Skip to comments.Concerns Spread in Fort Worth About Gas Drilling Emissions
Posted on 12/24/2009 10:06:44 AM PST by thackney
Concerns about potentially poisonous emissions from natural gas drilling sites have quickly spread from Fort Worth to other area cities as officials and residents struggle to interpret preliminary test results from the state that found high levels of benzene near well sites.
Last week, Flower Mound considered a moratorium on drilling permits until more information becomes available on how drilling affects air quality in the Barnett Shale production region.
The Town Council voted 3-2 against the moratorium in a meeting that stretched well past midnight Dec. 17, officials said. Town Manager Harlan Jefferson had proposed the moratorium after recent air quality reports emboldened drilling critics.
Preliminary results from tests in North Texas by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality found benzene levels as high as five times the state's short-term exposure limit near at least two well sites. Benzene has been linked to cancer and other illnesses.
Flower Mound Councilman Steve Dixon said he opposed the moratorium because preliminary data from the state commission and drillers didn't show any high levels of contaminants from the current wells in Flower Mound.
"I truly believe there are some wells in the Barnett Shale that are polluting, and I encourage those leaders to issue moratoriums," Dixon said. "If we had data that any of the wells in Flower Mound showed harmful levels, I would have voted for the moratorium."
Dixon said Flower Mound is asking the state agency to test the air near wells in the town.
Councilmen Al Filidoro and Tom Hayden argued that a temporary halt made sense until more data become available.
"I hope that the study says everything is fine, but I don't know," Filidoro said. "I had enough doubts to know that I wanted to protect the residents of our community."
The full results of the commission's air tests are expected to be released by January.
The state's initial results came out after private tests paid for by the small town of Dish and business owner Deborah Rogers also found what might be dangerous pollutants.
State Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, has called for a moratorium on new permits until the commission finishes its tests.
The benzene concerns have colored recent protests in several Tarrant County cities over requests to drill near homes and public areas. Air quality concerns have been raised in Fort Worth, Arlington, Colleyville, Southlake and Hurst.
Last week in Colleyville, the Planning and Zoning Commission once again tabled a request from Titan Operating for the first permit in the city. Titan first filed its application in August for a specific-use permit to drill on 53 acres near the Colleyville-Southlake border. The request has attracted some opposition from residents of both cities who repeatedly bring up air quality concerns.
The Hurst City Council tentatively approved some revisions in the city's drilling ordinance this month, including increasing permit fees, Assistant City Manager Jeff Jones said.
Though the new rules didn't address air quality, council members have expressed interest in next month's report from the state agency, Jones said.
there was another article around that pointed to the soros network suddenly writing negative articles on the gas industry. likely this is not an example of such work
Why are benzene levels high at a natural gas well?
Side note: When I was in college we used to use benzene to clean glassware in the organic chemistry lab.
I can see this in New York, but Texas?
There, fixed it so it reads correctly.
It’s snowing in Fort Worth RIGHT NOW!
Y’all have a Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas NYTex
Yup. It’s snowing here too!
Think we will have to wait another hundred years for another white Christmas.
It’s starting to stick a little bit.
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