OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A hearing examiner recommends granting a Texas mining company’s request for a permit to use water from a southern Oklahoma aquifer, but he recommends a reduced amount.

Jerry Barnett’s 31-page proposed order comes after a 10-day hearing before the Oklahoma Water Resources Board to determine whether Meridian Aggregates should be granted a groundwater permit for 1,400 acre feet of water, or 455 million gallons, a year from the Arbuckle Simpson Aquifer.

The company wants to use the water as a supplemental source to wash stone mined from a quarry and turned into construction gravel.

Board examiners recommended granting Meridian Aggregates a temporary one-year permit for up to 274 acre feet of water with conditions. Among other things, the mining company must test monthly for pollutants from chemicals used in its operations and fix any problems that arise.

The board will reconsider the permit annually.

Meridian Aggregates argued that water in the mining pit was “trapped” and not subject to a groundwater permit. Those protesting the permit argued that it was accumulated water subject to Oklahoma law.

“There wasn’t any case law that he had the advantage of referring to discover what is actually ’trapped’ water, so he had to basically look at this on a sole case basis,” Oklahoma Water Resources Board spokesman Brian Vance said of Barnett.

The examiner decided the water had accumulated and used a precedent that requires a mining operation to seek a permit to use accumulated water.

The board findings will be presented at a July 11 hearing.

“I think it’s remarkable that the hearing examiner has been so thorough and he listened intently to all the evidence,” said Floy Parkhill, president of the advocacy group, Citizens for the Protection of Arbuckle Simpson-Aquifer.

Meridian Aggregates Vice President Pete Dawson said his company is still looking at the order.

“It’s going to take us a few days to digest it and understand it,” Dawson said. “It’s fairly complex and there’s some precedent setting things that are in it.”

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