Firechief Crowson – good for safety bad for royalty checks?

Last night I attended the UNT faculty lecture series on Gas Drillling. I spoke with Darren Groth who was Arlington’s previous gas well coordinator and asked him if the new fees being asked of the drillers would be deducted from royalty checks and he said that permit fees are added to the costs of production.

In the City Council work session, Firechief Crowson presented the  proposed changes needed to for our relatively new, evolving urban  drilling industry that he called unique, but manageable.  He said that rural practices were not appropriate for our densely populated area of 370,000 residents. He likened the life of a building  to the life (cycle) of a gas well in that once permitted, it is up to  the fire department to oversee and be able to be respond to events.  He was clear that the drillers are not the enemy, but rather a partner  and that his department needed real time information so that for  example the fire inspector could be present during fracking. Because I  know that the planning department’s gas well coordinators do not  inspect the drill sites during active times for safety protocol, this  new oversight will not be redundant, and gives us the needed coverage.  The planning department will focus on compliance and the fire  department can focus on responsiveness.

Chief Crowson eloquently stated that in all the prevention efforts,  that systems do fail and man made or natural events can overcome the  best efforts and our responders will be using industy best practices.  He said that providing a safer community is good for the industry.  Mayor Cluck asked how many times the fire department has gone out on  drilling site calls and while Chief Crowson was to get back to him  with an answer, last week I asked a fireman who told me about one  hundred calls a day.

Chief Crowson asked that the industry pay for six additional firemen  and reminded folks that the same model of having extra security for  special events should apply to gas wells to ask the drillers to pay.  Councilwoman Wolff inquired if an inactive well needed to be covered  in the fees and was told that once it is plugged, that the drillers no  longer need to cover it.

Another thing citizens may not realize about these gas wells is that with our new ordinance in place, there will be one person at city hall administratively approving wells from their desk with the stroke of a pen if it meets the 600 foot setback as required in our ordinance.

The days of our City Council hearing long (2 minute) citizen speeches begging not to put those wells by their homes are long gone.  The new ordinance did away with public input on (additional) gas wells on existing padsites.  So one day when Arlington residents decide enough is enough (air pollution/risky aging wells), they won’t have a voice until we remove the “administratively approve new wells provision” off the new ordinance.

In the meantime, hopefully that person will catch some snap to reject all permits until at least the price of NG goes back up so that someone is managing our minerals and trying to maximize them.  If drilling has to happen, we need to…

A) at least know about the new wells being approved behind the scenes and

B) time the production of these wells at favorable market price conditions.

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About Kim Triolo Feil

Since TX Statute 253.005 forbids drilling in heavily settled municipalities, I unsuccessfully ran for City Council Seat to try to enforce this. Since Urban Drilling, our drinking water has almost tripled for TTHM's. Before moving to Arlington in 1990, I lived in Norco’s “cancer alley”, a refinery town. It was only after Urban Drilling in Arlington did I start having health effects. After our drill site was established closest to my home, the chronic nosebleeds started. I know there are more canaries here in Arlington having reactions to our industrialized airshed (we have 55-60 padsites of gas wells). Come forward and report to me those having health issues especially if you live to the north/northwest of a drill site so I can map your health effects on this blog. My youtube account is KimFeilGood. FAIR USE NOTICE: THIS SITE MAY CONTAIN COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL THE USE OF WHICH HAS NOT ALWAYS BEEN SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY THE COPYRIGHT OWNER. MATERIAL FROM DIVERSE AND SOMETIMES TEMPORARY SOURCES IS BEING MADE AVAILABLE IN A PERMANENT UNIFIED MANNER, AS PART OF AN EFFORT TO ADVANCE UNDERSTANDING OF THE SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH EMINENT DOMAIN AND THE PRIVATIZATION OF PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE (AMONG OTHER THINGS). IT IS BELIEVED THAT THIS IS A 'FAIR USE' OF THE INFORMATION AS ALLOWED UNDER SECTION 107 OF THE US COPYRIGHT LAW. IN ACCORDANCE WITH TITLE 17 USC SECTION 107, THE SITE IS MAINTAINED WITHOUT PROFIT FOR THOSE WHO ACCESS IT FOR RESEARCH AND EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. FOR MORE INFORMATION, SEE: HTTP://WWW.LAW.CORNELL.EDU/ TO USE MATERIAL REPRODUCED ON THIS SITE FOR PURPOSES THAT GO BEYOND 'FAIR USE', PERMISSION IS REQUIRED FROM THE COPYRIGHT OWNER INDICATED WITH A NAME AND INTERNET LINK AT THE END OF EACH ITEM. (NOTE: THE TEXT OF THIS NOTICE WAS ALSO LIFTED FROM CORRIDORNEWS.BLOGSPOT.COM)
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