Trending
MOST READ
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
The Different Types of Roommates You Might Encounter and How to Deal

The Different Types of Roommates You Might Encounter and How to Deal

College Guide 2013: If you’re going to be in a college dorm, a spacious apartment, a cramped shared bedroom or anywhere on a college campus for that matter, be prepared for your... By Mary Caithn Scott 8/20/2013
Sky High: Getting acquainted with Christopher Ware’s Paramour

Sky High: Getting acquainted with Christopher Ware’s Paramour

Food & Drink: Christopher Ware leads our group into a lofty conference space with mile-high ceilings, two giant wooden tables and possibly the comfiest... By Jessica Elizarraras 10/1/2014
Artist on Artist: Gary Sweeney interviews Catherine Lee

Artist on Artist: Gary Sweeney interviews Catherine Lee

Arts & Culture: If I ever found myself teaching an art class, I would pack up my students and drive them to Wimberley, where I would give them a tour of... By Gary Sweeney 10/1/2014
Bavarian Brauhaus Packs in the Brats

Bavarian Brauhaus Packs in the Brats

Food & Drink: Blame it on my love of accordions and early exposure to conjunto…but I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for German food. I was originally... By Jessica Elizarraras 10/1/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

News

After a powerful lobbyist intervenes, EPA Reverses Stance on polluting Texas county's water

Photo: , License: N/A


With the support of Texas officials, the company also argued that the EPA had issued such exemptions in the past and was re-interpreting its own rules to thwart the Goliad exemption without justification.

In a testy retort to Honker, Covar accused the EPA of being "swayed by the unsubstantiated allegations and fears" of Goliad County residents.

Officials in Goliad County urged the EPA to stand firm and couldn't understand why the state wouldn't want more testing.

"This is simple hydrology. They say 'Well, in our opinion that fault is confining,'" said Art Dohmann, president of the Goliad County Groundwater Conservation District, the local agency that establishes groundwater management plans under Texas' statewide Water Development Board. "Well, we all have opinions, the pump test will tell you the facts."

With the permit process at a standstill, EPA officials say by June 2012 they had decided not to allow the mine.

"We were prepared at that point to leave the issue right where it stood," said Sam Coleman, who temporarily took over Armendariz's job as the EPA's top regional official overseeing the permitting in Dallas, and is now the region's deputy administrator. "We could not approve the exemption."

* * *

Behind the scenes, however, Uranium Energy was pursuing another path to approval.

The company hired Podesta, whose firm eventually received $400,000 for her services, according to lobbying records filed with the U.S. Senate.

She reached out to Perciasepe, asking him to meet with Uranium Energy's executives because the EPA officials in Texas "did not approve" the aquifer exemption, emails obtained by ProPublica under FOIA show.

Perciasepe agreed, and met with company executives in December 2011.

"We greatly appreciate your assistance to bring Region 6 and UEC to the table to work through these issues," Podesta wrote in early 2012.

When EPA officials in Texas began to push Uranium Energy to do more modeling, Podesta complained to Perciasepe.

"Region 6 keeps changing the standards," she wrote in a Feb. 2, 2012 email.

"I'm looking into it," Perciasepe replied, a day later.

There is no indication that Perciasepe acted unethically in working with Podesta, but her involvement appears to have raised Uranium Energy's exemption request from a small-time regional concern to one that had the attention of the EPA's top staffers in Washington.

Recently in News
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus