Monday, October 12, 2009

Save Your Property Rights from Drillers

Below is an e-mail document that has been sent to us. We wanted to post it because we feel this is very important to all residents of Flower Mound, whether you own your minerals, don't own your minerals, signed a lease or have not signed a lease.

As stressed in previous posts, this is not just about rural west Flower Mound. Although that is what Williams and the Shiloh residents want us to believe. If the Oil & Gas Ordinance is changed to allow Seismic Testing and Waste water pipelines, all of Flower Mound will be impacted.

Williams is not the only gas drilling company that wants to drill in Flower Mound. Titan will be drilling on the Hilliard property very close to Shadow Ridge Middle School and densely populated neighborhoods. Keystone will be drilling near Wellington Estates near many homes, schools and parks. Red Oak still wants to drill in the middle of town at River Walk.

Seismic testing could be done anywhere near these sites so the gas company can maximize their profits. Williams sent a document to the town to indemnify them for any damage from performing this sort of activity. If it's not going to damage anything why would you ask for an indemnification?

Waste Water could be piped away from these sites to other "Tank Farms". Possibly placing these pipelines through neighborhoods and public areas. Pipelines may reduce the truck traffic on some streets, but they could add traffic to the areas where the "tank farms" are. Salt, one of the main ingredients in produced waste water, has long been known to kill vegetation Also, as posted in many of the articles on this blog and in countless newspapers throughout the nation, toxic chemicals are also found in drilling waste water.

Let the Town Council know how you feel.

Sign the petition
Contact the Council
If possible, attend the work session on October 15th

Here is the Document that was sent

The Town has been asked, and is considering, making 2 changes to our Oil and Gas Ordinance.
1. Allow Seismic testing on the town’s public roads ways, which would include neighborhood streets.
2. Allow “produce water” (fracking wastewater) gathering and storage system that would transport produced water from other pad sites/location to a central storage location for removal by wastewater hauling trucks.

This was proposed by Williams Gas Drilling, but would impact all drilling companies in Flower Mound. Town staff denied William’s request (see Town fact sheet). Despite staff's position, Council is proceeding with approval. Mayor Smith & Council Member Levenick have both signed a Gas Lease with Williams. William has told leasees they will not drill and they will not get their big $ if this does not pass. (See October 5th Council meeting) Which is why over 600 rural residents have signed a petition asking the council to vote yes.

Why you should object to losing your property rights. VOTE “NO”

1. Wellington homeowners DO NOT own our Mineral Rights. Keystone Exploration purchased the mineral rights of Wellington. They also recently purchased a drill site on the corner of Skillern and River Hill Dr.
2. Texas Supreme Court has found that mineral rights are superior to surface rights. (The only thing protecting our property rights from drillers is our Town Ordinances).
3. Homeowners are not covered by insurance if Seismic activity causes damage.
4. If damage is caused to our HOA common property it also is our $$.
5. Burden of Proof for damage is on the damaged party (good luck on that one – read the Town fact sheet)
6. Wastewater is not just water or salt water. It contains highly toxic chemicals including known carcinogens. (See Article on Radio Active Waste)
7. Common carrier pipelines in Texas have a statutory right of eminent domain. They can put pipelines carrying these toxic chemicals in our yards, parks, and school (LISD has already leased their minerals). (See supporting information sheet for Texas Railroad url)
8. Pipelines break! When a pipeline breaks, you don’t notice until major damage has already occurred. Say it breaks in your backyard and your pets or kids find it first.
9. The Gas and Oil Industry are exempt from: The Clean Air Act, The Clean Water Act, and the EMERGENCY PLANNING AND COMMUNITY RIGHT TO KNOW ACT and many more.
10. Williams is drilling 100 wells and wants 30 tanks in their “tank farm” less than 1 ½ miles from our homes and schools. (Read the Clean Air report from Dish Tx) What will Keystone and other drilling companies want to do???

Say No by signing the online petition: (Over 600 rural residents have asked Council to vote Yes)
Contact your Town Council and ask them to protect what is left of your property rights. Ask them to vote No to Seismic testing & Toxic Waste pipelines/”Tank Farms”.

Supporting Information:
URL to last Monday night’s town meeting, where the Town Manager gave a report why the Town Staff said no to William’s request. Click on the October 5th video and select Managers Report.

URL to Town Fact Sheet under “Seismic Testing and Produce Water Gathering System”:

URL to the White paper that the Town distributed at Monday’s Meeting (Collection Facilities “Tank Farms”:

URL to the New Article on Radioactive waste surface…, which the Town distributed at Monday’s meeting:

URL to Dish Tx air quality report:
Another article in the DMN:

1. Texas Supreme Court has found that mineral rights are superior to surface rights. What this means is that although oil and gas companies will often promise to keep all disturbance removed from actual residential settings, if it is necessary to conduct further exploration that necessitates the use of your land, whomever owns mineral rights or possesses a lease to mineral rights can enter your land at any point in time with no notice, and you cannot receive compensation for any damage caused by their incursion on your property except if the damage is caused maliciously. Unfortunately “Seismic Testing” is not considered malicious.
2. Common carrier pipelines in Texas have a statutory right of eminent domain. Common carrier pipelines are operators that transport oil, oil products, gas, carbon dioxide, salt brine, sand, clay, liquefied minerals or other mineral solutions.
For example, a pipeline transporting hazardous liquids would be a common carrier, and would have the right of eminent domain. A ‘common carrier’ pipeline transporting natural gas would be a ‘public utility’ (more commonly referred to as a ‘gas utility’), and also would have the power of eminent domain. The Railroad Commission does not have the authority to regulate any pipelines with respect to the exercise of their eminent domain powers. ( ).

Oil and Gas Industry exemptions:

Sign the petition asking Council to vote NO. (Over 600 rural residents have a signed a petition asking council to vote yes. Don’t let your vote go uncounted)

Attend the October 15th Council Meeting @ 6:00. Residents will not be allowed to speak at the work session. Therefore if you have question send them to the council prior to the meeting.

Why Flower Mound Should NOT Negotiate with Williams to Change Gas Drilling Ordinance

If every gas driller incites “lease holders” to overrun city hall, Mobs will hold the town hostage and there will be nothing we as homeowners can do to protect ourselves from potential threats of:

- Drilling toxic waste,
- Un-insurable property damage,
- Property devaluation, and
- Cost of subsidizing drilling with our community tax dollars

Ordinance Change Briefing

Williams Drilling and Shiloh Road residences are asking for variances to our drilling ordinance. Williams is using pressure on the Shiloh Road to storm city hall. Williams has threatened not to drill on the Shiloh Road leases unless the Shiloh residence can get Flower Mound Town council to change the drilling ordinance. This ordinance change would allow for seismic testing and toxic wastewater piping in our neighborhood and near your homes, walls, pools, and ground piping.

We think that the Williams and the Shiloh Road group have a right to drill. Williams has been granted drilling permits by the Town of Flower Mound based on existing drilling ordinance. We do not think the town should approve or negotiate on Williams contract “paper” nor should they open the ordinance given the direct and aggressive impact Williams is trying to have on Flower Mound politics.

Flower Mound Home Owners Drilling Bill of Rights

Seismic damage is not covered by homeowners insurance therefore we do not want seismic events in our neighborhoods.

We do not want drilling within 1000 ft of our homes nor do we believe toxic waste should be piped through our neighborhoods.

We do not allow wastewater piping, tanks and infrastructure that produce toxic waste to be routed or located in our neighborhoods.

Homeowners, HOA’s nor City surface rights should NOT be taken away by changing the ordinance or offer code variances that would cause complex legal issues weakening the drilling code.

Taxpayers should not pay for or subsidize gas-drilling efforts. They are heavily subsidized and protected by the government already.

We recommend that air quality checks and other remediation and safety processes/standards be put in place to further protect town neighborhoods health and safety.

Call to Action:1. Sign the online petition. Contact your town council and tell them you don't want them to change the ordinance 3. Go to the October 15th (6:00) Town Council meeting. If you are unable to make it, please send e-mail with your concern

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