The Real Dirt

John Michael Snyder



SNYDER PG. 354-355 (LINES 23-9)


23·· · · Q· ··Are there Wilcox water wells within a mile of

24··the site?

25·· · · A· ··There are water wells, I believe, near the

1··mile -- within a mile of the site to the east that have

2··recorded that they were in the Wilcox.··I'm not really

3··sure that it's been confirmed that they're in the Wilcox

4··or not, and I just don't know.··Quite often, drillers

5··will call something a formation when they don't really

6··know what it is.

7·· · · Q· ··They don't know how to look at the rocks, do

8··they, as a geologist would?

9·· · · A· ··That's probably true.


SNYDER PG. 372-373 (LINES 10-8)


10·· · · · · · · · Can you tell me what 130EP-7 is?

11·· · · A· ··130EP-7, we're speaking of the thing that's in

12··Volume 5, am I correct?··Are we talking about same --

13·· · · Q· ··Yes.

14·· · · A· ··Is a supplement that we prepared to detail the

15··findings of the 2016 drilling by us and the Protestants.

16··And it was submitted to TCEQ as a supplement to the


18·· · · Q· ··So it's not an amendment; it's a supplement?

19·· · · A· ··It's not an amendment; it's a supplement.

20·· · · Q· ··And whose decision was it to prepare and submit

21··this supplement?

22·· · · A· ··The Applicant and their attorneys.

23·· · · Q· ··And do you know why it was prepared?

24·· · · A· ··Beyond that it was prepared to document what we

25··found in this drilling that was done in this matter, I

1··don't know beyond that.

2·· · · Q· ··Okay.··So is it your testimony that the

3··information in this supplement does not affect the

4··conclusions or recommendations that are in attachments E

5··and F of the permit application?

6·· · · A· ··It is my opinion, and I think I stated that in

7··my prefiled testimony.

8·· · · Q· ··Okay.··Thank you.



SNYDER PG. 373-375 (LINES 18-2)


18·· · · · · · · · You state in your testimony that on -- why

19··don't you turn to Page 7 -- that you've never had an

20··application denied by the Texas Commission on

21··Environmental Quality that you've worked on.

22·· · · A· ··That's correct.

23·· · · Q· ··Have you ever had an application returned that

24··you've worked on?

25·· · · A· ··Yes.

1·· · · Q· ··What application was that?

2·· · · A· ··That was the application for the Pintail

3··Landfill that was returned last fall.

4·· · · Q· ··And what was the reason for returning of the


6·· · · A· ··Following when we were technically complete and

7··while we were preparing for the SOAH hearing, there were

8··record rainfalls pretty much across the state, but in

9··the Waller County area, and water levels rose to as much

10··as 5 feet above the water levels that we had determined

11··during the time of our study.

12·· · · Q· ··And those water levels -- the study on water

13··levels was developed by yourself.··Is that correct?

14·· · · A· ··Yes.

15·· · · Q· ··And the levels in the study did not accurately

16··characterize the water levels at the site.··Is that


18·· · · A· ··I'm going to quibble with that statement.

19·· · · Q· ··Okay.

20·· · · A· ··The water levels in the study accurately

21··determined the water levels during the period that we

22··studied them.··After they were -- after we were

23··technically complete, this happened.··Water levels went

24··up.··We went back to SOAH and asked to have it referred

25··back to the agency, which was granted by the judges, as

1··I understand, and then TCEQ determined that they were

2··going to return the application.



SNYDER PG. 386 (LINES 11-23)


11·· · · Q· ··So let's start out by me asking you, can you

12··generally remind us what a seal for a professional

13··geoscientist signifies?

14·· · · A· ··It stands for, that this was work that was done

15··under my direction and approval, and that I've reviewed

16··all the work, that I've signed, and I'm responsible for


18·· · · Q· ··Thanks.

19·· · · · · · · · And do -- you have your seal on the

20··applications geology report.··Isn't that right?

21·· · · A· ··I do.

22·· · · Q· ··Among other portions of the application?

23·· · · A· ··Yes, ma'am.



SNYDER PG. 389-394 (LINES 21-12)


21·· · · Q· ··-- I anticipate that appropriate revisions will

22··be made to the landfill design and the permit

23··application for the Pintail Landfill to, again,

24··demonstrate compliance with the landfill design and

25··permitting requirements in TCEQ's rules, taking into

1··account the recent higher groundwater levels at the


3·· · · · · · · · So that statementp talks about a redesign

4··of the -- or revisions to the landfill design.··Right?

5·· · · A· ··Yes.

6·· · · Q· ··And among the revisions that you talk about

7··here are revisions to the design of the groundwater

8··monitoring system.··Is that right?

9·· · · A· ··Yes.

10·· · · Q· ··And that's in part because based on the new

11··groundwater data that you had collected, the

12··application, as it was pending at SOAH, would not have

13··complied with the TCEQ rules.··Is that right?

14·· · · A· ··Yeah, I think that's what my affidavit says.

15··For clarity, the application allowed for water levels --

16··for no construction of the landfill above the water

17··table.··So technically, it would not have prevented a

18··permit from being issued regarding that.··But it

19··would've prevented some of the excavations, not all, but

20··some of the excavations.

21·· · · Q· ··Okay.··So the way that the new groundwater

22··level data was encountered -- well, let me back up.

23·· · · · · · · · I think I heard you testify in response to

24··Mr. Tucker's questions that in that case, the -- you or

25··Pintail had not been continuously collecting groundwater


1··elevation data.··Is that right?

2·· · · A· ··That's true, yes.

3·· · · Q· ··And so it was after the Protestants in that

4··case had requested and obtained approval to access the

5··site that you first went out there.··Isn't that right?

6·· · · A· ··That's true.

7·· · · Q· ··So you went out there just before the

8··Protestants went out there to the site and took some

9··groundwater level measurements, and that's when you


10··discovered that the water levels at the site had gone up

11··approximately 5 feet across the site.··Is that right?

12·· · · A· ··Yes.

13·· · · Q· ··And these groundwater level measurements were

14··higher than any of the water levels that had been

15··recorded and reflected in the application materials.··Is

16··that right?

17·· · · A· ··I think that's true.··I'm not sure.··There

18··might've been one that was not.··But I think in general,

19··that that's true.

20·· · · Q· ··Okay.··And you explained to me during your

21··deposition, and I think you also explained today during

22··your testimony, the elevated groundwater levels in your

23··opinion were a result of extraordinary high

24··precipitation events in Waller County between the months

25··of March and June.··Is that right?

1·· · · A· ··Roughly, yes.

2·· · · Q· ··And, in fact, those extraordinary precipitation

3··events had followed a long period of drought.··Is that


5·· · · A· ··Well, I think that wouldn't be a completely

6··fair characterization.··We had a long period of drought.

7··And then in 2012, during the period that we took water

8··levels at the site, we had two, three month significant

9··rainfall events that exceeded, from my memory, somewhere

10··around 70 percent of normal --

11·· · · Q· ··Okay.

12·· · · A· ··-- 70 percent above normal.··And when we

13··plotted those, we saw that water levels rose in the

14··southern part of the site.

15·· · · Q· ··Okay.··So those water -- I'm sorry.··Those rain

16··events that you just described, when were those?

17·· · · A· ··In 2012, which was during the period when we

18··were taking water levels that went into the permit


20·· · · Q· ··I see.··Okay.

21·· · · · · · · · So what you're saying is that the 12-month

22··period during which you took water level elevations for

23··the purposes of your characterization, that period

24··wasn't all a drought -- a dry period.··Is that what

25··you're saying?

1·· · · A· ··Yes.

2·· · · Q· ··Okay.··The extraordinary high precipitation

3··events that resulted in the elevated water levels were

4··in March and June of 2013.··Is that right?

5·· · · A· ··Yeah.··I think it was actually from March

6··through June.

7·· · · Q· ··Okay.··You're right.

8·· · · · · · · · And yet it wasn't until the Protestants

9··were granted access to the site in July that you went

10··out and rechecked those water level elevations.··Isn't

11··that right?

12·· · · A· ··Until they asked that, I had no knowledge that

13··the rainfall events had happened at the site.··We were

14··technically complete.··We had studied it through an

15··18-month period, and we were headed to a hearing.··And I

16··don't live at Pintail, so I did not know that the water

17··levels were -- or that the rainfall had happened like


19·· · · Q· ··Okay.··And as we've discussed, as a result of

20··those water -- elevated water levels that you collected

21··that day that you went out before the Protestants,

22··that's what led to the preparation of your affidavit

23··wherein you acknowledged that because of this newly

24··discovered water level information, Pintail's permit

25··application no longer satisfies TCEQ permitting rules.

1··Is that right?

2·· · · A· ··Yes.

3·· · · Q· ··And so your intent there was to remand the

4··application to allow the Executive Director to allow you

5··to revise the application and the design?

6·· · · A· ··Well, not just specifically me, but the


8·· · · Q· ··The Applicant?··Okay.

9·· · · · · · · · And yet, the Executive Director ultimately

10··decided not to grant you that opportunity and instead

11··returned the application.··Is that right?

12·· · · A· ··That's my understanding.



SNYDER PG. 394-395 (LINES 19-16)


19·· · · Q· ··Okay.··This letter is a letter from the

20··Executive Director to Mr. Kaufmann that basically says

21··that the application is being returned because Pintail

22··got too many bites at the apple.··Is that fair?

23·· · · A· ··I don't know what -- I don't know that that's

24··how they characterize it, nor do I really know exactly

25··what went into this letter and their decision.


1·· · · Q· ··Okay.··Well, do you want to take a moment to

2··read the second full paragraph in that letter?

3·· · · A· ··Okay.

4·· · · Q· ··So there -- the TCEQ basically -- or the TCEQ

5··staff acknowledges that it spent 1300 hours reviewing

6··the application, found over 400 instances of

7··deficiencies resulting in four written technical NODs,

8··and then despite the significant effort, the application

9··was still deficient.··Do you see that?


10·· · · A· ··Yes, ma'am.

11·· · · Q· ··And so that led to the TCEQ's decision to

12··return the application.··Isn't that right?

13·· · · A· ··That's what I understand.

14·· · · Q· ··And so ultimately, that application was not


16·· · · A· ··It was not approved.



SNYDER PG. 396-397 (LINES 5-22)


5·· · · Q· ··At about Line 17, you talk about -- you testify

6··about two deep soil borings that were done on the site,

7··and you describe what was shown in those two borings.

8··Is that right?

9·· · · A· ··Yes.

10·· · · Q· ··But back when I took your deposition, I guess,

11··that would've been in the fall of 2015, I asked you if

12··you drilled any preliminary borings in this case, and do

13··you recall what your answer was?

14·· · · A· ··I did not remember that we -- that we had.

15·· · · Q· ··And so you don't recall answering no to my

16··question, did you drill any preliminary borings in this

17··case?··You don't recall answering no?

18·· · · A· ··I may have answered no, but then you followed

19··that up, and I think the understanding was, I said,

20··well, I didn't remember that.

21·· · · Q· ··Well, isn't it true that I asked more than once

22··whether there were two sets of borings drilled, two

23··initial borings, and then the rest that were drilled

24··under the soil boring plan, and you responded no?

25·· · · A· ··Ultimately, I responded that I didn't remember

1··that we had.

2·· · · Q· ··Okay.··And even if 130 Environmental Park had

3··had two preliminary borings drilled early on, you

4··wouldn't have maintained any field notes or samples or

5··anything that could jog your memory about what those

6··borings showed.··Isn't that right?

7·· · · A· ··Well, that's not entirely true.··We would've

8··had field logs, that, in fact, we had.··And -- and so

9··certainly we would've had those logs to have made final

10··logs had we chosen to do so.

11·· · · Q· ··So for those two borings, you had the two field


13·· · · A· ··Yes.

14·· · · Q· ··And those were prepared by Mr. Stamoulis?

15·· · · A· ··Yes.

16·· · · Q· ··The driller?

17·· · · A· ··Yes.

18·· · · Q· ··Did you make any revisions to those logs?

19·· · · A· ··Not that I recall.

20·· · · Q· ··Were you out there on site during the drilling

21··of those two preliminary borings?

22·· · · A· ··No, I wasn't.



SNYDER PG. 398-401 (LINES 5-20)


8·· · · Q· ··(BY MS. PERALES)··I've handed you a document

9··labeled Protestants -- or P33.··Do you recognize this


11·· · · A· ··Yes, ma'am.

12·· · · Q· ··Can you describe what it is, please.

13·· · · A· ··This appears to be a copy of the boring plan as

14··originally submitted.··The date on it is August 30th,


16·· · · Q· ··Okay.··And there is a received stamp on there,

17··isn't there?

18·· · · A· ··Yes, there is.

19·· · · Q· ··Okay.··And that says September 4th.··Is that


21·· · · A· ··Yes, ma'am.

22·· · · Q· ··So that would've been when the TCEQ presumably

23··received it, but it appears you submitted it August

24··30th.··Is that right?

25·· · · A· ··Yes, ma'am.

1·· · · Q· ··Are you aware that 130 Environmental Park was

2··not formed or its paperwork was not filed with the

3··Secretary of State until August 20th?

4·· · · A· ··I'm not aware of that.

5·· · · Q· ··Have you reviewed any portion of Part I of the

6··application, the core data form, for instance?

7·· · · A· ··I have not looked at the core data form.

8·· · · Q· ··Okay.··Let's look at 130EP Volume 1.··Give me a

9··second.··I'll direct you to a page here.··Let's turn to

10··Page 75.··And the tab is 1D, if that helps.

11·· · · A· ··Okay.

12·· · · Q· ··So according to this document anyway, it

13··appears that -- that the paperwork for 130 Environmental

14··Park was submitted to the Secretary of State on

15··August 20th, 2013.··Is that right?

16·· · · A· ··That's what it says.

17·· · · Q· ··So do you recall who the client was or who it

18··was you were preparing your soil boring plan for?

19·· · · A· ··My client was HHNT, specifically the client

20··contact was Bill Hodges.

21·· · · Q· ··And how is HHNT or Bill Hodges related to the

22··Applicant in this case?

23·· · · A· ··Well, I think they -- I don't know the specific

24··contractual relationship between them.··But I think that

25··they were hired by 130 to represent them and to cause a

1··permit application to be prepared and submitted, in

2··which they hired us as a subcontractor to do that.

3·· · · Q· ··Okay.··And HHNT, were they also your client in

4··the Pintail case?

5·· · · A· ··Yes.

6·· · · Q· ··Have they been your client in any other solid

7··waste projects?

8·· · · A· ··None others that have resulted in a permit

9··application being prepared.

10·· · · Q· ··Okay.··And when you drilled the two preliminary

11··borings, was that also for HHNT?

12·· · · A· ··Yes.

13·· · · Q· ··So going back to your boring plan submittal,

14··that was dated August 30th, but it wasn't approved until

15··October 10th.··Is that right?··And you can check your

16··application if you need to.

17·· · · A· ··The letter was dated October 10th, yes.

18·· · · Q· ··Okay.··And, in fact, isn't it true there were

19··many revisions to -- or minor revisions, but revisions

20··to the soil boring plan before it was approved?

21·· · · A· ··There were several.

22·· · · Q· ··Okay.··And one of those revisions, one that was

23··in response to a request by TCEQ staff, was the addition

24··of language acknowledging that if the soil boring plan

25··needed to be modified, you would first seek approval of

1··the modification.··Isn't that right?

2·· · · A· ··I believe so, yes.

3·· · · Q· ··And that language is consistent with TCEQ

4··rules, isn't it?··Why don't I refer you to a rule,

5··rather than ask you.

6·· · · A· ··Thank you.

7·· · · Q· ··Can you take a look at 330.63, and it's

8··subsection E4.

9·· · · A· ··Okay.··I think I'm there.··Specifically where?

10·· · · Q· ··Are you there?

11·· · · A· ··I'm at E4.

12·· · · Q· ··Okay.··And does that basically say that the

13··soil boring plan must be approved before initiating soil

14··boring work?

15·· · · A· ··Yes.

16·· · · Q· ··Okay.··Yet, by the date of the approval letter,

17··which was October 10th, you had already drilled all of

18··the borings that you intended to drill for this

19··application.··Is that right?

20·· · · A· ··I believe that's correct, yes.



SNYDER PG. 402-403 (LINES 23-17)


23·· · · Q· ··And so this -- this letter reflects that you

24··were still submitting revisions in response to TCEQ's

25··NODs as of September 16th.··Is that right?

1·· · · A· ··This represents that we were responding to

2··mostly administrative comments about the boring plan as

3··of that date, yes.

4·· · · Q· ··Okay.··And yet you'd already drilled some

5··borings by the date of this letter.··Is that right?

6·· · · A· ··Yes.

7·· · · Q· ··But that's not reflected in -- anywhere in this

8··letter.··Is that right?

9·· · · A· ··No.··We were specifically responding to the



11·· · · Q· ··And I believe when I asked you during your

12··deposition about why you had drilled the borings before

13··the approval was issued, you explained that the agency

14··never enforces the rule.··Is that what you recall?

15·· · · A· ··Well, I recall talking about that.··I'm not

16··sure that I was saying that's why we drilled the




SNYDER PG. 404-406 (LINES 18-24)


18·· · · Q· ··So this -- near the top of that page, it states

19··that all drilling was supervised by you.··Is that right?

20·· · · A· ··Yes.

21·· · · Q· ··And during your deposition, I believe you

22··explained to me that you were out on the site two or

23··three times while the drilling operation was occurring.

24··Is that right?

25·· · · A· ··That's correct.

1·· · · Q· ··And sometimes you weren't out there all day.

2··Is that right?

3·· · · A· ··Yeah.··I think I did say that.··I don't

4··remember at this point, when I was or wasn't out there

5··all day.

6·· · · Q· ··And at the time of the deposition anyway, you

7··couldn't recall how many drilling rigs were out there.

8··Is that right?

9·· · · A· ··On the days that I was there or at all?

10·· · · Q· ··At all.

11·· · · A· ··I don't remember that.··There were certainly

12··times when there were two drilling rigs out there.

13·· · · Q· ··Okay.··And initially when I asked you if all

14··operations were supervised by you, "Supervised" by you,

15··you asked me, "What does that mean exactly"?··Do you

16··recall that?

17·· · · A· ··I asked you what that means?

18·· · · Q· ··Yes.

19·· · · A· ··I don't recall that.··I'm sorry.

20·· · · Q· ··Okay.··But ultimately, you said that the

21··drilling was done under your direction.··Is that right?

22·· · · A· ··Yes.

23·· · · Q· ··And what you meant by that is that you talked

24··on the phone frequently to the guys that were out in the


1·· · · A· ··Well, at least that.··I made site visits.··I

2··talked with them on the phone.··Mr. Adams went out there

3··nearly every week, and we communicated about what he

4··saw, and I directed the activities.

5·· · · Q· ··Okay.··During these conversations and phone

6··calls, you're not taking any notes.··Is that right?

7·· · · A· ··I would say generally not.··I don't know that I

8··didn't scribble something somewhere, but generally not.

9·· · · Q· ··Okay.··The one person during these drilling

10··operations who was taking notes or recording something

11··on paper was the driller, Mr. Stamoulis.··Isn't that


13·· · · A· ··That's correct.

14·· · · Q· ··And to be clear, when Mr. Stamoulis is out on

15··the field, drilling these borings, he's out there as a

16··driller and logger.··Right?

17·· · · A· ··Well, he was in this case.··I'm not sure that's

18··always the case.··But he is a licensed professional

19··geologist.··In this case, he was hired by us to be a

20··driller and a logger.

21·· · · Q· ··Right.··And that's his understanding too,

22··right, based on his deposition testimony, that he was

23··not out there as a professional?

24·· · · A· ··I think he testified to that.



SNYDER PG. 410-414 (LINES 4-4)


4·· · · Q· ··Okay.··And then any samples that did not go

5··directly to the lab from the field, those were also

6··brought back to your office?

7·· · · A· ··Yes.

8·· · · Q· ··And is there also a storage facility where some

9··of those samples are sent?

10·· · · A· ··Yes.

11·· · · Q· ··Do you recall whether continuous sampling was


13·· · · A· ··From a geotechnical standpoint, there were --

14··it was not continuous.··Below depths of approximately 50

15··or 60 feet where they did intermittent sampling,

16··sometimes geologically we refer to that as continuous,

17··but geotechnical engineers would not.

18·· · · Q· ··Okay.··So the original -- the field logs that

19··Mr. Stamoulis created and then that were sent to your

20··office, those don't exist anymore.··Is that right?

21·· · · A· ··To my knowledge, they don't exist.

22·· · · Q· ··And, in fact, they were -- they were destroyed

23··before the application was even declared technically

24··complete.··Isn't that true?

25·· · · A· ··Since I'm not sure exactly when they were

1··destroyed, I guess I'm hard pressed to know exactly.

2··But in accordance with our normal policy, field logs --

3··once the final logs have been produced, field logs are

4··destroyed because they don't reflect what the final log

5··reflects, and we don't like to have them in our files.

6·· · · Q· ··Okay.··So when those final logs were prepared,

7··presumably the original logs were destroyed?

8·· · · A· ··I'm sorry.··Could you repeat that?

9·· · · Q· ··When the final logs were prepared, that's when

10··the field logs would've been destroyed.··Is that right?

11·· · · A· ··Or soon thereafter.

12·· · · Q· ··Okay.··And to create those final logs, I

13··believe what you described to me was that you first

14··compare the logs, the field logs, to the samples

15··themselves that were brought back to your office.··Is

16··that right?

17·· · · A· ··Well, certainly we do that.

18·· · · Q· ··Okay.··And in this case, Mr. Adams looked at

19··way more of the samples than you did.··Isn't that right?

20·· · · A· ··Mr. -- Mr. Adams looked at more samples than I

21··looked at.··I don't know that I would say way more, but

22··I don't really have a number.

23·· · · Q· ··Well, do you recall whether Mr. Adams looked at

24··more samples than you did?

25·· · · A· ··I presumed that that was true.··We didn't count

1··up and decide how many were looked at by either one.

2··But --

3·· · · Q· ··Okay.··And those samples were just the ones

4··that were brought back to your office.··Isn't that


6·· · · A· ··I'm not sure what you mean by that.

7·· · · Q· ··So the samples that went directly to the lab

8··from the field, you're not able to look at those and

9··compare them to the field logs.··Isn't that right?

10·· · · A· ··That's true.··Although, I don't know if --

11··there may have been samples that were partial returned

12··from the lab that I may have looked at.··I don't

13··remember that, but it's possible.

14·· · · Q· ··Okay.··Then based on the observations by

15··Mr. Adams, and you too in some cases, those logs are

16··marked up, and lab tests are assigned to some of the

17··samples.··Isn't that right?

18·· · · A· ··Yes.

19·· · · Q· ··And then once the lab results get back to

20··confirm the material, then you or Mr. Adams begins

21··preparing the final log.··Is that right?

22·· · · A· ··Yeah.··Usually both of us participate in that

23··at some point.

24·· · · Q· ··Well, those lab results, the actual lab

25··reports, those are reviewed by Mr. Adams.··Isn't that


2·· · · A· ··That is right -- well, wait.··I'm not saying I

3··never look at the lab reports, but it's primarily his


5·· · · Q· ··Okay.··And we looked at some of those reports

6··from the 2016 lab results during one of your

7··depositions.··Isn't that right?··Do you recall that?··I

8··asked you about some of the dates on the report and --

9·· · · A· ··Yes, I --

10·· · · Q· ··-- you weren't familiar?

11·· · · A· ··Yes, I remember that.

12·· · · Q· ··You weren't familiar with those reports at all.


14·· · · A· ··I wasn't familiar with the administrative part

15··of the reports, about what those things meant or what

16··the dates meant or when they were assigned.

17·· · · Q· ··Okay.··So -- so who is it that's reviewing and

18··noting the secondary features from the samples on the

19··logs?··Is that you or Mr. Adams?

20·· · · A· ··Both.

21·· · · Q· ··So he's also noting secondary features?

22·· · · A· ··Yes.

23·· · · Q· ··And that's because Mr. Adams looked at many of

24··the samples that you didn't look at.··Isn't that right?

25·· · · A· ··Well, I think I've said that he looked at more

1··samples than I did.··I'm, again, not sure of the --

2·· · · Q· ··Okay.··But Mr. Adams, he's not a geologist, to

3··be clear.··Is that right?

4·· · · A· ··He's not a geologist.··That's a true statement.



SNYDER PG. 423-424 (LINES 4-1)


4·· · · Q· ··And were you on site during the -- the drilling

5··and installation of the piezometers?

6·· · · A· ··I don't recall that I was.

7·· · · Q· ··And so do you recall whether there were any

8··field logs created by Mr. Stamoulis as he drilled the


10·· · · A· ··Sorry.

11·· · · Q· ··That's okay.

12·· · · A· ··There were field logs for the piezometers, and

13··there were as-built field logs for the piezometers.

14·· · · Q· ··Okay.··And the as-built, are you talking about

15··those that were submitted to the regulatory agency?

16·· · · A· ··No.··That's a third one.

17·· · · Q· ··Okay.··All right.··And the logs that were

18··created were edited by you or Mr. Adams so that they

19··would match the final boring logs.··Is that right?

20·· · · A· ··Yeah.··I think I did all the editing of the --

21··the logs had been edited by the time I created the

22··piezometer logs so that --

23·· · · Q· ··The boring logs had been edited.··Is that what

24··you mean?

25·· · · A· ··Yes.··The boring logs had been created prior to

1··the creation of the piezometer logs.



SNYDER PG. 426-430 (LINES 22-12)


22·· · · Q· ··And if we look at this log, it appears that any

23··samples that were collected up to -- at least up to

24··maybe -- is it 70 feet that there -- there was no lab

25··sampling.··Is that right?

1·· · · A· ··That's correct.

2·· · · Q· ··At least there's none reflected on this boring

3··log.··Is that right?

4·· · · A· ··I believe that's correct.

5·· · · Q· ··So does that mean that there were no samples

6··that were selected from -- from this boring at least up

7··to 70 feet that were sent to a lab?

8·· · · A· ··I haven't checked the lab tests, so I can't say

9··for certain, but apparently not.

10·· · · Q· ··Okay.··And that -- is -- is it your intent

11··to -- yours and Mr. Adams' intent to include all lab

12··results in these boring logs for any samples that were

13··sent to a lab?

14·· · · A· ··It is.

15·· · · Q· ··Okay.··So if it -- unless there was a mistake

16··made, if it's not reflected here, then it wasn't sent to

17··the lab?

18·· · · A· ··I believe that's correct.

19·· · · Q· ··Do you have any knowledge as to why there were

20··no samples selected from BME-02 -- why there were no

21··samples sent to the lab?

22·· · · A· ··I think Mr. Adams can probably more

23··specifically answer that, but I can generally answer.

24··Our process is to try to characterize the subsurface

25··strata.··And so there are times when we say, "Look, I've

1··got tests over here and I've got tests over here, and

2··this material seems to be the same."··And it reasonably

3··can be characterized by that.

4·· · · Q· ··Okay.··Now, earlier I asked you whether you

5··recalled if the field logs and samples had been

6··destroyed before the application was declared

7··technically complete.··And -- and I think that you --

8··you couldn't say for sure.··Is that right?

9·· · · A· ··Yeah.··I don't know the dates.

10·· · · Q· ··Okay.··So I've handed you a document that's

11··labeled P-36.··Do you see that?

12·· · · A· ··Yes.

13·· · · Q· ··Do you recognize this document?

14·· · · A· ··Yes, ma'am.

15·· · · · · · · · JUDGE QUALTROUGH:··We don't have that.

16·· · · · · · · · MS. PERALES:··Oh, sorry about that.

17·· · · · · · · · JUDGE QUALTROUGH:··That's okay.

18·· · · · · · · · (Pause in proceedings)

19·· · · Q· ··(BY MS. PERALES)··So can you describe what

20··P-36 is?

21·· · · A· ··P-36 is a copy -- appears to be a copy of a

22··letter that I was copied on, a letter that you wrote to

23··Ernest Kaufmann of 130 Environmental Park, and I was


25·· · · Q· ··And this letter basically asks that all


1··evidence, original logs, field notes, and samples be

2··preserved.··Is that right?

3·· · · A· ··Yes.

4·· · · Q· ··And the date of this letter is March 20th,


6·· · · A· ··Yes.

7·· · · Q· ··And by the time you received this letter, had

8··all of the original field logs, field notes, and samples

9··been destroyed?

10·· · · A· ··At the time of this letter, the field notes had

11··been destroyed because final logs had been produced.··I

12··can't say for sure about the samples.··At some point, I

13··went and checked for samples, and the vast boxes of

14··samples that were there were no longer there.··I -- I

15··don't remember exactly when that was.··So it was

16··sometime after this, but I just don't remember when.

17·· · · Q· ··Okay.··And the application was declared

18··technically complete on October 28th, 2014.··Right?··Is

19··that right?

20·· · · A· ··I don't remember.··I can look at that.

21·· · · Q· ··If you can look at the date that's at the very

22··corner of any of the documents in the application, do

23··you see it?

24·· · · A· ··No.

25·· · · Q· ··Maybe Page 54 if you're on that page.··That's

1··just --

2·· · · A· ··October 28th, 2014.

3·· · · Q· ··Okay.··So if the field logs and original notes

4··had been destroyed by the time of my letter, March 20th,

5··2014, then that means they had been destroyed before the

6··application was declared technically complete.··Isn't

7··that right?

8·· · · A· ··As I suggested, the -- for sure the field notes

9··were gone by then.··At some point after your letter, the

10··samples were gone.··When I checked the storage unit, the

11··samples were gone.··I don't remember what the date of

12··that was.



SNYDER PG. 433-435 (LINES 22-11)


18·· · · Q· ··Okay.··And to be clear, you did not confer with

19··TCEQ staff about revising your boring plan or

20··supplementing your initially approved boring plan.

21··Isn't that right?

22·· · · A· ··We did not.

23·· · · Q· ··Okay.··And do you recall how many days

24··Mr. Stamoulis was out there drilling the borings in


1·· · · A· ··Not off the top of my head.

2·· · · Q· ··But you were there about two days.··Is that


4·· · · A· ··Something like that.

5·· · · Q· ··Do you recall in 2016 whether you revised any

6··of Mr. Stamoulis's initial logs?

7·· · · A· ··Certainly, we did.

8·· · · Q· ··And do you still have Mr. Stamoulis's initial


10·· · · A· ··I think we do.

11·· · · Q· ··So you're able to go back and compare and see

12··where exactly you made those revisions?

13·· · · A· ··Theoretically, we could.

14·· · · Q· ··And do you still have the soil samples?

15·· · · A· ··Yes.

16·· · · Q· ··And you also took photos in 2016, didn't you?

17·· · · A· ··We did.

18·· · · Q· ··So you could also go back and verify the final

19··logs by looking at those soil samples or those photos.

20··Isn't that right?

21·· · · A· ··Because we have soil samples, I probably

22··wouldn't do any verification with photos, but --

23·· · · Q· ··Right.··But it's another back-up measure that

24··you have should the samples get destroyed again.

25·· · · A· ··I'm not sure what you're asking me there.··I'm



2·· · · Q· ··The photos are helpful in that regard, aren't

3··they?··That you can go back and --

4·· · · A· ··Photos -- we don't use photos as a normal

5··process.··We did in this case.

6·· · · Q· ··Okay.

7·· · · A· ··Because we knew that you guys -- we anticipated

8··that you would be asking for parts of our sample.··Maybe

9··parts that we hadn't been able to test and would never


10··be able to look at again.··So we decided to take

11··photographs.··It's not part of our normal procedure.



SNYDER PG. 438-440 (LINES 19-4)


19·· · · Q· ··And if we look at the bottom of the boring

20··there just around the 70 feet interval, there's a

21··difference in the way that the lithology is described,

22··isn't there?

23·· · · A· ··Yes.

24·· · · Q· ··In the final log, it's described as clay versus

25··the field log where it's described as abundant gravel.


2·· · · A· ··Well, technically the field log says

3··"with/abundant gravel."

4·· · · Q· ··Okay.··But the gravel is noted in the original

5··field log but not in the final log.··Isn't that right?

6·· · · A· ··That's correct.

7·· · · Q· ··And so this is a revision that you would have


9·· · · A· ··Greg and I made it.

10·· · · Q· ··Okay.··And did you -- do you recall in that

11··case whether the samples were destroyed before other

12··parties had an opportunity to look at them?

13·· · · A· ··The samples were destroyed some time after we

14··finalized our logs.··I have no idea when, but I presume

15··it was before it was in a hearing.

16·· · · Q· ··Right.··Okay.··So we have two different

17··descriptions, but there's no way for an independent

18··third party or any third party to verify which one is

19··accurate.··Is that right?

20·· · · A· ··I'm not sure what you mean by verify.··The

21··final log says that it's clay.

22·· · · Q· ··Okay.··But if I wanted to check to see whether

23··the final log accurately describes that interval, is

24··there anything I could look at?

25·· · · A· ··The final log.

1·· · · Q· ··Okay.··So I just have the final log and what's

2··reflected in there.··Is that right?

3·· · · A· ··Yes.

4·· · · Q· ··Okay.



SNYDER PG. 468 (LINES 8-25)


8·· · · Q· ··Okay.··What did the permitting rules require in

9··terms of evaluation of groundwater levels at a proposed


11·· · · A· ··Well, once a site is permitted, you have to

12··continue --

13·· · · Q· ··Before that -- as part of the permitting

14··process, what information has to be provided about

15··groundwater levels?

16·· · · A· ··The -- the rules generally say -- in fact, it

17··might be better if I can refer to the rule.

18·· · · Q· ··Sure.

19·· · · A· ··Actually, I'm not finding what I'm looking for,

20··but my recollection of the rule says that groundwater

21··levels and interpretation of groundwater need to be

22··looked at through a seasonal period.

23·· · · Q· ··Okay.··And generally, what's that considered to


25·· · · A· ··In most cases, it's considered to be a year.



SNYDER PG. 470-471 (LINES 1-9)


1·· · · Q· ··And did the Pintail Landfill permit application

2··show that?

3·· · · A· ··It did.

4·· · · Q· ··And over what period of time was that

5··groundwater data collected?

6·· · · A· ··I'd have to go back and look, but I think it

7··was over either a 13- or a 14-month period.··We

8··continued to sample the -- the water through a total of

9··18 months by the time it was technically complete.··But

10··I think in the application, it was either 13 or 14


12·· · · Q· ··And did you testify this morning that during

13··that time period, there were at least two several-month

14··periods where rainfall was significantly greater than


16·· · · A· ··Yes, I did.

17·· · · Q· ··Did you do a seasonal high-water level map for

18··the 130 Environmental Park application?

19·· · · A· ··I don't do the seasonal high map.··That's

20··information that I give to Greg Adams.··He constructs

21··it.··I don't know exactly what's -- the 130

22··Environmental Park as to that.

23·· · · Q· ··So you don't know if one was ever prepared?

24·· · · A· ··I assume it was, but I don't know for sure.

25·· · · Q· ··How many data points could have -- could there

1··have been for such a map of 130 Environmental Park?

2·· · · A· ··Three.

3·· · · Q· ··And why is that?

4·· · · A· ··Because those were the only three points that

5··we had where groundwater had been identified.

6·· · · Q· ··At Pintail, were there just two or three

7··piezometers that had water or more?

8·· · · A· ··There were a total of 15 piezometers at

9··Pintail, and all of them had water.



SNYDER PG. 475 (LINES 9-23)


  • 9·· · · Q· ··(BY MR. RYAN)· ··Mr. Snyder, you testified that

10··there have been other circumstances in which you have

11··initiated a boring program prior to approval of the

12··boring plan?

13·· · · A· ··Yes.

14·· · · Q· ··In any of those circumstances, has the TCEQ

15··municipal solid waste permit section not ultimately

16··approved the boring plan?

17·· · · A· ··I'm unaware of any situation where they have

18··declined to approve the plans.

19·· · · Q· ··And --

20·· · · A· ··I'm not sure if I answered your question.

21·· · · Q· ··It was.··Even where boring work was done prior

22··to submittal or approval of the plan?

23·· · · A· ··Even then.



SNYDER PG. 511 (LINES 2-16)


2·· · · Q· ··So when you talk about collecting six to seven

3··months of groundwater data before submitting an

4··application, are you referring to the full application

5··or Parts 1 and 2?

6·· · · A· ··Well, in my mind, I was referring to a full


8·· · · Q· ··Okay.··So you would not have collected -- to be

9··clear, you would have not -- you would not have

10··collected an entire seasonal period of groundwater data

11··by the time you submitted an application.··Is that


13·· · · A· ··Yeah.··I think what I was saying was I think

14··that's the case.··I don't remember the specific dates,

15··but --

16·· · · Q· ··Okay.



SNYDER PG. 515 (LINES 1-20), 517-518 (LINES 11-25)


1·· · · Q· ··Okay.··Have you -- have you been involved in

2··any other landfill case where you've mischaracterized a

3··formation that's -- that bears groundwater?

4·· · · A· ··I don't know that I've ever been involved in

5··one where I mischaracterized anything.

6·· · · Q· ··Well, you were the -- the geologist who put

7··together the geology portion of the application for

8··IESI's proposed landfill in Jack County.··Isn't that


10·· · · A· ··I was.

11·· · · Q· ··And in that case, do you recall describing an

12··aquiclude beneath the subsurface of the proposed

13··landfill site?

14·· · · A· ··Yes.

15·· · · Q· ··That aquiclude was a formation referred to as

16··the Pennsylvania.··Isn't that right?

17·· · · A· ··Yes.

18·· · · Q· ··Do you recall whether the ALJs agreed with your

19··characterization in that case?

20·· · · A· ··I don't remember what the ALJ agreed to.


12·· · · Q· ··So does this appear to be the proposal for

13··decision for the proposed IESI Landfill in Jack County

14··that we discussed earlier?

15·· · · A· ··I think it is.··It says the amended proposal

16··for decision.

17·· · · Q· ··Okay.··Then if we go to Page 4 of the PFD...

18·· · · A· ··(Witness complies).

19·· · · Q· ··At the very bottom of that page, there's a

20··paragraph that starts with "John Michael Snyder CPG."

21··Do you see that?

22·· · · A· ··Yes.

23·· · · Q· ··Is that a reference to you?

24·· · · A· ··Yes.

25·· · · Q· ··Okay.··And so this appears to be an amended


1··proposal for decision for the Jack County landfill case

2··that you worked on.··Is that right?

3·· · · A· ··Yes.

4·· · · Q· ··Okay.··Can you turn to Page 18?

5·· · · A· ··Okay.

6·· · · Q· ··Underneath the paragraph that has the

7··subheading "Analysis," do you see that?

8·· · · A· ··Yes.

9·· · · Q· ··Can you read that paragraph there?

10·· · · A· ··(As read), "The ALJ finds that the Applicant

11··did not adequately address areas of recharge to the

12··aquifer within 5 miles of the site primarily because the

13··Pennsylvania is not an aquiclude and supplies water to

14··wells on properties within 1 mile of the site where the

15··Applicant would have landfill operations.··The greater

16··weight of the evidence shows that one reason the

17··Pennsylvania has higher water quality in southeastern

18··Jack is because it underlies the cretaceous Trinity

19··aquifer sediments for which the Pennsylvania may be


21·· · · Q· ··Okay.··Thank you.··So based on that description

22··or that paragraph that you just read, it appears that

23··the ALJ disagreed with your description of the

24··Pennsylvania as an aquiclude.··Isn't that right?

25·· · · A· ··It appears so.