Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Rocking Horse Drill Site

Last night there were some sparks concerning an item on the agenda.  The item concerned a modification of the Drill Zone at the Rocking Horse drill site.  Now a modification of the Drill Zone does two things.  First it takes the existing Zone which is encompassed within the pad site an it turns it to accomodate the site to accept additional wells.  In doing so it takes the operation of the site from the old drilling ordinance and puts it under the more stringent restrictions of the new ordinance.  In my reading concerning this issue, I noticed that there were three violations at this site in the 4th quarter of last year.  The violations were:
  • Security Camera - the security camera has not yet been installed
  • Emergency Action Plan (EAP) - the EAP is not located on the site in a Knox Box
  • Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) - the MSDS is not located on the site in a Knox Box.
I drove to the site and noticed that a Knox Box had in fact been installed at the site.  I questioned Linda Gerhardt (Chesapeake) to insure that the proper documentation was in the box and she stated that it was.  The last remaining item was the camera, and she stated that it was on back order.  My reading also concluded that everything would be satisfied prior to the issuance of a gas well permit.  Chesapeake is going to come before Council in the first meeting in February to request a permit.  I would suggest that the camera be installed prior to that time.

There were 10 speakers against the issue and almost all of them were advocates against urban drilling, that did not live in the neighborhood.  Speakers from as far as Dallas and across town in Pantego were commenting on this site.  Essentially, one person that lived in the neighborhood spoke for and one against the Drill Zone change.  Another point of contention was a Day Care Center located 359' from the pad site.  The Day Care Center had in fact signed a waiver and parents of children were contacted to let them know that a drill site would be there and not one parent pulled their child from the center.  The pad site has been operating for two and a half years without incident and except for the camera is in full compliance with the city drilling ordinance.  Therefore, I voted in support.

One accusation that was made during this discussion concerned jet fuel fumes at DFW airport and how unsafe the air was at DFW.  I told the citizen that I had flown out of DFW for 32 years and I asked her, "how do I look?"  She was stunned and stated that it takes years to get cancer from fumes.  I told her that millions of people go through DFW every year and that thousands work out there and that she was the only person concerned with the fumes.  I take exception to people making unfounded accusations in an effort to support their views.  I believe that she also stated that there was a Hilton at the airport.  Actually, there are two Hyatt hotels located there.  The modification of the Specific Use Permit (SUP) was approved 5-3, with the stipulation that a masonary wall be constructed 90 days hence.



  2. Part of my e-mail to Robert Rivera, 12/2/2011, location Countryside neighborhood, which is the neighborhood next to Rocking Horse drill site:

    'Earlier today, I stopped on Briarpath, and smelled the same smell but only much more potent. This smell made me disoriented, anxious and nauseated within a few seconds. I left the area but had a headache for hours afterwards. This scared the living heck out of me. A local police officer had the same experience with the same exact symptoms on the same street just before I was there. He had been there trying to locate the source of smell that the neighbors were complaining about.'

  3. To restrict comments to only people who live in the area is to deny the people in the immediate area of community support. To carry your implied logic a step further, since you and others (mayor and council) do not live in the area you should recuse yourselves since you do not represent the people presenting this grievance. You have turned out to be a disappointment.

  4. Anonymous, I don't know who you are because you don't have the courage to post your identity. Then you make an accusation based on a false assumption. If this is a demonstration of your reasoning capabilities, please refrain from posting at all.

  5. Why Mr. Parker, just because someone wants to remain anonymous does not mean the accusation is based on false assumption. Anonymous speaks the truth, it did happen and it is a true story. Perhaps YOU need to learn how to deal with it.....just saying being a new council memember and all. Your first clue should of been "e-mailed" Robert Rivera. Trust me...citizens do not come down to City Hall and speak just for your entertainment.

  6. I don't understand how you can say that most of the speakers did not live in the neighborhood. Many, in fact, do live and/or work in District 3, which is where Rocking Horse Drill Site is located. Keep in mind that air and water pollution does not respect boundary lines. What happens in District 3 affects others across the city. You don't live in our district yet voted in support of something that will potentially harm our community.

    Even Robert Rivera may be coming to his senses. He gets kudos for voting in opposition of Chesapeake.

    Oh, by the way, it looks like you may need an editor. We know people who would be glad to help you with this.

  7. Anonymous I now understand your statement and it did not pertain to this blog's postings, it had to do with the individuals at the podium. I apologize for my misunderstanding of your assertion. I took your statement to read that only people that lived in Arlington North should comment on this blog and that isn't the case.

    Just as I don't recognize the citizens of Dallas or Jakarta to endorse a petition for Mass Transit in Arlington, neither do I give as much credence to Dallas or Pantego speakers concerning a drill site in another persons neighborhood. I have walked the perimeter of the Rocking Horse site and have not been overcome by fumes. I am sorry that I didn't succumb or become violently ill. It just didn't happen. Concerning voting on items that are out of my district. I have been charged with the responsibility of educating myself on each issue. On this issue my concerns were the Day Care Center 359 ft from the site and those concerns were resolved by the fact that the parents of the children have chosen not to remove their kids from the center. I respect the rights and decisions of the parents concerning the safety of their children. Secondly, were my concerns about the 4th quarter violations, and they will be resolved before further support is given at this site.

    I have been to the site several times. I have walked the property, and I will go to the Day Care Center and talk to the management. I will equip my self first hand and make the proper decision that is best for Arlington. I can only imagine that you haven't done these things in an effort to comment.

  8. You say you have been to the Rocking Horse Site and walked the perimeter. May I ask if the site was actively drilling, fracking, or flowing back? That is when it is wicked dangerous to be nearby. As a parent, myself, I can't imagine leaving my child in the care of a provider located 359 feet from a heavy industrial mining zone. Sadly, many folks are not educated or don't care. Just because they choose to keep their child enrolled doesn't mean it's safe. Educate them, and I'll bet they will begin looking for alternative care.

  9. No they were not in any of the phases of production that you consider dangerous. I simply walked the site, of the one producing well, and there was nothing out of the ordinary.

    I also went over to Briarpath and went up and down the street without smelling anything. There was a family putting up a fence at 1600 Briarpath. I asked them if they had any ill affects or ever smelled anything. They all shook their heads no, and stated that they had been there for the better part of a year.

    Lastly, I am going to let the parents of the children at the Day Care Center be parents. They will make their own decision, and they have.

    I may or may not vote against this drill permit, depending on the answers that I get on Tuesday. But it will have nothing to do with the content of this blog.

  10. I hope you consider public health and safety of the utmost importance. Here is a video of Chesapeake's Nomac Rig 17 Blowout Fire.

    Thankfully, this has not happened in Arlington yet, but it can. This is one reason why 359 feet is too close ~ way too close.

    I personally visited with employees of the childcare center a few weeks ago, and they are not happy with the close proximity of that drill site. but had no say in the leasing of the minerals and the signing off on the waiver.

    I believe Mango Properties, LLC in South Carolina signed that waiver. South Carolina is a long way off from Texas. Seems unethical to allow something like this when you don't have to experience the repercussions.

  11. Charlie,
    Why hasn't the daycare notified the parents regarding all these public hearings?

  12. Charlie, I am a resident here in the Rocking Horse Padsite district. I have lived here for over 20 years. I am highly concerned over the health issues. I have been to city council numerous times and it is with great displeasure that it seems to me that the majority of you don't seem to care about our concerns. I found it so difficult to understand how countless folks have come up before you all and stated facts reagarding fracking and drilling effects. THEN you all vote to in favor like what was said didnt matter....It seems futile to even come to City Council sometimes.I am asking that at the very least that Council would explore in some depth our concerns...I do appreciate you for listening and viewing the padsite...its a step in the right direction and validates our concerns to some degree.

  13. CJKDG-When a pad site request comes before me I try to visit the site and see first hand what the concerns are, because each site has it's own characteristics and issues. Many people have brought up the Day Care Center. I plan to talk to them this morning. Parents continue to take their children there. I think that the parents know what is best for their kids, not an anti drilling activist. To date no parent has removed their kid from that center.

    I have heard that their are smells on Briarpath. I have been to Briarpath and there are no smells. I've talked to residents of Briarpath and they haven't smelled anything in a year. In other areas of town there have been complaints of substances coming up from the ground and it was blamed on the gas wells by activists. It was in fact a sewer main leak. Prove that an actual health issue is related to the existence of the well, please! I have stated before that you can have all the anti drilling people that you want from Dallas, Pantego, North Arlington etc. but the ones that make a difference are the ones that didn't take the drilling money and live near the site. I get that anti drilling activists don't want drilling. I've heard Kim Fiel use smoking and fracking in the same sentence. This type of logic doesn't help your cause. I've heard anti drilling activists want to tell parents where to put their children. Let the parents be the judge of what is best for their families.

    We have a drilling ordinance, and it is my job to make sure that the safety of the citizens is considered the number one priority, when combined with urban drilling. Compliance to our ordinance is the only way that I can accomplish this task.

    1. Have you checked the compliance reports lately? Chesapeake is in non-compliance for several issues at multiple drill sites throughout Arlington. It would be best interest of everyone if the City rejects all future permits until full compliance is achieved by this company.

      Also, can you prove that the entire process of shale gas extraction is safe? I bet not.

  14. Charlie, Prove to me that natural gas drilling is 100 percent safe. Anymore than I can prove it isnt. The fact is you dont know and this is why we residents(not activists) continue to ask for city councils help to stop URBAN drilling until we know more. Period.

  15. From reading this, it seems the specific characteristics of the people actually considered "valid" grows narrower and narrower.

    With all of this shale gas drilling activity, geography is a critical factor. In many instances, drilling operations are conducted at the borders of cities. Just because the surface location is in one city another city may be more affected by the operations. That holds true for neighborhoods as well. Just because a pad site sits next to one neighborhood, neighborhoods all around the area will be impacted by the drilling, fracking and pipeline construction. Earthquakes are a growing issue and can happen without notice and without prior knowledge of fault lines.

    Critical and original thinking is very important with all of this *new* drilling and fracking technology. Unfortunately, many of our leaders in North Texas don't seem to excel at that. And so they only listen to the industry that provides them with a "Ton of Revenue" and "Tons More of Reassurances."

    Also, this point you made: "...the ones that make a difference are the ones that didn't take the drilling money and live near the site."

    This is part of the critical thinking skill that seems to be lacking. If people were truly educated, heck, if any of us were truly educated when all of this frenzied mineral leasing started, do you honestly think that so many people would have signed such a ridiculous contract?

    Please, THINK. It's very important to ALL of us ~ even if we don't live in your City. Not everyone has the opportunity to make decisions that will affect the future of our planet in such life-changing ways.

    Thank you.

  16. Thank you very much for you vote tonight. I appreciate it.

  17. It would seem that you have put the burden of proof on me to make sure that urban drilling is safe. I have done my due diligence and walked the site, and talked to the child care center and listened to all your concerns and stories of fumes and vibrations. Every one of them is a red herring. The fact that residents took the money and then tried to back out of the deal without paying back the money is in a word, "Hypocritical." If you can't see the injustice in this type of behavior, then you don't deserve my time and you will not get any more of it.

    Tonight I voted against the Rocking Horse site. The reason is that Cheasepeake was being unreasonable and not behaving in accordance with the Fire Code. There are 18 posts on this string and I am shutting it down because what has needed to be said has been said. I listened to one person that actually lived in the Rocking Horse area. The rest were activists who's agenda was to stop drill throughout the city. They had no ideas that were pertinent to the Rocking Horse Drill site. The permit request passed 5-4. We then heard a request for drilling permits at Lenox and Steeple sites. They were all in compliance and I voted yes for both permits. The activists still wanted no votes just because they were drill sites. Boy there is some "critical thinking." I heard from an individual that lived 250' from a drill site and he has suffered no ill affects due to drilling. He was greatful for the site and the eye sore that the site covered up.


Thank you for your comment.