Uranium gouging in Goliad

UEC: Don't mess with a Duderstadt. Just, don't.

Greg Harman

[email protected]

What can we say but sorry? We haven't been back to this Texana-licious little burgh since the early days of their battle against the forces of reviving â??death ore' mining.

Despite our 33-percent newsroom enhancement (when you line up our news staff, you have to pull the trigger thrice), we've been loaded down with Alamocentric procedural gore and glories.

It seems like forever ago that the Goliad Greyhound was motoring up to Austin in pursuit of justice.

Sierra Clubbers wrote us then:

Over 50 local officials and citizens from Goliad County traveled via bus and trucks today to Austin and were pleased when the three Commissioners of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality allowed a contested case hearing concerning an application by Uranium Energy Corporation to mine uranium in the aquifer just north of the historic mission town of Goliad.

No uranium mining has occurred before in the agricultural garden spot.

“I am so happy. I just thank god for this decision. Thank god for all the people in Goliad County. This has been such a long, long haul and it's not over yet,” said local landowner Lu Ann Duderstadt who lives near the area targeted for uranium mining.

Craig and LuAnn Duderstadt, were considered by the TCEQ to be affected parties along with several individuals, Goliad County, the Goliad County Groundwater Conservation District, a Lutheran church and a volunteer fire department. The Duderstadts who raise and sell feed hay were forced to purchase water for domestic use in their home after UEC exploration activities allegedly fouled the aquifer near their ranch.

`Yup. That's Lu Ann Duderstadt up above, way back in 2007.`

While the well-intentioned scribe has apparently gotten out of the habit of capitalizing the name of Our Lord (as folks in the rest of Texas are wont to do â?? double Ahem, amen), they got that “garden spot” reference dead on the Jackson.

Though it has been flanked by numerous uranium mining activities going back to the Atom Bomb days and is squawking distance from a massive federal waste pit known to have fouled the waters outside Panna Maria to the tune of $350 million dollars (Feds don't see no cause to clean it up, it's so rural â?¦ and so rurally potentially expensive!), Goliad County is stinkin' gorgeous. And damn tranquil.

Well, count uranium mining up among the things that get folks' blood moving about in these parts. Right up there with beef prices and downstream water rights.

On Thursday,TCEQ will hold a preliminary contested case hearing on the matter.

Check out some of our past ramblings on the topic for some background, then turn your eye to the TCEQ's notice, included below.


(To change hearing date and location.)


SOAH Docket No. 582-09-3064

TCEQ Docket No. 2008-1888-UIC

Proposed Permit No. UR03075

APPLICATION. Uranium Energy Corp (UEC), 100 East Kleberg, Suite 310, Kingsville, Texas, In Situ Uranium Mining, has applied to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for a permit to authorize an in situ uranium mining operation. The facility is located approximately 13 miles north of the city of Goliad, about 0.9 miles east of the intersection of State Highway 183 and Farm-to-Market Road 1961 in Goliad County Texas.

UEC has also submitted a request to the TCEQ to designate an exempted aquifer. An aquifer or portion of an aquifer may be designated as an exempted aquifer if it does not currently serve as a source of drinking water for human consumption and it will not in the future serve as a source of drinking water for human consumption because it is mineral, hydrocarbon or geothermal energy bearing with production capability. The aquifer exemption is required before UEC can operate the proposed injection wells. UEC requested that a portion of the Goliad Formation be designated as an exempt aquifer. The requested exemption would apply from a depth of 45 to 404 feet and would extend over the approximately 423.8 acre area covered in Goliad County under the proposed injection well area permit.

The TCEQ executive director has prepared a draft permit which, if approved, would establish the conditions under which the facility must operate. The Executive Director has made a preliminary decision that this permit, if issued, meets all statutory and regulatory requirements and that the application for aquifer exemption meets all regulatory requirements. If the aquifer exemption is approved by the TCEQ, the Executive Director will prepare an application to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to revise the state's Underground Injection Control program to reflect the exemption of the relevant portion of the aquifer, which will be in effect until the exemption status is removed. No designation of an exempted aquifer shall be final until approved by the EPA. The application, Executive Director's preliminary decision, and draft permit are available for viewing and copying at County Courthouse, 701 E. End Street, Goliad, Texas 77963.

CONTESTED CASE HEARING. The State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) will conduct a formal contested case hearing at:

10:00 a.m. - May 14, 2009

Goliad Auditorium

925 South U.S. 183

Goliad, Texas 77963

The contested case hearing will be a legal proceeding similar to a civil trial in state district court. The hearing will address the disputed issues of fact identified in the TCEQ order concerning this application issued on March 3, 2009. In addition to these issues, the judge may consider additional issues if certain factors are met.

The hearing will be conducted in accordance with Chapter 2001, Texas Government Code; Chapter 27, Texas Water Code; TCEQ rules, including 30 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 331 and the procedural rules of the TCEQ and SOAH, including 30 TAC Chapter 80 and 1 TAC Chapter 155. The hearing will be held unless all timely hearing requests have been withdrawn or denied.

To request to be a party, you must attend the hearing and show you would be adversely affected by the application in a way not common to members of the general public. Any person may attend the hearing and request to be a party. Only persons named as parties may participate at the hearing.

INFORMATION. If you need more information about the hearing process for this application, please call the Office of Public Assistance, Toll Free, at 1-800-687-4040. General information about the TCEQ can be found at our web site at www.tceq.state.tx.us.

Further information may also be obtained from Uranium Energy Corp at the address stated above or by calling Mr. Josh Leftwich at (361) 592-5400.

Persons with disabilities who need special accommodations at the hearing should call the SOAH Docketing Department at 512-475-3445, at least one week prior to the hearing.

Issued: April 7, 2009

LaDonna Castañuela, Chief Clerk

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

The citizens' group Uranium Information at Goliad advises interested parties:

  • If you have been named as an affected person, to be sure you maintain your standing and it is strongly recommended you attend this preliminary hearing. If you are unable to attend, you should make arrangements for someone to represent you.
  • If you believe you are an affected person and have not asked for a hearing, you may do so at this preliminary hearing. To request to be a party, you must attend the hearing and show you would be adversely affected by the application in a way not common to members of the general public.
  • Any person may attend this hearing and request to be a party. Everyone is welcome to attend to audience the hearing.
  • Your attendance at this preliminary hearing may have an impact on whether the contested case hearing will be held in Goliad or Austin.
  • Please plan to attend — your support is appreciated.

You may also want to check out ALTURA'S site and brave the pianos of the following video to see a Goliad water expert and mining critic handle some befouled water-well filters.


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