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Oil field vacuum trucks spark concern in southern part of county
by Jason Collins
Oct 08, 2012 | 1762 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The appearance of vacuum trucks on rural roads north of Skidmore is causing some concern for a nearby property owner.

Commissioner Ken Haggard, in whose precinct this falls, said he was contacted about the trucks because of damage done to a bridge along one of the roads.

“First and foremost, my priority was to fix the bridge,” Haggard said. “Second, there is no drilling going on in South Bee County.

“Why do we have vacuum trucks going down a private road?”

Ray Gonzales, road and bridge administrator with the county, has gone down the private road in question but stopped when he was blocked by a locked gate and high fence.

“He went back as far as the railroad tracks, and at that point, there was a high fence and a locked gate. He can’t go through a locked gate,” Haggard said. “Only the fire and police departments can.”

The county has access to the first portion of the private road because of an agreement in which they purchased caliche from a pit.

A nearby property owner said that he has seen two different vacuum truck companies on roadways.

“He has confronted them,” Haggard said. “(The driver) was very irate he had stopped him.”

Haggard said they have fixed the bridge that was separating and will likely be lowering the speed limit in Old Highway 181, but he still is concerned what the trucks are doing so far from the oil fields.

“I am just wanting to know what we are putting out there,” he said. “If they are taking things, that is fine. If we are dumping things – something we need to know is – are there proper permits? Are we just dumping salt water or fresh water?”

Haggard said he is working with both the county health department and Department of Public Safety to solve the mystery.

Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.
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