Anti-coal groups protest Commission on Environmental Quality

Anti-coal groups protest outside TCEQ on July 6, 2016 (KXAN Photo/Tom Rapp)
Anti-coal groups protest outside TCEQ on July 6, 2016 (KXAN Photo/Tom Rapp)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Anti-coal groups protested in front of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Wednesday. The commission approved a wastewater discharge permit and expansion for the Dos Republicas coal mine near Eagle Pass, Texas.

The Sierra Club, Native groups and some elected officials are concerned the mine is contaminating Elm Creek and the Rio Grande River. They say “toxic chemicals and heavy metals” in the discharge are making the water unsafe for drinking and recreation, as well as hurting the local economy.

“All of the coal is sent to Mexico to be burned in some of the dirtiest power plants in the hemisphere,” the Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter said in a statement Wednesday.

Three thousand people signed a petition asking the TCEQ to deny the wastewater discharge permit.

The Sierra Club says more than 100 nearby archaeological sites, including one of the oldest historical human settlement areas in the Americas, is under threat of destruction from dynamite blasting, surface mining and pollution.

Mayor of Eagle Pass Ramsey Cantu and State Senator Carlos Uresti were scheduled to speak at the protest.

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