Texas Legacy Title Image Texas Legacy Title
 skip to content



Billie Woods

Region: Blackland Prairie

Topics:  Air Pollution, Mining, Groundwater, Aquifer, Water Supply, Non-Profit


Ms. Woods is a classically trained musician living in Elgin, who has been active in organizing and leading a non-profit citizens group, Neighbors for Neighbors, in trying to improve the environmental performance of the Alcoa lignite mine and smelter near Rockdale. A recent settlement led by Neighbors for Neighbors exposed a multi-year pattern of Clean Air Act violations at Alcoa, and succeeded in securing major emissions improvements. Ms. Woods and Neighbors for Neighbors continue to work with Alcoa on groundwater issues. The utility plants powering the Alcoa smelter are fed by 6 million tons of lignite (a low-BTU grade of soft coal) from its 14,000-acre lignite strip mine in Milam county. Alcoa has entered into agreements with the San Antonio Water Service to sell it 40,000 to 60,000 acre-feet of groundwater, drawn from the mines. Ms. Woods and other citizens are concerned that this pumpage will dry up local wells, draining this portion of the Simsboro aquifer, a section of the Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer that runs through central Texas.



October 17, 2003
Rosanky, Texas
Reels 2263 and 2264

Please see a brief Real Media video excerpt from our interview with Ms. Woods.

Please see the uncut video (reels 2263 and 2264) and  transcript of Ms Woods' full interview.






Conservation History Association of Texas
Texas Legacy Project

 Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License