The forum hosted by State Representative Nicole Collier will be held April 20 at 6 p.m. at the Handley Meadowbrook Community Center in Fort Worth.
April 18, 2017
A proposed disposal well near Lake Arlington is getting pushback from local municipalities and environmental groups in Tarrant County. As a result, State Representative Nicole Collier, who represents district 95, is hosting a forum to address the topic on Thursday, April 20, at 6 p.m. at the Handley Meadowbrook Community Center in Fort Worth.
“There are plenty of people pissed because they see this as a direct threat to our water supply,” said Lon Burnam, former state representative from Fort Worth and director of Tarrant Coalition for Environmental Awareness.
At the forum, Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton will discuss the application process for injection wells in Texas.
BlueStone Natural Resources II, LLC , a Oklahoma-based energy company, submitted an application to the Texas Railroad Commission in January to put a wastewater injection well in east Fort Worth. The proposed site is located near the intersection of Cravens and Berry Streets, about 9,000 feet from Lake Arlington Dam, according to the city of Arlington.
The lake provides drinking water for Arlington, Bedford, Colleyville, Euless, Grapevine, North Richland Hills and, through the Tarrant Regional Water District, other cities including Fort Worth.
Although wastewater injections wells are banned in Fort Worth and Arlington, environmentalists and city leaders are expecting the Oklahoma-based energy company to use HB 40 to override those bans.
HB 40 is the state law passed in 2015 that severely limits cities’ rights to restrict the gas industry. It was a pushback to the landmark Denton Fracking Ban and overturned it.
Burnam said while local environmental groups, including TCEA, Liveable Arlington and Downwinders at Risk, are joining forces to fight the proposed well, the opposition is not limited to fractivists.
“Three governmental entities oppose this – the city of Fort Worth, the city of Arlington and the Tarrant Regional Water District – that’s about as mainstream as it gets.”
Ranjana Bhandari of Liveable Arlington, said they delivered more than 1,000 protest letters to the Railroad Commission.
“There’s great interest about this matter in Arlington," she said. "There are so many people who oppose it and are worried about their drinking water – and with good reason.”
People are not only worried about leaks from the well into Lake Arlington but also breaches to the dam as the result of earthquakes, which have been linked to injection wells in a recent study by the University of Texas and SMU.
Bhandari is also outraged that the Railroad Commission’s formal hearing on the proposed well, which has been moved to Sept. 5, 6 and 7, will be held three and a half hours away in Austin. Bhandari also learned from the Railroad Commission that anyone wishing to speak must attend a pre-hearing conference Aug. 21 and 22 in Austin to ensure that their comments “have standing” in the case.
“For most of us, it’s really difficult to get there because they are all weekday hearings. We’re just regular people who live 10 minutes from this injection well and are worried about how it will affect our property and our drinking water."
Community Forum on Disposal Wells
Hosted by: State Representative Nicole Collier
When: April 20, 6 - 8 p.m.
Where: Handley Meadowbrook Community Center, 6201 Beaty St, Fort Worth.
Contact: Josselynn.Thomas@House.Texas.gov or 817-332-1180.
Environmentalists, cities push back against proposed disposal well near Lake Arlington
Oil and gas regulation uncertain after HB 40 strips cities of rights to enforce ordinances
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