"We don't think the law and regulations were followed..."
By Christel Phillips
CORRIGAN, TX - A draft environmental impact statement prepared by TxDOT is at the heart of the I-69 Trans Texas Corridor debate. Members of the Trinity Neches Sub-Regional Planning Committee want to send TxDOT back to the drawing board.
Bob Dickens, President of the Trinity Neches Sub-Regional Planning Committee says, "We don't think the law and regulations were followed and we do not think TxDOT has taken into consideration the impact of the environment, our wildlife, our water districts, our cities, our school districts, and in essence, our way of life."
That's why the Sub-Regional Planning Committee met with the Environmental Protection Agency. The committee wants the EPA to use thier expertise to persuade TxDOT to do a better job in researching the projected highway building area.
Cathy Gilmore, Chief of the EPA Office Planning and Coordination says, "Our place is really to look at the environmental aspects of the project and whether or not they've addressed our concerns."
Pennington Water District services about 900 customers in East Texas, they told the EPA that the TTC would come straight through their water line causing a serious problems for residents.
Bill Wagner, Represenative for Pennington Water District says, "From what we hear there will be no on and off ramps to access the customers. It will stop service to new customers, it will stop maintenence, it's going to have a major impact on us."
Bottom line, the committee wants to TxDOT to redraft their environmental impact statement and address their concerns in the revision.
"We hope we presented adequate information where they will study it, re-think it and go with the I-59 Corridor," says Wagner.
The planning committee hopes that TxDOT will be able to meet with them next month so they can address today's concerns to them as well.
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