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1 Ref rr5 voliT cow Go wi42145?’ t \( Ito A ilk ,:tr 4. -7 00: 114E iTexA ENVIROhIMINTAL. PegiktcY wseo Ng AND;015 NUC L. DUMP OVV OBJeCTI FR’ OWN 5C1ENce STAFfr THAT MAPPER? f li r mar with figli-zirr es . PUC investigators. Significantly, the four involved Hispanic customers who bought prepaid electric accounts from W Power marketing partner PowerOne. Three of the customers complained that W Power shut off their electricity during the heat of summer. Lau said PowerOne’s marketing agreement with W Power ended in May for reasons unrelated to consumer complaints or the PUC’s denial of PowerOne’s license. W Power did not return calls by press time seeking comment. SINKING IN IT An Astrodome-sized sinkhole is undermining the tiny East Texas town of Daisetta. The burg of approximately 1,000 people is literally collapsing on itself, tumbling into a chasm 250 feet deep and several football fields across that first appeared in early May. Some residents and environmentalists blame the sinkhole on erosion caused by oil field waste pumped into deep underground wells. The town has been featured on network television news and in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Unnoticed by most media, residents 45 miles to the west, in rural Montgomery County east of Conroe, are fighting to block an underground injection site for oil field waste that could create environmental and health problems worse than the Daisetta sinkhole. TexCom Gulf Disposal, a Houstonbased waste company, is seeking a permit to sink waste injection wells on a 27-acre site in an increasingly residential section of Montgomery County. As the Observer has reported \(see “What Lies wells funnel sludge and waste produced in oil drilling, mixed with water, deep underground. Injection wells litter the state; in 2006, nearly 7 billion barrels of waste were injected under Texas soil. Waste from injection wells can bubble to the surface, pollute ground water, or, as in Daisetta, cause sinkholes. TexCom has applied to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to establish a class-one injection well, which would allow the company to store some of the most dangerous oil field waste, including sludge laced with benzene. Community associations, city councils, and county commissions representing a combined 250,000 residents, including the cities of The Woodlands and Conroe, have passed resolutions against the permit. “I’m a mom on a mission,” said Jennifer Real, a 39-year-old mother of two who lives a mile and a half from the proposed site. She said the injection wells could contaminate the underlying JUNE 13, 2008 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 5