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Monday, May 27, 2013

Atmos Got 'Er Done

"It took five days but they got 'er done," according to Atmos spokesperson Shawn Michie.  No more gas will vent into  the atmosphere because the relief valves have been replaced with regulators.  Previously, whenever there was a malfunction from overpressurization, gas would simply vent into our airshed.  Atmos made this upgrade after receiving numerous complaints from neighbors about loud venting noises which woke them up in the middle of the night.
These new regulators are designed to reduce pressure rather than allowing gas to spew into our community.  We feel relieved about this since ~ when the breeze is blowing in just the right direction ~ we smell mercaptan on our property a half mile away.  In addition, we have two public schools near these two metering stations. 

We were under the impression that this was one gas metering station, but we learned that this southeast Arlington Gas Metering Station is actually two.  (See photo above.)  The one on the left serves the City of Grand Prairie, Texas and the one on the right serves the City of Arlington, Texas.  We are always discovering new things in Gasland!

Now let's talk about mercaptan.  We are told that mercaptan is added to natural gas for safety reasons since natural gas is odorless and explosive.  [We certainly wouldn't want a repeat of the New London School explosion.]  What we are not told about mercaptan, however, is that it is a toxic, hazardous chemical.  Short term exposure can cause headache, dizziness, nausea, pulmonary irritation, wheezing, rapid heart beat, and irritation of the eyes and mucous membranes.   In lab experiments monkeys, rats, and mice that inhaled mercaptan exhibited altered blood chemistries and cellular changes of the liver, lungs, and kidneys.

According to the ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry):

We have very little information on the health effects of exposure to methyl mercaptan. A worker exposed to very high levels (exact amount unknown) of this compound for several days when he opened and emptied tanks of methyl mercaptan went into a coma (became unconscious), developed anemia (a blood disorder) and internal bleeding. He died within a month after this incident.

We do not know whether long-term exposure of humans to low levels of methyl mercaptan can result in harmful health effects such as cancer, birth defects, or problems with reproduction.

Methyl mercaptan can be smelled and recognized in Air when it is there at a level of about 1.6 ppb (1.6 parts of methyl mercaptan per billion parts of air). It can be smelled when it is present in water at a level far lower than 1 ppb.

Rest assured that Atmos employees may monitor these stations through their I-Phones 24/7, 365 days/year.   Pressure may also be controlled remotely out of the Pressure Control Office located in Lincoln Center in Dallas.   

Regarding health-effects of long-term exposure to low levels of mercaptan:


Tuesday, May 21, 2013


A resident called 911 at 1:14 a.m. today when he heard a loud noise coming from the Bruder Gas Drill Site near his home on Glen Springs Drive in Arlington, Texas.  This site is operated by Chesapeake.

This is how close gas drill sites are zoned for residential neighborhoods:

While we did not receive a response from the City, the Fire Department promptly released this Incident Report to us when we requested information:

Apparently, these incidents are fairly common in the gas patch. We heard Fire Chief Crowson testify at a recent Energy Resources Hearing in Austin that there have been approximately twenty gas releases in Arlington over the past year.  That's too many.  We were gassed.  These residents were gassed.  Who will be next?

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Backyard Chickens in the Gas Patch

Rest in Peace Maisy
March 11, 2008 - May 14, 2013

Our first baby chicks.  (March 2008)

The chick on the left is a Buff Orpington.  After researching various chicken breeds, we selected her because we read that they have docile temperaments and are good with children.  That turned out to be true.  We named her Daisy because I love daisy flowers, and the name's meaning ~ "Day's Eye" seemed fitting as chickens religiously get up and going at sunrise.

While Daisy survived Maisy, we believe she has endocrine disruption.  Immediately following a huge gas release on April 11, 2011 Daisy quit laying eggs.  She was laying regularly until our property was covered in toxic fracking chemicals and gas from the Fulson Drill Site in southeast Arlington, Texas operated by Chesapeake.  She hasn't laid an egg since.

The chick on the right was our beloved Maisy.  We selected her because we thought it would be novel to have a chicken that lays blue/green eggs and were intrigued by the fact that her breed originated from South America.  While not meeting all of APA's (American Poultry Association) breeding standards of  Ameraucanas, Maisy had the characteristic muff and beard and layed green eggs.  She was known as an Easter Egger.

She also quit laying eggs after that toxic gas release, but she did resume laying after one full year of cessation of drilling activity at the Fulson Drill Site.  This observation  leads us to believe that drilling activity next to our homes, schools, and parks is harmful.  We must ban shale gas drilling in our residential communities until it can be proven it is absolutely 100% safe, and we know intuitively it is NOT safe.  NO WAY.  NO HOW.

Maisy thought she was a lapdog.   We miss her.

Chickens are great pets providing enjoyment and relaxation.  They also provide wonderful, healthy eggs and free organic fertilizer.  While our chickens ate a superb diet consisting of freshly grown organic veggies and insects, Maisy's life span was cut short due to ~ what we believe ~  is toxic gas drilling near our home.  If gas drilling can cut a chicken's life span in half, what is it doing to your life span, health, quality of life, or your developing child's body?   When will people get disgusted enough to say, "Enough is enough!"

Until then, "Welcome to life in the Gas Patch."
If you live near gas drilling activities and are experiencing new health effects, please e-mail us.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Veridian: The New Urbanism

Arlington, Texas is home to Veridian, a 2,300 acre master-planned community.  Its green, sustainable urban environment has amenities including 1,100 acres of protected wetlands, 20 miles of trails along the Trinity River, and  lakes.  In addition to enjoying parks and natural areas, It has offices, hotels, restaurants, shops, and churches.  Home prices range from $200,000 - $2 million.  The Huffines team makes it possible to live, work,  play, and worship in one eco-friendly community.

On Wednesday, May 15th at 5:30 Planning and Zoning will hear Veridian Zoning Case PD-07-5R3.  This  involves an amendment to the Paseo Homesites.  The original design included a nine foot separation between homes.  The new plan reduces the separation to seven feet and fails to meet  fire code's requirement of a sprinkler system.   
(click image to enlarge.)

In Arlington, Texas even exclusive communities are not exempt from gas drilling!!!

Word has it that Sam Ware of Lazarus Property Corporation sold this land to Donald and Phillip Huffines [minus the mineral rights] back in 2007. According to an article in the Dallas Business Journal dated November 19, 2006 titled "Gas Trumps Houses for Sam Ware", it states,   In 2003, he formed an entity to explore Barnett Shale opportunities, calling it WHTGH LP -- an acronym for "We hope there's gas here."   
Two operators ~ OPS Group Limited, and Range Production Company ~ drilled a total of three wells on that pad site, known as the LOBF (Lakes of Birds Fort) Boot Unit.  According to the Railroad Commission of Texas, they came up as dry holes and were plugged.  Since no production paperwork is available, there is no way to know if these wells were perfed or fracked or what chemicals were used in the process.  God help us.


Here is the Veridian video clip from the May 15, 2013 City of Arlington, Texas Planning and Zoning hearing:
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Did we mention that landfill across the street?  When the breeze shifted, we smelled a strong odor of rotting garbage. People really need to do research before purchasing a home.  It's one the most important investments we make in our lifetime.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Best of Dr. Bob Cluck

Dr. Bob declares he is an environmentalist?
The citizens "run this ship?"

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The best is yet to come! 
Click here to see Best of the Worst North Texas Mayors

Election Day is Saturday, May 11, 2013.
We recommend Jerry Pikulinski for Arlington, Texas Mayor.
Click here for your voting location.