Sunday, May 30, 2010
Ms. Subra will be featured in Dr. Sanjay Gupta's Toxic America report to air on CNN in the next few weeks.
This is your opportunity to come and hear Wilma speak on a concern of all of us living on the Barnett Shale. Air Quality.
Below is the information from the NCTCA (North Central Texas Community Alliance) about the event.
General Meeting Information:
When: Thursday: June 3, 2010
6:30 pm - Doors Open - Coffee & Networking
7:00 - 8:45 pm - Meeting Starts
Where: TRINITY HOTEL - INN SUITES
Beach Street and IH30
Fort Worth, Texas
FEATURED SPEAKER: Wilma Subra
Topic : AIR QUALITY - Health Impacts To You and Your Children ( See PDF Flyer )
Committed to protecting the environment and the health and safety of citizens, Wilma Subra started Subra Company in 1981. Subra Company is a chemistry lab and environmental consulting firm in New Iberia, LA.
Mrs. Subra provides technical assistance to citizens, across the United States and some foreign countries, concerned with their environment by combining technical research and evaluation. This information is then presented to community members so that strategies may be developed to address their local struggles.
Utilizing the information gained from community involvement, the needs identified are translated into policy changes at the State and Federal level through service on multi-stake holder committees. She has just completed a seven year term as Vice-Chair of the Environmental Protection Agency National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and
Technology (NACEPT), a five year term on the National Advisory Committee of the U. S. Representative to the Commission for Environmental Cooperation and a six year term on the EPA National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC) where she served as a member of the Cumulative Risk and Impacts Working Group of the NEJAC Council, and chaired the NEJAC Gulf Coast Hurricanes Work Group.
Mrs. Subra holds degrees in Microbiology/Chemistry from the University of Southwestern Louisiana. She received the MacArthur Fellowship “Genius” Award from the MacArthur Foundation for helping ordinary citizens understand, cope with and combat environmental issues in their communities and was one of three finalist in the Environmental Category of the 2004 Volvo for Life Award.
Friday, May 28, 2010
This will allow the Town Council to vote on a temporary moratorium at the next meeting. Also, prevent a flood of new applications that could have been submitted between now and June 8th.
Monday, May 24, 2010
One of the protesters said a Williams spokesperson said that they will be putting in 32 tanks (they had previously been told 11, I believe, which is tragedy enough).
Kelly Swan, PR guy from Williams, was out there this morning and he was not happy that the moms were standing in front of the gate blocking access to Williams’ trucks until the Sheriff came out and made them move. After the Sheriff left, they remained near the entrance and protested throughout the day.
The Centralized Collection Facility, a fancy name for a Toxic Waste Water Tank Farm, site is on 7 acres, beautifully wooded before this morning.
It's in a flood plain.
There's a creek flowing through the property that's about 50 feet from where they're working.
The site is right in the middle of a neighborhood. There are homes all around. Yes, the lots are big but there are two homes abutting the site, several across the street, and more homes in the neighborhood. There are many people living near the site.
Williams originally wanted to put the CCF (Toxic Waste Water Tank Farm) on some property inside the city limits of Argyle, but some members of the Argyle town council helped Williams find other property in an unincorporated area. Some of the Argyle Town Council members are mineral lease holders. Fishy?
Many Dogs in the area have died from cancer or currently have cancer.
Williams' contractor, Vaquero, bulldozed oak trees. Some of the trees may have been 100-200 years old. The site is butted up to the back yard of a house on about 2 acres.
Read the recent article in the Denton Record Chronicle. Click here
Click here for a video of the destruction of the trees and property from this morning.
For more info go to: http://txsharon.blogspot.com/
Saturday, May 22, 2010
First, outgoing Mayor Smith and Councilmember Levenick offered cordial remarks and best wishes for those that were taking office. Mayor Northern then presented both Ms. Smith and Ms. Levenick with gifts and photographs.
Mayor Northern, Councilmember Filidoro, and Councilmember Lyda then made their acceptance remarks. All were gracious and a reiteration of their campaign pledges.
Councilmember Lyda's remarks were especially moving and I have received his permission to post them in full:
Thank you Madam Mayor and thank you fellow members of council, and thanks to the people in the audience tonight in attendance for coming out and seeing us tonight.
What a great, great honor it is to sit here tonight as your councilmember. I am humbled to have this opportunity to serve you.
When His Holiness, Pope Benidict, was chosen by his peers in an election to the Papacy, no doubt the world was watching when he made his first speech as Pope. As he spoke from the papal apartment in Rome and uttered these simple but memorable words in his first address as Pope, “I do not know how the Lord continues to work with imperfect tools.”
Likewise, I’m sure the people of Flower Mound are awaiting the first speech of their newly sworn councilmember. Although the world is not watching, many people in this Town and this area are. ..And the first thought that comes to my mind is: “I do not know how the Lord continues to work with imperfect tools.”
I am still in awe of the number of people who turned out to vote in the 2010 election, one of the things I have always said in this campaign was that I would love to see increased voter turnout in our local election. Flower Mound, you really delivered on this one and for that you should be proud. Today, your voice has been heard.
What does the outcome of this election mean? That for the first time in a long time this council has been given a clear mandate by the people. That is for the council to listen to it’s residents, to do our best to protect our homes and our families, and to return control of Flower Mound to the citizens who created it.
What does this election mean in the future? Absolutely nothing. From this day forward, we will now be defined by our actions, by our record, and by what we do and do not do as a council. One thing is clear, if we don’t answer the mandate of the people…the people will be back to mandate who is on the council.
To the citizens of Flower Mound, you have my oath that will serve this Town justly, and to the best of my ability. Although I am an “imperfect tool”...I remember one thing, that I am a citizen in this Town just like you, I have to live here just like you do…and I want my Council to do what is best for my family..as well as yours. Be certain, I will not take this charge lightly.
I would like to take a moment to tell my wife Amy that I love her..and without her support, I would not be here. Thank you for always encouraging me to believe in myself. To the greatest first children in Flower Mound: The A-Team, Allie, Aubrey and Austin Lyda…I love ya’ll too and thanks for putting up with your Father not being there for the past several months.
To all the countless volunteers who helped with the campaign, especially my campaign manager Sue Ann, and campaign coordinator Kelly…your tireless efforts will not be forgotten for a long time, and I hope I can remain someone you can believe in in the future. Remember, there is no “I” in NFL…but there is a team. Never forget some of you worked just as hard for this seat as I did…so don’t hesitate to call with your questions or concerns.
To the new Mayor Pro Tem Emeritus, Jean Levenick, thank you for your service on this council, your seat is in good hands. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.
Mayor Northern…present for duty at this meeting tonight is Councilmember Steve Lyda, servant of the people of Flower Mound. I am ready to get to work. May God guide us on this lofty quest.
Let's go to work...
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Titan Operating is requesting that the Board approve four variances to the Town's O&G ordinance in order to commence drilling at Hilliard Field. (Hilliard is located on 2499, south of 3040 and north of Spinks.)
It begins at 6:30 at Town Hall, 2121 Cross Timbers Road.
Monday, May 17, 2010
The Town of Flower Mound’s O&G Board of Appeals will be hearing a request from Titan Operating Company for variances (exceptions) to the setback requirements contained in the Town’s O&G ordinance. If these variances are approved, gas drilling will soon begin at Hilliard Field – located on FM 2499, south of FM 3040 and north of Spinks.
Our O&G ordinance is frequently touted as one of the strongest in the state; however, if variances are allowed, the ordinance is weakened, and residents are no longer properly protected. If the O&G Board approves the requested variances, within a few months Flower Mound will have its first real “urban” gas well. In fact, up to 20 wells could possibly be drilled at or around this site.
Regardless of whether you live near the Hilliard site or not, you have a right to express your concerns about the proposed variances.
The Hilliard site is located on one of the Town’s main thoroughfares – the new gas well would be one of the first things a visitor arriving from DFW would see as they drove into Town – and it is surrounded by highly residential areas. The variances would allow drilling to take place within 100 feet of an upland habitat, less than 200 feet from waters of the state (a creek bed that is generally dry, but subject to runoff concerns with heavy rain), and less than 300 feet from a water well.
In addition, Shadow Ridge Middle School is located approximately 1/3 mile from the proposed well site and Bluebonnet Elementary is less than 1/2 mile from the site.
What you can do:
• Bring your friends and neighbors to the O&G Board Meeting this Wednesday night, 6:30 pm at Town Hall. We need the board members to understand that the vast majority of Town residents do not support gas drilling in the center of Town and that the protections offered by the Town’s strong O&G ordinance should not be weakened by numerous variance approvals.
• Email the Oil & Gas Board regarding your concerns, in care of firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Sign the online petition requesting that the O&G Board deny the requested variances at:
Many people mistakenly believe that the recent moratorium enacted by the Town Manager will prohibit drilling. THIS IS NOT THE CASE! The moratorium only applies to new applications for centralized facilities for gas compression, gas lift or produced water storage.
Friday, May 14, 2010
On Wednesday, May 19th, the Town's O&G Board of Appeals will consider a request from Titan Operating Company to approve a reduction in required setbacks for a natural gas well they wish to drill at Hilliard Field.
The Hilliard property is located on the main thoroughfare into Flower Mound, Long Prairie Road (FM 2499). It is just south of Flower Mound Road (FM 3040) and north of Spinks Road.
Titan Operating Company is requesting four variances (reductions in the setbacks) to the Town’s O&G ordinance. If the O&G Appeals Board approves the variances, gas drilling could begin immediately on the Hilliard site.
We believe these variance requests are inappropriate considering that this location is in the center of the Town and it is surrounded by highly residential areas. The variances would allow the drilling to take place within 100 feet of an upland habitat, less than 200 feet from waters of the state and less than 300 feet from a water well. Furthermore, Shadow Ridge Middle School is located approximately 1/3 mile from the proposed well site and Bluebonnet Elementary is less than 1/2 mile from the site.
We believe that the approval of these variances is not in the best interest of the majority of Flower Mound residents.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Please beware and do your homework. You may be signing away your right to protect and defend yourself should an accident happen in the future.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Dr. Armendariz said that every regulation and enforcement has to be tied to a law. Meaning that the Industry's broad exemptions from federal environmental and health statutes make it difficult to enforce some rules.
The EPA is currently traveling around the country and collecting data on air and water conditions in areas where drilling is occurring. They will use this data to implement new rules. It is their intention to hand down new rules in the next 12 to 18 months.
Dr. Armendariz mentioned that he met with some of the largest drilling companies in Texas the other day and demanded to know what is going into the air. He gave them 30 days to report back to him.
Some good news is that the EPA has the National Enforcement Initiative and can do random, unannounced inspections of natural gas production sites and issue fines. Currently Region 6 has about 150 EPA inspectors that do enforcement. Dr. Armendariz said they will hit those who are in violation hard, over and over again, to set an example that regulation and accountability is a must.
Dr. Armendariz touched on the Hydraulic Fracturing study being done and mentioned that they are looking at the impacts it has on all the different shale areas.
Click here TX Sharon reports
Click here Peggy Heinkle-Wolfe report in the Denton Records Chronicle.
Monday, May 10, 2010
Specifically, this actions halts permits for centralized wastewater collection, compression, and gas lift facilities, and pipelines related to those operations. The moratorium will expire June 8th, unless the Town Council takes action to make the action permanent.
At approximately 8:30, Williams Production – the largest gas drilling company in town – inquired about submitting an application for a centralized collection facility. According to Town officials, they were told that no applications were being accepted due to the moratorium.
This was first reported in Dallas Morning News. Click HERE
**UPDATE** Williams' response to the moratorium is HERE
This is a must see movie. Director Josh Fox, takes you on a shocking and horrifying journey through our nation's Gasland. I have had a chance to see this film and will tell you it is a true eye opener. Josh and those he meets along the way, will show you the dirty, dangerous and unregulated industry and how it has changed many lives.
Come out and support the Texas Oil & Gas Accountability Project
Please RSVP! (and save the date)
Join GASLAND Director Josh Fox, winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, Texas State Representative Lon Burnam, and Oil & Gas Accountability Program Director Gwen Lachelt, and learn about the impacts of natural gas drilling on our clean air, our drinking water, our communities and our environment.
Where: The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (seating is limited)
When: Wednesday May 12th, 2010
5:30 PM Pre-party with cash bar (open to everyone)
6:30 PM GASLAND Screening (suggested donation: $15)
8:30 PM VIP After-party (suggested donation: $85)
Please click here to RSVP for the movie, or the movie and the shindig afterwards. Or RSVP at http://gasland.earthworksaction.org
Don't know about the movie? Find out more at http://gaslandthemovie.com
Don't want to attend the movie? Donate HERE
EPA Press Release
EPA to Update Public on Barnett Shale Emissions Plan
WHAT: Region VI Administrator Al Armendariz will speak and answer questions at DISH Town Meeting.
WHEN: Monday, May 10, 2010, 7:00 PM CST
WHERE: DISH, Texas Town Hall,5413 Tim Donald Road
DISH, Texas 76247
WHO: Dr. Al Armendariz, EPA Region VI Administrator
DISH, TX -- Dr. Al Armendariz will visit the tiny town of DISH on Monday, May 10, 2010, 7:00 PM, and speak at its regular town meeting. Dr. Armendariz is expected to update attendees on actions that the EPA is taking in regards to air emissions in the Barnett Shale, as well as other projects the EPA is undertaking. He will then field questions from those in attendance.
DISH is located at the epicenter of the Barnett Shale gas play and is home to a megacomplex of compressor stations, as well as pipelines, metering stations, gathering lines and gas wells. The town of DISH spent nearly 15% of its annual budget on a comprehensive air study after months of complaints to the state regulatory agencies and the compressor site operators brought the citizens no relief. "I am reassured by Dr. Armendariz’s visit and hope that seeing what has happened here with his own eyes will generate some action." said DISH Mayor Calvin Tillman. Mayor Tillman also said that it will help the citizens of DISH to have lingering questions about water and air quality answered. Recent news that toxins are in DISH residents’ blood and urine and in their water has left even more unanswered questions for citizens throughout the Barnett Shale.
Sharon Wilson, Texas Oil and Gas Accountability Project Organizer said, “It’s time to stop studying the toxic emissions in our air and start insisting that industry prevent the emissions and protect our water by employing the best practices in Drill-Right Texas.”Sharon Wilson
In North Texas on top of the Barnett Shale
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Thank you Al!
Thank you Steve!
What a privilege it has been to be associated with people of integrity, of class, and that hold a core set of values that restore my faith in our democratic processes.
This is a great day for Flower Mound and a day to celebrate. It's also a day to thank so many people, that worked so hard, for so long.
--The VOLUNTEERS. Simply amazing. Yesterday afternoon, a volunteer arrived at the polls and said that he had been driving around Town and it was amazing as there were NFL sign wavers everywhere: Bridlewood, Wellington, all up and down 2499, on Gerault, on Morris, and on and on. (The opposition had one person on the corner of 1171 and Kirkpatrick.) I knew then that we had won.
--The campaign managers. Unbelievable dedication and phenomenal organizational and motivational abilities, while always keeping the campaign message positive.
--Flower Mound Cares. Wow! What a great bunch of people that truly love this Town.
--And so many others who took it upon themselves to make a difference by:
- Becoming knowledgeable about the issues and then spreading the message
- Tirelessly walking their neighborhoods and getting the message out
- Writing letters to the editor, speaking at Town Council, and a myriad of other avenues of communications
- Putting up hundreds and hundreds of yard signs
- Being willing to do "whatever it took" to make this great day a reality--building databases, organizing phone banks, delivering yard signs, creating fliers and signs to address mis-information, standing on street-corners with signs to let people know the TRUTH...the list goes on an on
But as Scarlett O'Hara so famously said, "...tomorrow is another day."
Friday, May 7, 2010
As long-time blog readers will recall, Cherokee Horn was the good folks that introduced me to urban gas drilling with their proposal to place a dozen wells in the Northshore Club--some as close as 500 feet from my house. (Many thanks as I needed a new hobby and so I've spent the past 2-1/2 years working to educate Flower Mound residents that "yes, in fact gas wells could be drilled 500 feet from your house!")
Back to the signs....Assuming Ms. Smith had permission to place the signs on this property, we can only assume that she has been endorsed by YET ANOTHER GAS DEVELOPER!!
Hmm...maybe those signs really weren't specific to Cherokee Horn. There's a church in the back of that property. So maybe ...???
Nahh...she's also placed signs all along the parking lot facing the Cherokee Horn offices. Here's a picture of that, as well. CLICK HERE
Can't wait to see who's next to offer their support. One can only hope it's BP:
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
--Why did Mayor Smith use a false allegation as the centerpiece of her campaign? No one really believes that her opponent advocated turning 2499 into a toll road. Was "Progress/Integrity/Experience" just not working?
--Why has Mayor Smith repeatedly stated that she has apologized for the "Hineygate" episode, when she has not?
--Why has Williams decided to "educate" the citizens of Flower Mound within weeks of this critical Town election?
--Why does Williams continue to assert that they will not attempt to influence the outcome of Saturday's elections, yet their "citizen outreach" is focused on registered voters?
--Why should the 95% of residences in Flower Mound that have not signed a gas lease be concerned that Mayor Smith and her two running mates--Gerald Robinson and Bryan Webb (SRW)--have signed leases considering the focal point of this election is gas drilling? (And that Melissa Northern, Al Filidoro, and Steve Lyda (NFL) have not signed gas leases.)
--Why does Mayor Smith's latest finance report fail to disclose the source of $23,272.77 that was spent on behalf of her campaign?
--Why is Mayor Smith personally funding the majority of Mr. Robinson and Mr. Webb's campaigns?
--Why did Mr. Robinson fail to disclose over $10K in campaign expenditures in his April 30th finance report? (Mr. Robinson is a Certified Financial Planner.)
--Why did Mr. Webb similarly fail to disclose almost $11K in campaign expenditures in his April 30th finance report?
--Why haven't ethics violations been filed by the Town's self-declared protector of everything ethical? (A call to an attorney at the Texas Ethics Commission yesterday verified that in fact all three of the SRW candidates have likely committed ethics violations.)
--Why should we trust a slate of candidates that cannot (or will not) properly complete a simple campaign finance report?
--What real accomplishments does Mr. Robinson have that would warrant him calling himself the environmental candidate?
--Why has Mr. Webb jumped from one Town board to another?
--Why did Mayor Smith, Mr. Robinson, and Mr. Webb dismiss the results of the petition effort (over 6,000 signatures) by saying that the matter should be decided upon by the voters in November? Haven't 6,000 registered voters already spoken? Apparently golf isn't the only sport that allows for mulligans.
I could go on, but I've got to get ready for my next dose of education from Williams. Their "Town Hall" starts soon. I sure hope they let me ask a question.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
For Immediate RELEASE: May 4, 2010
Contacts: Wilma Subra, EARTHWORKS, 337-367-2216
Gwen Lachelt, EARTHWORKS, 505-469-0380
Sharon Wilson, Texas OGAP, 940-389-1622
More info and links at end of release
Natural Gas Drilling Toxics Exceed State Standards
Air quality testing shows extreme greenhouse gas and chemical emissions; debunks clean energy myth
DISH, TX, 5/4 – Final results released today indicate that the gas drilling industry is polluting the air of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan region with toxic emissions in excess of state limits. A team of environmental scientists who conducted independent air quality tests in March 2010 released the results. Preliminary results released immediately after the March tests, now corroborated, showed alarming levels of toxic chemical and greenhouse gas emissions that threaten human health and the environment.
"These definitive results not only show extreme methane emissions from gas well sites but also startling levels of chemicals that pose public health risks," said Wilma Subra, EARTHWORKS board member, environmental scientist and MacArthur "Genius" Grant recipient.
The March tests employed a new technology that enables drive-through emissions testing on shale gas drilling and pumping facilities – without leaving the vehicle or slowing down from normal driving speeds. They were backed up with traditional air canister sampling – the results of which were released today.
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that is between twenty and thirty times more effective at trapping heat in the Earth's atmosphere than carbon dioxide. In addition to methane, fifteen volatile organic compounds (VOCs) were detected in the air in association with the methane emissions downwind from the DISH Compressor Station Complex during the undercover testing in March. VOCs are organic chemical compounds which have significant vapor pressures and which can affect the environment and human health. The levels of Carbon Disulfide, Dimethyl Disulfide, Methylethyl Disulfide, Benzene, m&p-Xylene exceeded the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) standards.
The team also measured emissions at two locations in Flower Mound, Texas. Five VOCs were detected at Scenic Road and seven at the Williams Tank Farm. The Scenic Road Carbon Disulfide emissions were in excess of TCEQ levels and the Williams location showed Benzene and Toluene, known carcinogens, along with other VOCs.
DISH residents suffer a host of air-quality-related illnesses, including respiratory ailments and headaches, brain disorders, pre-cancerous lesions and impairment of motor skills. A community health survey conducted by EARTHWORKS and the Texas Oil & Gas Accountability Project shows an alarming 61% of those health effects were directly attributed to natural gas industry emissions. Recent testing by the state found elevated levels of toxins in the blood, urine and water of DISH residents.
A survey of Flower Mound residents has yet to be performed.
"The technology exists today that would reduce these emissions by 90%, and industry can afford to use it," stated Sharon Wilson of the Texas Oil & Gas Accountability Project. "EARTHWORKS and Texas OGAP call on TCEQ to protect public health and require that industry employ the highest levels of control technology as set forth in Drill-Right Texas: Best Oil and Gas Development Practices for Texas."
"As our country struggles to address climate change, natural gas is being promoted as a clean energy solution," said Wilson. "Natural gas is anything but clean and industry must be required to use technology that is already available to mitigate its impacts."
Texas OGAP will work with communities statewide to prevent and minimize the impacts caused by energy development.
EARTHWORKS has 29,000 members nationwide, and offices in California, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Texas and Washington, D.C.
-- ENDS --
Links and information:
May 4th final canister results analysis
March initial Picarro technology analysis
- DISH methane emissions - by Wilma Subra
- Flower Mound methane emissions mapping - by Alisa Rich, Wolf Eagle Environmental
- DISH/Flower Mound findings and technical information on Picarro technology - by Chris Rella, Picarro, Inc.
DRILL-RIGHT TEXAS: Best Oil & Gas Development Practices for Texas
Texas.OGAP [at] earthworksaction [dot] org
Wilma Subra, EARTHWORKS Board Member, 337-367-2216
Gwen Lachelt, Director of EARTHWORKS Oil & Gas Accountability Project
Sharon Wilson, Texas OGAP, 940-389-1622
** Over 600 people at the January 21st Town Hall
** Over 6,000 petition signers
** Over 95% of households who have NOT signed a gas lease
And yet they say that they want to let the people determine the outcome? Which people? There has never been a more clear cut reason to get out and vote in this week's election.
Show them that in fact, they DO have to listen to Town residents.
Do it today before early voting ends at 7:00pm.