Thursday, December 24, 2009

Star Telegram article about air quality concerns

In a recent article in the Star Telegram about air quality concerns, Steve Dixon was quoted saying the following:

"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."

But with some of the preliminary testing showing high levels of benzene in areas of North Texas, holding off till the TCEQ and the EPA releases their study results and recommendations, would have been the right thing to do for the residents of Flower Mound. Councilmen Filidoro and Hayden voted for the temporary suspension until it was certain that there was not an air quality issue around Flower Mound.

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."

Flower Mound is asking for testing to be done at gas wells in the area. The Town has not been included in any testing to date. See map from txsharon on TCEQ testing. It is really the future that many Flower Mound residents are worried about. The Town received applications for 18 new gas wells and a compressor station during the 30 day period. They have also been debating a proposed Waste Water Collection Facility that could be the site of an excessive amount of Tank Batteries filled with toxic drilling waste. Pipelines buried 4 feet underground that will transport the drilling waste to the site could be subject to eminent domain. This could allow the pipelines to run through neighborhoods. The Town could vote on whether to add this type of facility to the ordinance.

Allowing any more drilling activity and a Waste Water Collection Facility in the Town before the TCEQ and EPA results are available is reckless endangerment of all the residents.


TXsharon said...

I posted an interactive map created by Texas OGAP that shows TCEQ Phase I & II testing locations. As you can see, Flower Mound was not included in any state testing! So there are two serious issues with Dixon's quote in the Star-Telegram article:

1) Dixon claims he based his vote on information that does not exist.

2) Why didn't the Star-Telegram reporter and editor take a few moments to do a fact check?

Another Concerned Citizen said...

Thanks Sharon. This map is great!