In spite of vocal opposition from residents of a nearby mobile home park, the Mont Belvieu City Council approved permits for construction of two additional brine storage ponds at a Targa Resources storage facility.

The facility stores liquid hydrocarbons in underground storage facilities – as those facilities are filled and emptied, the unused underground space is filled with brine (salt water). The ponds are used to store the brine when it is displaced by petroleum products.


Targa already has three brine storage ponds, and applied to build two more. Neighbors objected, saying the ponds would lower their property value by causing odor and blowing salt water could damage trailers.

In response, Targa had engineers estimate how far water droplets would blow in various wind conditions.

A company spokesman said engineers concluded that, even in hurricane conditions, water would not blow far enough to affect the mobile homes.

Further, he said, the company would plant trees to further mask the appearance of the grass berm around the pond, and would install additional gas detectors to ensure there was no smell.

The council approved the project on a 4-0 vote.

A permit for Linc Energy to drill a new well was also approved, in spite of complaints from a neighbor that the company was producing excess noise and making a shared driveway so rough as to be nearly unusable by passenger cars.

A company spokeswoman said the company had erected sound barriers and was periodically re-grading the aggregate driveway as trucks caused ruts.

Even as they approved the permit, council members said they believed the company needed to add smaller aggregate to the driveway to make it more drivable.

In other business, the council approved the purchase of a new camera to use in evaluating sewer lines and had a hearing on several pipelines permits.

Source:  Baytown Sun