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Friday, May 28, 2010
And get this: The site will house between 12 and 30 tank batteries to accept tens of millions of gallons of permanently contaminated wastewater from wells being drilled on properties owned by Argyle council member Wayne Holt and former member Lemoine Wright. Enraged locals don’t understand how Holt and Wright could use their public office to negotiate an agreement that allows drilling on their land, while their toxic waste is trucked to their neighbors, along with the accompanying threats to health, safety and property values.
Link to full article,written by Ladd Biro for examiner.com
Thursday, May 27, 2010
We recognize that the industry must be mindful of their contractual obligations to their leaseholders and shareholders as they develop the immense resources of the Barnett Shale. To that end, any committee must be charged with a mission that includes recommendations for regulatory reform. This reform must occur not only in relevant state and federal agencies, but also in the next Texas legislature. Without much stronger enforcement of measures that protect property, and human health and safety, our county will continue to suffer a host of losses, from immediate, recurring damages -- such as those inflicted on roads, bridges and floodplain -- to a growing crisis of confidence that will stifle investment and economic growth.
(For example, a candidate chosen to represent municipalities should not only bring wisdom back to his or her own city, but also help other cities unite in their protection of constituents both in their corporate limits and their extra-territorial jurisdictions.)
This body should receive testimony not only from local but also national experts when necessary. Its decisions need to be data-driven. This body will need support as it manages data from laboratories, industry, government and independent sources, including inspections and audits and other findings.
This body must meet in public. During its sessions, this body should document the applicable state regulations and local ordinances that coincide with best practices, and document those places where best practices are not being used in order to achieve the standard.
ENERGY CONSERVATION: Use of alternative power sources or reduction of conventional energy sources.
CREATIVITY: Colorful plants, heights, textures, etc.
USE OF RECYCLED PRODUCTS: Mulch, manure, compost, tires, etc.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
TCEQ and EPA, control over one of its biggest air pollution permits
The Environmental Protection Agency's takeover of a key permit governing Flint Hills Resources' East Corpus Christi refinery marks a widening gulf between federal regulators and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
The EPA, for now, has stopped short of seizing control of the state's entire air-pollution permitting system. But the agency's top regional official said he is preparing to take over more Texas permits and is insisting the state make basic changes.
"The EPA is serious about requiring that air-quality permits held by companies in Texas are federally sufficient," EPA regional administrator Al Armendariz said in a telephone interview. "If the state agency is unwilling or unable to issue those permits, the EPA must and will do so."
The TCEQ has insisted that its permit system is legal and effective. In a letter to the EPA dated Monday, TCEQ Executive Director Mark Vickery said the state understood that legal deadlines might force the EPA to take over some Texas permits while the agencies try to resolve "significant differences in opinion."
Armendariz said the EPA's choice of Flint Hills Resources to begin its permit takeover did not reflect a particular problem with that facility. Rather, he said, the agency believed objections to its state permit were on especially strong legal grounds.
The TCEQ issued a draft operating permit for the Flint Hills Resources refinery last October. The EPA formally objected to the state permit in December, saying it omitted required information about emissions and environmental requirements.
Without that information, the agency said, neither the public nor regulators could adequately monitor the refinery's pollution.
That process also will occur at other facilities with disputed permits, Armendariz said. In the past six months, the EPA has filed formal objections to major Texas permits at 40 facilities, an apparently unprecedented number in any state.
Armendariz said Texas permits have taken improper shortcuts, omitted key information and made it difficult to tell if facilities have skirted mandatory reviews.
The TCEQ says its system cuts red tape without violating the law or sacrificing public health. In his letter Monday, commission chief Vickery recounted what he said were ongoing efforts to find common ground.
• Improperly relies on the refinery's separate "flexible" permit, which itself does not comply with the Clean Air Act.
• Obscures key requirements by directing the reader to other documents instead of stating the requirements plainly. The Clean Air Act mandates a "clear and meaningful" statement of permit provisions so the public can monitor a facility's operations.
• Requires just three years of environmental record-keeping. The Clean Air Act requires five years.
• Fails to identify the specific equipment covered by some requirements.
• Omits information needed to determine if the refinery should have been subject to enhanced scrutiny.
SOURCE: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Monday, May 24, 2010
- Signing the online petition
- Learn about what is going on through the this blog and others.
- Send ABCA your contact information to get Alerts.
- Begin attending town, school and other area meetings when gas is on the agenda.
- Write your local and state representatives and voice your concerns.
Mothers protest toxic waste dump in neighborhood.
For Immediate Release:
At dawn on Monday, May 24th, a group of mothers and children protest Williams Petroleum's exploitation of lax regulation in Texas as they install a massive toxic waste facility in the heart of their neighborhood. Neighbors call the facility on Jeter Road in Argyle, Texas DISH 2.
Concerned mother and founding member of Argyle - Bartonville Communities Alliance, Jayme Sizelove, says, "This dangerous site is too close to homes. It's only 100 feet from my son's bedroom window."
Leaseholders and Argyle Town Council Members made back-room deals with Williams Petroleum to move the waste from the site where it's produced and shove it off on the unsuspecting neighbors. Rather than recycle gas waste onsite, Williams is transporting the waste to a residential neighborhood.
This site is in the Denton Creek flood plain where runoff can contaminate drinking water downstream. "As far as we know, proper permits, plats, hydrology studies and emergency plans have not been made," said Jana DeGrand an alliance member.
In other states, Williams uses best practices and recycles drilling waste onsite, but best practices are not mandated in Texas so Williams refuses to use them. "Texans deserve best practices too." said Susan Knoll. "People who profit from the wells should deal with the waste".
Onsite recycling would eliminate:
• unregulated toxic waste pipelines
• massive truck traffic in a residential area
• explosive and toxic waste near children
• toxic compounds in air from fugitive emissions
Drillers should Drill-Right Texas or not drill at all.
For more information:
Argyle - Bartonville Communities Alliance http://abcalliance.blogspot.com
Drill-Right Texas: Best Oil & Gas Practices for Texas, http://earthworksaction.org/publications.cfm?pubID=444
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
My heart is breaking as SOMEBODY HAS BEEN LIED TO and I believe it is ABCA. A neighbor out for a Saturday morning stroll just stopped by the Jeter Rd. site and asked a simple question to the individual in charge at the Jeter Rd. site. What are you doing on this property? The answer was, We are preparing the site for 32 storage tanks to be delivered Monday." Yes guys:
Also when looking for permits for new gas exploration in the area, it is interesting to know that you can search the RRC website for new pipelines. However, this area is not updated online but every couple of months and so far for the year the RRC does not show any new permits for pipelines in Denton County. (ABCA will post more on this soon)
Now when it comes to Compressor Stations and Centralized Collection Facilities there is not a permit pulled until they are ready to fire up the engines. I believe this is done with TCEQ. ABCA is learning everyday so if any of this needs to be corrected we will gladly do so.
Friday, May 21, 2010
They have permitted 3 new wells through the RRC in the past week. They will be situated off Kings Road. Where will the pipelines, tanks, compressors, etc go?
Thursday, May 20, 2010
This article is the result of 11 Compressors throughout Dish,TX. Williams plans on installing 4 on Jeter Rd in Argyle. One is already next to Liberty Christian School and 1 smaller one is in Bartonville. This is what we have to look forward to. Read what the Mayor of Dish has to say about the gas industry and those who are supposed to protect us ......
As one well known citizen who lives in the barnett shale has stated, "everything you hear from the natural gas industry in either a lie, or half truth". Here in DISH, we are used to the paid liars from this industry coming in and feeding us the normal lines like what good neighbors they want to be. However, when you get this from your state agencies that are sworn to protect you, it does not set as well. Many people believe everything these people say, and they are never held accountable when they are wrong...or deceitful. The DSHS showed up just like many of the other paid liars, thinking that they would blow smoke up the rear ends of a bunch of country bumpkins that didn't know any better, and just like the other paid liars, they left with their tails between their legs. Country bumpkins typically recognize the smell of BS pretty quickly.
After thinking about this, and doing some research into the matter, it was clear that no matter what was detected, the DSHS would have found a way to say there is nothing wrong. They have a history of doing just that, please see the following link, where they failed to protect the public interest in Texas once again.
In this "investigation" the community was worried about water run-off from a former refinery (hmm same industry), and subsequent surface water contamination. However, the same characters who came to DISH, decided the surface water didn't need testing. The soil and sediment were tested and both exceeded the Health Based Assessment Comparison for aluminum, arsenic, BaP TEQ (benzene derivative), and vandium. Conclusion - "no apparent public health hazard". In my line of business we call people like this "hacks".
In our case, they were looking hard for criticisms from us before the meeting, so that they could prepare to answer them. I made some comment to the media about the number of folks who had toluene and xylene in their systems, and oddly enough they came up with statistics that show we are actually lower than the rest of the United States, this was not in the report, just the presentation. At this point I started getting that familiar smell that we have grown accustomed to here in DISH... and not the natural gas smell. I then asked for the source of the statistics they used to determine this and they sent me to NHANES, said "just google it". Maybe that was their joke, because me and others searched for hours with no success finding this data. I did find a statement that said VOCs are present in most everyone at some level, but it would not be in detectable levels in everyone, so that may have been one of those "half truths".
During my several hours of research, I did find that the 95th percentile used in the DISH study appears to be a hand picked by the "hacks", and likely hand picked for a purpose. Apparently, you do not need a percentile reference number, but when one is used the 90th percentile seems to be the number used by real scientists.
If 50% of the households in DISH were above the 95th percentile for chemical exposure, I wonder how many are over the 90th percentile. However, if they would have figured that, it is likely that they would have that trend they were looking for, and we damn sure wouldn't want that, now would we? I think similar lying with statistics was accomplished in Flower Mound as well. If they start finding problems, the boys and girls in Austin would not get those critical campaign contributions they have grown accustom to. In my business we look for trends, and I am starting to see a trend with these "hacks".
If the above blatant failures were not enough to show what a joke this was, you must hear the rest of the story. Dr. Bradford admitted when questioned that the study was not a scientific study. However, they came to a very solid conclusion, with this non-scientific study. The conclusion goes something like...we see exposure but have no idea where the exposure is coming from, but it damn sure aint coming from that compressor station that we smelled those horrible odors from.
They then admitted that they did not know how close any of the citizens lived to the compressor sites, nor did they know the number of males vs females that were tested, and did not even know the age range of those who were tested. You would think they would have known the answers to the easy stuff if they wanted to appear believable. The data that they used for comparison in DISH was seven years old. Outdated data is something they also used in Flower Mound to help them reach their objective. I guess they figured they had this one in the bag like all the others before, too bad the country bumpkin's weren't buying.
Children were not tested as part of this "investigation". There apparently was no data to compare the results; however, in my wild goose chase that Dr. Bradford sent me on, I found several studies that referenced children. The one mentioned above showed how these chemicals affect children differently than adults...and yea it is much worse. She avoided the question during the meeting when asked about how children are affected differently than adults.
Frankly, I believe that they were sent here to not find anything and they would likely find exposure in our children. If they find toluene and xylene in kids they would not be able to blame it on smoking. Even us country bumpkins don't let our five year olds smoke. They would not have been able to give us the "half truths" that they did, and people don't play when it come to their kids. If us nice country folk knew our kids have BTEX chemical exposure, we may not be so nice any more. I am hopeful that the light will shine on some of the roaches who are responsible for these illusions, and I think there is another facility I would rather see them at, and it is located in Huntsville, Texas.
The house of cards they built came down very quickly. I am extremely disappointed that these folks did not take their oaths seriously, and are allowing the public to continue being put at risk. I had originally felt sorry for those who were likely on the puppets for the higher ups, but it is all too apparent that this is not there first deception, so they should have moved on to something else if they weren't committed to covering things like this up. They have actually offered to come back for another round of testing. I think I would rather see if the Chesapeake or Devon environmental department is available, they are much better liars.
In closing I would like to say that this "investigation" brings more questions than answers, and it is time for us to demand a stop to the social injustices that these state agencies are allowed to impose. Many people have no other options than to take their word for it, and no recourse when they are wrong. We apparently have not only been sacrificed for the good of the shale by these companies, but also the State of Texas. It is time for us to hold these paid liars accountable for their actions. Please let me know if you have any skills to help me investigate similar injustices.
Fortunately, the last state agency that left the DISH town hall with their tails between their legs was shamed into installing a permanent air monitor. Frankly, I am delightfully surprised by the improvements in our air quality over the last month. I am certainly not calling all clear, but it may be that we don't even need more testing, but I know that another community (Argyle) will face the same situation if there is not something done. If this industry would just do it right, we would not have many of these problems. The Gulf would not be becoming the dead sea and our children would not be exposed to cancer causing toxins. Please post on your blogs and websites.
See report here:
Calvin Tillman Mayor, DISH, TX (940) 453-3640 "Those who say it can not be done, should get out of the way of those that are doing it"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 20, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
ABCA stated it is not to late for our community but we need to act quickly. We can not wait on state legislation. Changes need to be made now. A task force is just one step in the process. But a necessary step.
The commissioners and Judge Horn agreed and will take action on forming a task force to adopt a best practices for Denton County. This task force will include citizens groups, municipalities and the industry. I am sure this will feel like the Hatfields and Macoys as Copper Canyon Mayor Sue Tejml described.
To view the full presentation: http://txsharon.blogspot.com/
Monday, May 17, 2010
To hear the presentation two parents made to the school board on March 22, 2010 in regards to the Whitehead and Jenkins well site you can listen to the audio minutes here: Jennifer Cole speaks starting at 5:40 and Jayme Sizelove follows concluding at 16:25.
May 14, 2010 - Hillwood sent a letter to AISD - AISD posted it on the school website: View full letter at: http://www.argyleisd.com/districtnews.asp
Letter summary: Construction of the road entrance began as planned on Wednesday morning. Traffic coordination by Sgt Adams with Argyle PD was outstanding. If there are no weather delays, trucks will begin hauling gravel on Wednesday 5/19/2010. We are planning for 20 loads per day, which will be coordinated around the time restrictions in the morning and afternoon (around school beginning and ending), and will last for 5 days. Should anyone have any questions please feel free to contact one of the following Hillwood representatives:
Jim Kramer – 817-201-2360
Johnie Daniels – 817-454-3000
Tad LeBlanc – 832-418-2295
Now that the traffic issues are being addressed, I wonder if anything is going to be done about the flooding. With the construction of the Jenkins well (12 wells behind school) the flood plane will be altered. The water from the Jenkins site will flow into the creek between the school and Front St. I hope they have done a hydrology study. Pictures are from Friday, May 14th. First picture- The creek is full and water and is flowing over the road at the entrance to the Argyle Intermediate School. I hope the homes along Front St. are not flooding. Second picture- Construction on road to Whitehead well.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Denton, TX 76201-4116
Gas drilling waste is getting spread all over Texas farmland.
- The drilling caused its own problems, but it wasn’t until the company spread muddy drilling waste over several acres of their land that all three of the Ruggieros, at about the same time, began to suffer from similar-looking rashes.
- In the Ruggieros’ case, the foul-smelling mud that drilling crews had spread over their land turned out, when tested by Rich’s company, to contain high levels of arsenic and benzene, both of which can cause cancer.
- Many rural families fear that anything grown on acreage that has been improperly land farmed may be contaminated with carcinogens and that the grass and crops are potentially harmful to humans and animals. In some cases, they report, animals will not even eat the affected grass.
- In Arkansas, which last year began the process of revoking permits on 11 land-farm sites, landfarming runoff had contaminated local water supplies.
- “Texas can’t seem to learn by watching others,” Sharon Wilson said. “We just keep on letting the industry have complete carte blanche.”