Stephenville City Council members sent a clear message Monday to the Railroad Commission of Texas:

DO NOT approve oil and gas waste disposal wells in “recharge zones and source-water zones of the Trinity Aquifer.”

The council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution “calling for measures to protect our aquifers from the hazardous effects of waste disposal and to prohibit the abuse of our aquifers that may negatively impact the quality of our drinking water and the general health of our citizens.”

According to the resolution, the Trinity Aquifer is the “primary source of potable water for the citizens of Stephenville.”

As a result, the council-approved resolution expresses concern that oil and gas disposal waste “often contains dissolved hydrocarbons, sands, salts, metals and other toxins that may contaminate surface and groundwater, especially in recharge zones and source areas.”

“… It is imperative for the Railroad Commission to take measures necessary to conserve, preserve, and protect the quality and quantity of our groundwater,” the resolution states.

“Now therefore, be it resolved that the City Council of the City of Stephenville, hereby urged the Texas Railroad Commission to deny approval of injection disposal wells in recharge zones and source-water zones of the Trinity Aquifer.”

Council member Andrew Johnson, chairman of the Public Works Committee, said it is a “good resolution” that will let the Railroad Commission know how the council’s feelings on the matter.

But while he said the resolution is “a good step for us to take,” council member Mark Murphy encouraged city staff and fellow council members to “write individual letters” in opposition each time a permit to dispose of oil and gas waste in Erath County is filed with the RRC.

Murphy said such an effort would hold more weight than just sending the resolution to the RRC.

DOUG MYERS is Managing Editor of the Empire-Tribune. He can be reached at or (254) 965-3124, ext. 229.