A massive oil and gas exploration boom at a dredge pit in Texas is raising concerns about pollution and potentially contaminating waterways, state officials said.
The company behind the $5 billion project said in a statement Tuesday that the dredging of a reservoir that’s home to a natural gas well will create no harm to the waterway, but the process will cause more than 500,000 gallons of oil to seep into the water, and it will create an oil slick and a potential contamination of the nearby San Jacinto River.
State environmental regulators and officials from the Texas Department of Transportation are studying the spill.
The spill could cause up to $1 billion in damage, according to the Texas Tribune.
The San Jacina River is part of the Texas Gulf Coast and is considered a natural drinking water source for more than 100,000 people.
The San Jacins, a small river, is about a mile wide and about 60 feet deep.
The spill is the second major oil and natural gas exploration and development to be approved at the San Jacin site in Texas.
The first project, approved in 2015, involved drilling at the same site.