By: Duane Craig
Abilene, Texas, is eyeing the possibility of sidestepping its potential current environmental issues by adopting a municipal setting designation for its downtown area, according to this report at KTXS.com. City leaders recognize that after years of dry cleaning and automotive businesses being located there and the years of road construction activities, the groundwater is likely contaminated.
If there is contamination, the extent is not known, and some in the city would rather not know. Instead, they’d like to just get on with attracting new business. Part of that plan may include designating the area as one where people can’t use the groundwater for potable purposes if it is within the top 150 feet of soil. It also means that interested businesses wouldn’t have to do any cleanups related to water. They would, however, have to address “any other kinds of contamination.” The state’s environmental commission would have to approve the designation and terms the city sets forth.
Abilene’s original Town North area includes streets roughly bounded by U.S. Business Route 83, College Drive, Beech Street and South Seventh Street.