Saturday, January 30, 2010

Too many questions and not enough answers after Argyle Community Meeting

Lowell Brown of the Denton Record Chronicle reports on Thursday nights meeting in Lantana.

State officials from the Texas Railroad Commission and the TCEQ gave presentations for two hours. After their presentations, there was an answer and question session. The session had more questions than answers. A few of the questions where.

Whether the asthma rates are higher in areas with gas drilling?

Do local municipalities have the right to mandate on-site recycling and purification?

Many residents feel the TRC does not and cannot regulate the industry properly. Texas leads the nation for most drilling and the worst regulations of drilling.

The state inspects wells on a priority system because it lacks the manpower to inspect each well “as often as we’d like,” said Gil Bujano, an official with the Texas Railroad Commission.

See the chart below.

There was also concern that injecting the toxic waste water into the disposal well could cause earthquakes like those at DFW and Cleburne. TRC did not ease those concerns.

Bujano also declined to offer assurances to an Argyle resident who asked whether earthquakes could create cracks that allow wastewater injected underground to creep into drinking water wells.

Argyle Town Council is also opposed to the disposal well along with neighboring landowners, Argyle and Bartonville water supply corporations and Gulftex Operating Inc. who is drilling in the area.

The state officials also talked about the recent TCEQ study results that showed 1 in 4 gas drilling production sites tested had higher than acceptable benzene readings. Residents are concerned because they feel the standard level on which the TCEQ is too high. Txsharon breaks down how they come up with this standard.

Many residents left with the same concerns they came with.

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