The federal government has denied a protest of leases for oil and gas exploration at Lake Somerville.

Wendy Park, lead attorney for the Center Biological Diversity tells the Brenham Banner Press, the Bureau for Land Management, “is risking the safety of Brenham’s only drinking water supply and the community’s public health.”

In June, the BLM held an auction on land in Texas and Oklahoma for oil exploration – including 1,400 acres at Lake Somerville.

The Lake Somerville land sold for just over $170,000.

The City of Brenham, Texas Rural Voices and a number of environmental groups protested the sale.

Among the complaints was that the Bureau, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation did not give adequate public notice of the auction.  The protest also contends there was not any solicitation of public comment.

The Agency also denied a protest that an environmental assessment finding no significant impact, was inadequate.

The decision can be appealed within the next 30 days.

Park says they are considering their next step.

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