Depending on with whom you speak, counties within the Eagle Ford Shale benefit greatly from the extensive fracking procedures within the area. Oil company leases turn individual land owners into instant millionaires. County governments are witnessing incredible revenue growth, from excise taxes and fees collected from the oil companies. Area businesses benefit from an influx of new residents and migrants looking for employment opportunities. Temporary workers are renting hotel rooms and eating in area restaurants. All of this financial growth benefits the county as a whole and occurs as a result of the Eagle Ford Shale drilling. However, along with the good comes the bad.
The fracking process also brought air quality concerns to the counties. Many residents complain of breathing difficulties and serious health concerns. Water shortages are another concern, as the oil companies utilize countless gallons of water each day to complete the fracking process of breaking up the shale. Another problem accompanying the drilling is the surge of tractor trailer trucks throughout the area. The trucks carry supplies and materials throughout the counties, resulting in damage to the highways from the constant weight of the trucks, with an increased number of automobile accidents involving the tractor trailers. Though the Eagle Ford counties are negatively affected by these problems, they at least have their increased revenues to help handle the issues.
Problems in the Surrounding Counties
A recent report by the San Antonio news radio station WOAI, discusses the various counties that surround the Eagle Ford Shale and the problems they are dealing with as a result of the drilling. According to the report, these county governments are experiencing the negative side effects of the drilling, even though they are not receiving any of the benefits. Due to the proximity of these counties to the Shale, their roadways are regularly utilized by the tractor trailer trucks transporting fracking supplies and materials. Those counties located along Interstate 35 are reportedly feeling the brunt of the problems. Unlike their neighbors within the Shale region, these counties are not receiving the financial benefits that accompany the drilling process.
Several of these counties are reportedly asking the state legislature to assist with their added costs. The article speaks particularly about the County of Frio, which is where a large percentage of the fracking disposal occurs. The county’s legislative director was quoted in the article as saying, “Revenues, unfortunately, are not there to compensate us for the degradation of our infrastructure.” According to the report, the jurisdiction is asking the state for permission to charge a fee for each barrel dumped within the county limits. The legislative director explained that the revenue generated from the collected fees would offset the long term costs of the disposal practices.
Counties are also asking legislators for transportation assistance in handling the financial burdens of increased tractor trailers on the road. Not only do these large vehicles damage the roadways, but the increase in accidents can also strain country resources.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an Eagle Ford Shale trucking accident, call Simmons & Fletcher, P.C. at (713) 832-0777 today for a consultation with a knowledgeable and skillful attorney.