xylenes and total petroleum hydrocarbons. Sampling at Highway 71 above the Inland facility did not show the presence of hydrocarbons above detectable limits.
LCRA does not have regulatory authority to address these types of pollution issues, but does have certain enforcement powers under Chapter 7 of the Texas Water Code for violations of the Texas Water Code or Texas Health and Safety Code.
On Tuesday, the LCRA Board of Directors adopted a resolution authorizing the general manager or his designee to “take all actions necessary” to pursue enforcement actions for violation of water quality rules and laws within the LCRA service territory. This includes the potential of filing civil litigation for violations of the water code or Chapter 382 of the health and safety code.
The resolution was approved during a Board meeting in San Saba.
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering access to nature at more than 40 parks, recreation areas and river access sites along the Texas Colorado River, from the Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to enhancing the lives of Texans through water stewardship, energy and community services. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934. For more information, visit