Elon Musk's tunneling company wants to release treated wastewater back into Texas waterways
By: April Carson
Tesla mogul Elon Musk's tunneling company has requested to dump more than 140,000 gallons of treated wastewater per day into the Colorado River near its property in Bastrop, according to new filings.
The Boring Company has no involvement with Gapped Bass LLC, a business linked to top executives at The Boring Company. Gapped Bass LLC is requesting a license from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to discharge up to 142,5000 gallons per day in a daily average flow.
The TCEQ will make a decision on the permit in the coming weeks. If approved, the wastewater would be treated at a plant before being released into Gidden Spring Branch, a tributary of the Colorado River.
The Boring Company, which is one of Musk's business ventures, has been rapidly expanding in Central Texas as of late. According to recent reports, the company is in the process of constructing a 220,000-square-foot warehouse near Tesla's headquarters in Austin – this will be the company's second property in the region after its site in Bastrop County. Additionally, another facility is expected to be built on Fallwell Lane that would also be situated close to the Colorado River.
While the company is still in the early stages of its wastewater treatment plans, it is already facing some opposition from environmental groups. The Save Our Springs Alliance, for example, has voiced its concerns about the potential impact of the treated water on aquatic life and local wildlife.
Elon Musk and The Boring Company share an address with Gapped Bass. According to reports, Gapped Bass has been purchasing numerous acres of real estate in Bastrop County, which suggests that Musk's businesses will expand in the area.
KVUE's partner, the Austin American-Statesman, discovered that in June Tesla filed a proposal for a private access tunnel between their two headquarters. The 2 mile long tunnel would be aptly named the "Colorado River Connector Tunnel."
According to the Gapped Bass filing, the company wishes to use irrigation to get rid of treated wastewater on land.
This is not the first time that The Boring Company has faced scrutiny for their water-related endeavors. In 2017, the company was met with backlash after they proposed to release treated wastewater from their tunneling operations back into the groundwater system in Los Angeles.
TCEQ is reportedly conducting a technical examination of the request to ensure that the discharge would not harm surface and groundwater, according to a news story from The Dallas Morning News.
The Boring Company is currently under investigation by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for three complaints concerning wastewater, as reported in May by the Austin Business Journal.
If the Boring Company is found to be in violation, it could be fined up to $25,000 a day.
This isn't the first time that Musk's tunneling company has been in hot water over its wastewater practices.
In April, The Boring Company was fined $48,000 by the state of Florida for illegally pumping stormwater from its test tunnel site.
Musk has been critical of water treatment plants in the past, calling them "stupid" on Twitter.
It's not clear if Musk's views have changed since then.
In March, the Los Angeles Times reported that the company had been illegally dumping wastewater from its operations in the city.
The Boring Company was given a warning by the city, but no action was taken beyond that.
Musk has made no secret of his love for tunnels, and has even proposed building a "Hyperloop" system that would use them to transport people and cargo at high speeds.
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About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
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