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Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Valve Yard

We met at a local coffee shop with two young men employed by The Railroad Commission of Texas to discuss the findings of their four-day long audit of the gas gathering pipelines in our southeast Arlington neighborhood.  This investigation was prompted by a citizen complaint.  Records in early June 2012 on the Fulson 12" flow lines indicated 'in construction phase' with a 'start date of October 2009'.  Meanwhile, the Fulson well has been in production since February 2011.   Their office workers must be buried underneath stacks of paperwork! 

During our meeting we learned that the RRC cited DFW Midstream with one violation and several other deficiencies The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)  Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) states in 192.705 that surface conditions must be maintained in order to conduct leak surveys.  Since the property was overgrown, visibility was obstructed.  We certainly don't want gas leaks this close to the community - especially since this gas is not odorized.

Southeast Arlington Valve Yard which is too close to homes.

A valve yard is the intersection where gas gathering lines from drill sites converge.  Will local residents suffer health issues due to invisible emissions venting out of that stack?

This HOA could have had a community club house or swimming pool.
Now this is a danger zone.
 Do you know when your gas gathering pipelines were inspected?

Click here to read the latest report:  Breaking all the Rules:  The Crisis in Oil and Gas Regulatory Enforcement researched by Earthworks Oil and Gas Accountability Project.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

No Tender Elderly Care Here

When a city council scrutinizes an applicant over a zoning change for an assisted living home in a community which  provides care to the elderly, yet swiftly votes in more gas well permits to big industry with NO questions asked, is it safe to assume that city is lost?  In good faith this applicant complied with both City and State requirements.  They did not, however, present the City with a bonus check which is probably where they went wrong.  Here is the Tuesday, September 18, 2012 Arlington, TX public hearing for Special Use Permit SUP 12-7 for Tender Elderly Care:

Now scroll ahead approximately 36 minutes, fasten your seatbelts, and  prepare for lift off on this scary ride:
  • Truman Drill  Site Gas well permit GW12-5 for Bobcat 2H well (Right in the heart of Arlington's Entertainment District.)
  • Bruder Drill Site Gas well permits GW12-3 & GW12-4 for the Captain TRT2H and Planet TRT2H wells.

Which is a more desirable amenity for the community where you live? 
  •  An assisted living home which cares for the needs of the elderly (who may have been long-term citizens of the community) and can no longer care for themselves yet prefer a home-like environment rather than living out their final years in an institution.

We are deeply saddened that our elected officials have lost their way.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fish Kill at Fish Creek

It smells fishy at Fish Creek this week.

Dead Fish at Fish Creek, Southeast Arlington, TX

Fish Creek, Southeast Arlington, TX

Poor Fish found dead at Fish Creek 9/12/12

A local resident of the Fish Creek Neighborhood who knows Fish Creek like the back of his hand discovered many dead fish this week while headed to his favorite fishing spot.  He states in an e-mail dated September 12th:

"There has been a fish die-off in Fish Creek. I have seen bass up to about 2.5 pounds as well as catfish and sunfish (commonly called perch). There was cloudy, white water coming from the arm of the creek that crosses Green Oaks Blvd. near the Methodist church between New York Ave. and 360. That was on Sept. 10th. Someone from the city told me that it was due to oxygen depletion, but I do not believe that. The oxygen levels in the water should be greater now than they were before the recent rains and the temperature is not as high as it was a few weeks ago. Anyway, I doubt that the city will do any investigation. I also contacted the EPA, but only got a recording. I left my phone number, but they have not yet called back. If I knew how, I would post some pictures of dead fish. The lack of fish to eat mosquito larvae is not going to help control the mosquito population, and, of course, live fish have a longer-lasting effect on mosquito populations than pesticide treatments which only have a short-term effect."

Although the budget limits the types of tests which can be run,  the City is currently looking into the following possibilities to determine the mysterious cause of this week's fish kill:

Dissolved Oxygen – indicates the stream's ability to support aquatic life.
Chlorine – indicates a potable water source.
Ammonia – can indicate potential sanitary waste, industrial source, fertilizer.
Surfactant – can indicate potential sanitary waste, industrial source.
Copper – can indicate potential herbicide, industrial source.

We do appreciate the efforts of our Public Works team that is investigating this case.   We hope our natural spaces will remain a safe haven for generations to come. 

Joel Thomas of CBS local News visited our neighborhood  yesterday to investigate this story.