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Texas water scandal: state agency and officials hid radioactive contamination for years

(The Best Years in Life) Newly released documents and emails from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) show the agency's top commissioners directed staff to lower radiation test results for years in defiance of federal EPA rules. In addition, the state officials and the EPA knew about the agency violations but choose to take little or no action.

The startling revelations came as a result of an investigation by Houston television station KHOU, which obtained documents and emails after the state attorney general directed TCEQ to release them. Examination of the documents revealed a pattern of deception and cover-up which has gone on for almost 20 years. As a result, hundreds of thousands of Texas residents in the Texas Hill Country area served by the Hickory aquifer have been kept unaware that they have been drinking dangerously contaminated water.

"It's a conspiracy at the TCEQ of the highest order," said Tom Smith, of the Public Citizen government watchdog group. "The documents have indicted the management of this commission in a massive cover-up to convince people that our water is safe to drink when it's not."

A key part of the deception was TCEQ's decision to subtract the margin of error from water test results - though obviously it could have been just as valid to add the margin of error.

For the rest of the article and a related video from KHOU TV, see:


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just doesn't end. It's coming at us from all sides, non-stop. Three days without water and one dies. "We" now have putrid fracking going on here in Pennsylvania, with already many reports of well contamination. I am highly opposed to fracking. So it brings much-needed jobs! A job is not going to save one's life! Argghhh!
I highly suspect many water sources nationwide are contaminated in one way or another! It's just creepy to even think about it.

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Oh, Texas

Thus far it is still unexplained whether the source of the radiation is entirely natural or whether or not there might be other sources such as industrial waste. Oil and gas rich Texas has long been known as an industry-friendly state which frequently turned its head away from pollution and contamination problems. However, it is far from the only state with such a history and, given the EPAs pattern of lax enforcement, one has to wonder if what has happened in the Hickory Aquifer area of Texas is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to drinking water radioactivity and safety nationwide.

"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this any more!"
- Howard Beale

My first guess

would have been gas well fracking, but I was not able to find indications of that much gas well activity in the areas where the elevated readings were found.

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