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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fish Creek Monitor Attends Screening of Gasland II

Fish Creek Monitor attends screening of Gasland II at Ridglea Theater in Fort Worth, TX

 The event was a huge success, and everyone had a great time last night. 

We did not see any City Council members in the audience.  

Mary Kelleher, Tarrant Regional Water District Board Member attended.
In case you're not familiar with her, click here, here, and here.

Thank you, Josh Fox, the stars of this film, and a special thanks to the countless activists who work diligently behind the scenes in the hope of  banning this dangerous practice of unconventional shale gas extraction before our planet reaches the tipping point of no return...

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Our neighbors once had a small above ground swimming pool.   One day its walls gave way and the pool burst.  In a matter of seconds, the force of the water pushed our six foot tall fence panels halfway into our yard.   The water reached our foundation.  That little round pool contained roughly 10,000 gallons of water, yet its weakened structure caused a mini tsunami.

Now imagine this ~ your industrial neighbor, XTO Energy, erects an olympic-sized above ground frac pool with a diameter of 160' and walls 12' tall.   These pools hold two million gallons of water!   What if those walls were to suddenly collapse due to a situation of improper installation, defects, age, seismicity, a tornado, or even gunshots, which are becoming commonplace in our city?   The consequences would be catastrophic ~ perhaps deadly for nearby residents and anyone who happens to be walking or driving by in a car. 

A zoning amendment to add six additional acres to hold one of of these giant frac pools on XTO's existing Eden Southwest  Drill Site located at 150 Eden Road, Arlington, Texas was up for discussion at Wednesday's September 18th Planning & Zoning hearing at City Hall.   Here is that video:  (Note:  This video may not play on mobile devices.  Please view on your PC or Mac.)

"This is not a destructive type of activity at all," states Walter Dueease, Regulatory Affairs Manager, XTO Energy.

The six speakers in opposition made excellent points.  We've summarized and highlighted a few of these: 

Kim FeilXTO said in the afternoon session that the water would not hurt ducks.  Clarification is needed as to whether this water will be treated or reclaimed.  Reminds the commissioners that their is no language in the City's gas drilling ordinance for frac pools.  Until the ordinance is updated where residents are protected, the applicant should be denied.

Jane Lynn  "Pennsylvania's Attorney General has charged XTO with environmental crimes for spilling over 50,000 gallons of toxic wastewater.   Do we trust them to operate in the middle of our residential neighborhoods?"  In addition, XTO has recently violated the designated truck route in the Fish Creek Neighborhood.  She also wanted to know why we are talking about frac pools when we are in a drought.

Sinikka DickersonProvides testimony about the time when both she and a Veteran Arlington police officer got sickened  in a residential neighborhod  that is surrounded by gas drill sites.  She said, "I can't wrap my mind around it why smart, educated people who by now ought to know better continue approving these activities in residential neighborhoods."

J.R. Nicholson:   Speaks about the gas clouds that came over his house and how his (now deceased) mother couldn't breathe.  A cluster of his neighbors have passed away in a short span of time.   He talked about his burning lungs, unexplained weight loss, breathing problems, and headaches.  Regarding our regulatory agencies he comments, "This whole thing is a bought and paid for farce."  His plead to P&Z is to take a serious look at this issue with their heart and soul because as he states, "Money isn't everything."

Paul Ulrich Discusses the dismal state of  the neighborhood  ~ evidence of deterioration of infrastructure of roads, sidewalks, and houses.  "We have proof of drill mud contamination from horizontal drilling."   He goes on to say that while it may seem innocuous to add a frac pool, it is not.  "This is about allowing a known bad operator to extend the range of influence in our community.  There will be more damage, spill, pollute."   Each time they put up the pool and take it down, it impacts the community.   He says, "We want you to stop drilling and move back out of our community and  leave us alone to pick up the pieces so we can start healing and stop the death.  If you don't, then ten years from now Arlington will be a polluted, destroyed industrial waste ghetto."  Finally, he recommends that XTO purchase flood insurance for everyone in that vicinity.

Lola Gulley"We need to take our neighborhood back before we're all destroyed.  If the water breaks, all our homes and the neighborhood would be gone.  Too many people are dying. Our property is being damaged from the fracking and the drilling.  I think we should stop thinking about the money and think about the residents." 

It is Powerful when community comes together.
Stay tuned to hear how that vote went down... 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Whoosh and a Boom

Now what's going on at Chesapeake's Bruder Gas Drill Site?

On Tuesday night, September 17th residents called 911 when they heard a loud whoosh and a boom.  Here's an e-mail one neighbor sent to Chesapeake:
"I wanted to let you know that we had an incident tonight at the Bruder Site. I did call 911. I've never heard a sound like this before. It was a very, very loud whoosh and then a find of [sic] boom or something like that.  The fire department came out. It happened a little after 11:00. I can't imagine that no one else called it in because it was so loud."

Here's Chesapeake's response to that neighbor's concerns:
"I wanted to let you know that what you heard last night were two wells coming online. Chesapeake had personnel on the site during the day and during the night to handle these operations and they met with the Fire Department when they arrived. We had a sufficient compliment of operations personnel and equipment to handle this activity and the Fire Dept. was satisfied that Chesapeake had all aspects of the operation very much under control. As you know the Bruder padsite is home to a number of very excellent and good producing wells and sometimes when strong wells come online they can initially make the whooshing sound that you heard.
 I am sorry that you were concerned but happy to report what you heard was the sound of gas filling the pipeline after coming online. Please let me know if there is any additional information that I can   provide as I am happy to help whenever possible."

These are "good producing wells"?

As one of the lessors said, "Someone is getting some money, but it isn't us."

It seems the Fire Department provided a totally different response about this incident to this resident  Here is the e-mail the resident sent to Chesapeake: 
"I was told by the fire department that what I heard was the gas well water in the gas lines causing pressure. Water caused pressure to build up and the pressure detection system shut down the wells automatically. So i don't know who told you the noise was from the wells coming back on line. It seems the info I was given by the Arlington fire department was different than the information you were given. I'm going to see if I can get a copy of the report from the fire department to clarify."

Here's the next e-mail from Chesapeake.   Sounds like they're attempting to cover their tracks:
"I have done some further checking after receiving your second email. Indeed there were two different things that transpired last night and I initially only reported on one of them. What you heard about 11:00 p.m. was the result of the pipeline valve closing automatically because there was a large volume of water coming out of the well. This resulted in a high water level in a vessel and the subsequent shutting of the pipeline valve. These valves close very quickly and although loud in volume our safety system worked as designed. Unfortunately, there is no way to accurately predict exactly when the water will begin to flow and how much water will flow when we bring wells online. The system is designed to shut down automatically if the volume of water flowing to the tanks is too great – that is what happened and what you heard.

After the wells were shut off automatically Chesapeake worked to get them back online and that occurred about 2:30 a.m. Each of these operations created the sounds that you heard. However, as I mentioned in my previous email the systems worked as designed in a safe and efficient manner. The Fire Department was on site with our operators and reviewed the status of the operations and saw them to be safe and secure. My apologies for not providing the entire explanation in my original email. Although it was my desire to get you an explanation as quickly as possible this morning that resulted in me sending an incomplete summary of what had occurred."

Perhaps there is a whistleblower out there who can tell us the real story... 
In the meantime, here is the official incident report from that night:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Pipeline Runs Through It

On September 16, 2013 the Fort Worth Star Telegram reports:
"Eden Village, north of Eden Road and west of U.S. Highway 287, is to feature homes from $250,000 up, as well as green spaces and such amenities as walking trails and a dog-friendly park, designed to complement the nearby golf course."

Read more here:
Click Here to read this story.

Now take a look at this letter from Summit Midstream:

We wonder if these are the free amenities that come with the purchase of one of these homes ~ a natural gas pipeline transporting UN-Odorized gas through the community and gas drilling (heavy industrial mining operation) 700 feet away.  Maybe they have a frac pond stocked with fish and ducks too!  Will the buyers own the minerals, or did the developer retain these?   Looks like greenwashing from this view.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Muddy Mess in Frackland

Gas Drilling isn't working out so well in residential neighborhoods... 

Back in 2010 there was a drilling mud accident in this South Arlington neighborhood near the Eden Road Drill Site which is at the intersection of Matlock and Eden Road in Arlington, Texas.  This is one example of a horizontal directional drilling job gone bad.  The Fish Creek Neighborhood experienced a similar phenomenon in November 2012.  Click Here for that story. 

Here is the crew cleaning up this muddy mess.  We are trying to obtain documentation from the City and the Railroad Commission of Texas about this accident that affected a bunch of homes, but so far we've been unsuccessful.  Surely, there must be a record of this incident somewhere!  Isn't the company responsible required to report this?

There are a lot of gas pipelines in this area!

In addition to complaints about the white chemical clouds that residents witnessed floating over homes, we've received lots of pictures like this one from frustrated homeowners.  The people near the Eden Road Drill Site are doing an outstanding job of documenting the damages they believe to be caused by drilling activity.  
Now XTO Energy wants to amend/expand their drill site to add a frac pool like this one even though there are already ten drilling locations within two miles of this site.   Put on your boots and attend these two important public hearings: 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013, 5:30 p.m. 
101 West Abram Street, Arlington, TX

Tuesday, October 15, 2013, 6:30 p.m.
 101 West Abram Street, Arlington, TX

See additional information in this Scribd document:

If you are unable to attend, please say a prayer for our City that it's not too late.