Friday, December 07, 2007

Injection Well Lawsuit Ruling

I'm just now getting word of this trickling in and I'm still trying to wrap my brain around it, but what appears to be a significant ruling on injection wells was just issued from the Texas Third Court of Appeals in Austin in the case of Texas Citizens for a Safe Future and Clean Water and James G. Popp v. Railroad Commission of Texas and Pioneer Exploration, Ltd.

Texas Citizens for a Safe Future and Clean Water and Popp appealed a district court judgment affirming the Texas Railroad Commission's decision to grant a permit to Pioneer Exploration, Ltd. to operate a commercial injection well in Wise County for the disposal of oil and gas waste. Texas Citizens argued in their appeal that the Commission, in granting the permit, denied Texas Citizens due process and failed to adequately consider the public interest.

Although the court found that the RRC did not deny Texas Citizens due process in granting the permit, the Commission did interpret "the public interest" too narrowly and therefore failed to adequately consider additional factors that may affect the public interest. The court remanded this case to the Commission for a reconsideration of the permit under a broader interpretation of "the public interest."

This story is still developing. I will post more as it becomes available, but this could have some interesting ramifications on the injection well fight here in Fort Worth.

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