The name "Marvin Nichols" doesn't sit easy with workers at International Paper's Texarkana plant. "The people in Dallas are really pushing it. We want Dallas to have their water but there are other resources to get it from," says IP's union president John Meador. Marvin Nichols is a proposed reservoir to be constructed on the Sulphur River's main stem. It would supply water to Regions C and D of the North Texas Municipal Water District, or the Dallas metro region.
Senator Kip Averitt introduced two bills dealing with the reservoir. A Senate hearing for the Natural Resources Commitee is scheduled for Tuesday at 1 pm. "There is going to be legislation talked about in the Senate this week, proposing Marvin Nichols as one of their sites." Plant manager Kevin Driscoll says a team from IP is headed to Austin to speak out. Marvin Nichols has the potential to devastate economic growth in Bowie County and other parts of Northeast Texas.
Up to a million acres of forest could be taken out of production because of mitigation..which means less wood fiber and less work for more than 80,000 people in the industry. "Our belief is there is existing reservoirs that aren't being fully utilized," Driscoll says. He also says his team will be talking to a Senate committee about Lake Wright Patman as an alternative source for water. By just raising lake levels, the Dallas problem would have a solution that would save taxpayers an estimated $2 billion. Driskoll says, "You don't have to be a genius to look out there and see that paper mills are shutting down left and right, this would put an additional strain that we cant afford."