- The Boring Company is facing criticism from Texans over its plans to dump treated wastewater.
- The company applied for a permit to dump 142,500 gallons per day last year.
- One resident said about 400 people showed up at the public meeting on The Boring Company’s plans.
Elon Musk’s tunnel-building venture, The Boring Company, is facing blowback from Texans who are speaking out against its plans to dump treated wastewater into the local water supply.
The Boring Company applied for a state permit last year under an affiliate name, Gapped Bass LLC, to dispose of about 142,500 gallons of treated wastewater per day from its facility in Bastrop, Texas into the Colorado River. Earlier that year, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said it had opened investigations into The Boring Company after receiving three complaints regarding the Bastrop site’s handling of wastewater and concrete production.
On Tuesday night, several local Bastrop residents gathered at a meeting with TCEQ and The Boring Company to give public comment on the company’s wastewater disposal permit after local citizen Chap Ambrose launched a campaign to “Keep Bastrop Boring.”
Ambrose told Insider ahead of the public meeting that while he’s always considered himself a fan of Musk, he feels The Boring Company is breaking the law.
“I’m very invested here, my family lives here, and I have environmental concerns on what I see,” Ambrose said, adding he learned of The Boring Company’s plans when he received a letter from TCEQ regarding the permit application.
He said in a post on Twitter that about 400 people showed up to attend the public meeting on Tuesday night. An estimated half of the people that came out to the meeting were turned away at the door due to capacity constraints, he said.
“The thought of this happening is horrifying,” Erin, who runs an organic farm near the Boring Company facility, told Fox News. “This stuff — and we don’t even know what it is — going into the river that we depend on for food production.”
Ambrose told the publication he has concerns about Musk’s propensity to “value speed over everything.”
“I don’t know if ya’ll heard it as clearly as I did, but the reason they want to discharge treated wastewater into the river, is because they can’t wait 24 months for that pipe to be run and the permanent infrastructure setup,” Ambrose said during his public comment, according to a video from the event that was viewed by Insider.
Bastrop Mayor Connie Schroder said she would prefer The Boring Company waited to treat its wastewater at the city’s plant, which is currently under construction, local news reported. Bastrop broke ground on its $32.6 million wastewater treatment plant in 2021, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
“This is just a short-term solution, and ultimately we hope to not even utilize the full capacity of what’s being authorized,” a Gapped Bass representative, Rajit Patel, said at the hearing, according to Fox News.
Patel explained the company’s water treatment process for the wastewater before it would enter the water supply and said the company plans to eventually use the city’s treatment plant, The Wall Street Journal reported.
He noted the wastewater will come from The Boring Company facilities, as well as SpaceX, per the Journal, though SpaceX is not listed on the permit application. Neither Musk or the company’s president, Steve Davis, attended the meeting.
TCEQ is expected to decide in the coming months whether it will approve the permit, the Journal said.
A spokesperson for The Boring Company did not respond to a request for comment from Insider.
Musk’s space venture has faced similar blowback from residents in Boca Chica, Texas where local citizens sued SpaceX in 2021 over claims its rocket tests have caused public beaches to be continually closed.