COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- Oil drilling in Collier County is now on the radar of U.S. Senator Bill Nelson. The Democrat sent a letter to the EPA asking them to investigate the practices of Texas-based oil company, Dan A. Hughes. It comes after the company was reprimanded and fined by the Department of Environmental Protection for some of its drilling practices south of Lake Trafford.
"We simply cannot tolerate expanded oil drilling activities that pose a threat to the water, drinking and surface, that is so close to our Florida Everglades," said Senator Bill Nelson.
"It's like Russian roulette with our water supply, this isn't something where you go mop it up," said Jennifer Hecker with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.
Environmental experts said the Senator's letter is a step in the right direction, in their fight to stop oil drilling in Collier County, including a prospective site in Golden Gate Estates.
"We're hoping that he can actually direct the EPA to deny that Hughes permit for the injection well so close to our homes," said Dwyer.
In a statement to WINK News, the company defends their work, saying in part, "At no time has groundwater been in any danger of coming into contact with fluids flowing through the well pipe."
Karen Dwyer, a member of local environmental group, Stonecrab Alliance, said the company is lying.
"That's not true, they're always at risk, accidents can always happen."