Victory in EIP's Fight for Clean Drinking Water in Rural Texas

A report that the Environmental Integrity Project released in March about drinking water contamination in Texas is producing real world results: clean drinking water for a small, rural Latino community that has had illegal levels of arsenic, a carcinogen, in its tap water for decades.

The 648 people of Bruni, Texas, for years have had to drive 13 miles to a nearby town to get buckets of water to haul back home. Until now.

According to a report in today’s San Antonio Express News, The March 14 release of EIP’s report, “Don’t Drink the Water,” inspired articles in that newspaper and the Texas Tribune (among other publications). U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Democrat from Laredo, read the San Antonio Express News article, and was inspired by it to push the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Webb County, Texas, to come up with $2 million to build a water filtration plant to solve the problem.

The report by Brendan Gibbons in the San Antonio Express News credits EIP’s research and report as the source of the newspaper’s March articles that sparked the announcement of the $2 million investment.

Read the newspaper article here.

Local homeowners are thrilled that they will have potable water for the first times in their lives, according to the San Antonio Express News. “Oscar Chapa Jr.’s. children…both in their mid-20s, have never known safe public drinking water in their town. ‘My grandkids are going to be able to drink from the tap,’ Chapa said. ‘I’m excited about that.’”

In a written statement, Chapa also said: “I would like to thank the Environmental Integrity Project for helping draw the attention needed to this important issue. Over the years our town had become accustomed to the limited uses for our contaminated water supply. Now, thanks to the new water filtration plant, my grandchildren and our community will have clean water and a healthier quality of life.”

To read a copy of EIP’s original report on the subject, “Don’t Drink the Water,” click here.