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1. Begin to follow this site and others listed.
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Argyle - Bartonville Communites Alliance
Argyle, TX 76226

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

EPA Director speaks to DISH

Last night, EPA Region 6 director, Al Armendariz spoke to a group of concerned citizens in Dish, TX. (Dish is 10 minutes from Argyle between Justin and Ponder. ) Dr. Armendariz expressed a genuine desire to help with the growing concerns of gas exploration in the Barnett Shale. He said "our way of life is being changed, each element is not against the law but when you put it all together it changes how we live. I have seen things that concern me." The EPA is about 10 years behind and Armendariz is quickly trying to get the organization caught up. Dr. Armendariz laid out four things the EPA is working on:
  1. Develop new air toxic rules - a group could use our area as part of the study
  2. Enforcement initiative - put together a staff to enforce Clean Air Act, Safe Water Act and others. Staff currently consists of 150 members, but they must cover 5 states and all industries. 
  3. Understand what is going into the air - EPA, state and local governments do not understand what is going into the air. They currently rely on industry to tell them. Dr. Armendariz recently met 100 industry people and stated he wants to know what they are putting into the air. They have been given 30 days to get back to him.
  4. Impacts of drinking/groundwater with fracturing  - There is a national level study looking into how safe is fracking in relation to our drinking water. 
These studies will take about 12 months before EPA will be able to act on them. Several had questions as to what do we do in the mean time.

Dish Council member William Sciscoe asked what it would take for the agency to shut down industry operations.“We need some real responsibility, but we’re not getting it,” Sciscoe said. “We’re powerless to protect the health, safety and welfare of our citizens. These people are untouchable.” Armendariz told him that it was difficult to do something immediate with toxins in the air, “unless people are going to the emergency room by the dozens,” he said, adding that was the way that Congress had limited the agency’s powers. See DentonRC story at:  Federal oversite promised for shale

This statement is very alarming. 

The EPA wants to know when there is a problem and they are working diligently for better understanding and better enforcement to protect our health and safety. Unfortunately, it takes time and the gas industry knows this and that is why they are racing to permit new wells, CCF and compressor stations.  

What can YOU, citizens of Argyle and Bartonville, do? Ask our local governments for a moratorium. We need to slow down the industry until better codes and regulations can be put in place to ensure our health and safety is not being compromised.  

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