Local Environmentalists Worried About Valero Refinery

06-01-06 - Changes at the Valero Refinery are catching the attention of local environmentalists. For years, the Valero Refinery and the city of Ardmore discharged waster water into Sand Creek.

That was until the DEQ stepped in with fears the material was lowering water quality and was just too much for the tiny creek to handle. The city decided to update it Wastewater Treatment Plant to meet the DEQ standards.

But the refinery recently built pollution controlled equipment that reduces sulphur dioxide in the air while increasing the amount of salt in wastewater. Therefore, officials felt their best bet was to build a pipeline directly to the Washita River to dispense wastewater. That body of water is much larger and studies show discharge will not put water quality at risk. To do so, the company has applied to change the state’s water management plan.

But the Washita River drains into Lake Texoma, which places concerns for environmentalists and wildlife experts.