Breaking News
More () »

City of Bastrop community members to voice concerns over Elon Musk's The Boring Co. plans to dump wastewater into river

According to TCEQ, the treated wastewater would come from Elon Musk's Boring Company facility and the Snailbrook community he's building for employees.

BASTROP, Texas — Community members and officials within the City of Bastrop plan to voice their concerns on Tuesday regarding Elon Musk's construction company's permit request to dump over 140,000 gallons of treated wastewater into the Colorado River.

On Tuesday, March 21, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is holding a public hearing to allow community members to air their concerns regarding events that might negatively impact the surrounding environment. 

One Bastrop County resident has been the only person on his block for the last decade - and is now surrounded by acres of construction and tunnels. 

"It's definitely a radical change," said Chap Ambrose. 

Ambrose lives in Bastrop County, next to the new Boring Company facility, owned by Elon Musk, and Snailbrook, the town the billionaire is reportedly building for his employees.

Ambrose said the facility makes it harder to do simple things, like safely grabbing his mail. 

"The basic stuff, traffic and lights and all the things, noise, I mean, they work 24 hours a day, so that's a concern," said Ambrose. 

Right now, Ambrose's concern is The Boring Company's request for a permit to discharge 142,000 gallons of processed wastewater into the nearby Colorado River daily. This portion of the river is located below Lady Bird Lake. 

The TCEQ said the Colorado River has exceptional aquatic life and is used for recreation and drinking.

"We have a well and we take baths and we drink that water every day," said Ambrose. "So, if there's a problem, I need to know quickly." 

After a preliminary review, the TCEQ determined dumping the sewage discharge into the river would not impact the water quality.

Despite that review, Ambrose and the mayor of Bastrop, Connie Schroder, are still concerned.

"The City of Bastrop, like all municipalities, would prefer wastewater to be treated at state-of-the-art treatment plants and it just so happens the City of Bastrop has one under construction," said Schroder. 

Schroder added she wishes the Boring Company and anybody coming to Bastrop County success.

Ambrose worries that even with a permit, the company won't follow the rules. 

"Their compliance history does not give me a lot of confidence," said Ambrose. "They move as fast as money will buy - unfortunately, they're not careful." 

In 2022, the Musk's construction company received two violation notices from Bastrop County for illegally handling wastewater. The County cited that The Boring Company needed a permit. 

So, during Tuesday's TCEQ hearing, Ambrose plans to ask tough questions, like why Elon's other company using the land, SpaceX, isn't listed on the permit request.

"I think really I'm excited about our community coming together and say 'billionaires have to follow the law,'" said Ambrose. 

The TCEQ public hearing for the permit request is Tuesday, March 21, at 7 p.m. at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Bastrop.

At the hearing, a representative from Musk's company stated that both SpaceX and the Boring Co. would be utilizing the dumping permit - not just the construction company - to put the wastewater near the Farm-to-Market 969 bridge, just north of Downtown Bastrop. 

"This is just a short term solution. And ultimately, we hope to not even utilize the full capacity of what's been authorized. We also do want to stress that this is an extremely common method of handling water after it's been treated," the representative stated.

The permit hasn't been approved just yet, and TCEQ will be collecting written and spoken comment on those that say they will be affected. 

Daranesha Herron on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

KVUE on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

Before You Leave, Check This Out