Concern raised after at least 150 fish found dead in pond

Residents worry new coal mine to blame

EAGLE PASS, Texas – A large fish kill a few days ago in Eagle Pass has residents worried. They question whether a controversial new coal mine may be to blame.

Birds still fly over a large private pond searching for what had been easy pickings -- at least 150 dead fish that floated to the surface with an overwhelming smell.

"We have done what we can to clean up the fish, but as you can see with flies around, it's still pretty bad," said nearby resident Amanda Garcia.

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is still investigating, but a representative said initial findings show the fish kill was due to a lack of oxygen.

"In the past two years we have had three major floods and this is the first time we have had a fish kill," Garcia said.

Garcia is among those who wonder if a new, controversial open-pit coal mine may have somehow contaminated Elm Creek that feeds into her pond.

A representative for the bi-national company Dos Republicas said there was no discharge from its large retention ponds.

When asked if she is still concerned, Garcia said, "Uh, yes. And I think until they're willing to provide proof of that, then the concern will be there."


About the Author:

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.