The fact is now we have aging wells, storage tanks, separators, and lift compressors. That our two biggest operators in Arlington, Chesapeake and Carrizo, are now long gone and ownership has since changed twice (what we call a third tier driller) makes it expensive for the operators to take on padsite maintenance and responsibility for the legacy wells.
September 10, 2018 a pin hole leak developed in an old 2010 drilled Carrizo well at the Fannin Farm padsite and the safety features to keep the well from exploding released the pressure and contents from the well. Fortunately this was captured on a drone video, Fracking Accident
Before the accident, the residents were already complaining about the non-neighborly actions of Saddle Operating LLC. One person complained about all the diesel odors. Here is an upscale new development in north Arlington where we captured such a diesel plume…
In response to the emission event, Councilwoman Capehart explained at her frownhall meeting (see footage here) that HB40 ties their hands in stopping new wells.
During the meeting, Sargent Crowsen was asked about how many accidents they tend to in a one years time and he replied that they responded to about 10 to 15 a year. He added that some issues included “washouts” and separator related malfunctions. Aside from the Lake Arlington event, here are a couple of month of “APRIL” events where a similar fog enveloped the areas (one where the fire dept followed a two block wide plume into the neighborhoods across from Hutchinson Jr High) years ago when the infrastructure was relatively “new”….https://barnettshalehell.wordpress.com/?s=april. I attached on this email a Pic 10/18/17 8am north of I30 and east of 820 white plume.
I have been asking for Arlington lead in challenging HB40 (a ban on fracking bans) for HomeRule authority but Councilwoman Capehart argued that that the City of Arlington had already lost a lawsuit (brought by the industry when they tried to impose fees to cover the almost $500K/yr on ave expense for Arlington Fire Department to be trained to respond to drill site emission events). Councilwoman Capehart does not want the City of Arlington to challenge HB40 with another lawsuit, hence why I am writing to North Central Texas Council of Government to build into your next budget to prepare for class action litigation with the financial support of other towns that will also benefit from the reversal of HB40 and the restoration of Home Rule Law.
Our last legislative session had failed bills challenging HB40, so the legislative route is ineffective. Our north central Texas cities supporting NCTCOG can utilize your efficiencies of scale as the appropriate entity for a multi-city class action lawsuit to reverse HB40.
We can no longer allow HB40 to trump Home Rule Law and we do not want our council hiding behind HB40’s at gaswell permit hearings like I witnessed of Councilwoman Myers for the recent Cornerstone permits.
We do not want to have these frownhall meetings after emission events that will be more frequent as these wells age.
Council would still have been in compliance to HB40 if they would have adhered to their 600 ft set back in our ordinance as the drillers have enjoyed being able to be here in Arlington with our 600 ft stipulated setbacks. It is greed in my opinion that council allows exceptions to the 600 ft rule.
I believe that even with HB40 reversed that our city council will continue to approve more wells for financial reasons at the expense of our residents near these drill site to endure repeated emission events. Our 2019 budget in Arlington shows we collect revenues from the drilling operators in inspection fees of $1.1 million and a projected $483,325 expenditure by the Arlington Fire Department for gas well response readiness. To date urban drilling has accumulated $100 million in our ATF fund and dispersed $20 million in grants off of the interest earned from the ATF. We have used $50 million as a loan for Texas LIVE.
But at some point the Cities may start to see the financial downside on abandoned wells from limited liability companies.
A special committee back in 2016 showed that the City of Arlington thinks the state will step in on any abandoned padsite, however the state has claimed they do not have the money and have to prioritize the worst leakers first…
Aside from the risk the Cities take on operators going bankrupt, the surface value of the actual padsites has lost up to 95% taxable value as the highest and best use is…well…a gas well. A perfect example is when I blogged about when the
Now the hard part…even if we handle the financial risk of bankruptcies and continue to use the drilling money to pad our budgets, there is the public backlash on the health risks long term on urban drilling as we were the guinea pigs. Most doctors and attorneys will not take these types of cases in court as they are almost impossible to prove the drillers harmed the public with exposures. The drillers should have to prove they did not harm us. At the recent frownhall meeting, people were heard in the videos claiming health effects.
We have failed local leadership in my opinion in protecting citizens from the risk of high impact industrial activities in our neighborhoods, churches, and schools. Will the NCTCOG assist us in get protective measures in place (reversal of HB40) so that when we elect new leadership (#teamtermlimits), we can then begin to ban urban drilling and make Arlington liveable again?
Do we dare to wait and make similar headlines if we find fracking silica dust
in umbilical chords? While we have had low birth weight issues before fracking, it is important not to worsen the problem with urban drilling. In trying to understand low birth weight mechanisms, in this article, soot particles from a nearby coal plant were found in umbilical chords ….