Luminant says they had their chance, Davidsons disagree

Courtesy Edwin Davidson

POSTED: Friday, August 8, 2014 - 7:04pm

UPDATED: Friday, August 8, 2014 - 9:04pm

It all began back in 2010 when Luminant Energy approached Henderson residents Edwin Davdison and his father Robert with a proposal to purchase their 85 acre piece of property on which to create a mine.

This mine would be used to fuel their 2,250 megawatt Martin Lake Power Plant.

Rusk County appraisals are currently about $1900 per acre and Luminant made what they believed was a generous offer based on those numbers. Luminant won't give specifics but we estimate that figure is close to $500,000.

Both parties seemed to believe it was enough to cover the cost of the property itself but the Davidsons wanted more.  They wanted to be given the replacement value with which to build a new house when they relocated .  Luminant believed their asking price was far too high and decided to build elsewhere.

Edwin was made aware some time later that the electric company would be building a mine south of his property which turned out to be across the street.  Actually, less than two thousand feet away.

There were a number of public hearings over the course of a few years regarding the construction but Edwin tells us he was never notified about those.

When construction trucks began rolling in about a year ago, the Davidsons inquired as to just what was going on.  That's when they discovered that the very mine originally proposed for their land would be built on the property across the street.

Prior to construction, the company purchased a number of neighboring properties on which to build a rail line to carry goods from the new mine. One of the properties belonged to David Davidson who is Edwin's brother.

Edwin tells us that when they bought his brother's property the trains in operation were powered by electricity. The company has since changed their power source to diesel which puts out massive emissions into the air.  

Robert Davidson has Emphysema.  He had previously relocated because of the company in the 1970s during their construction of the coal-fire power plant near his residence.

Now crews are working around the clock with all the sights and sounds that come with construction.

Meanwhile, Robert is living with the dust and debris being kicked into the air by trucks and emissions from trains which now run on diesel.

Luminant dismisses Robert's claims that the air could kill him saying they had to prove their work site was safe for the public and environment and they have an air permit from The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

The Davidsons have been in talks with the county commissioners as well as Rusk County Judge Joel Hale to try to resolve the issue, but for now it's a waiting game.

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