Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Council Meeting 15 October

Last night two items of interest were on our agenda.  1)  The Arlington Tomorrow Foundation was reconstituted to make the City Council the ATF Board of Directors, and the fund was capped at $100 million dollars.  2)  XTO was denied a request to install a 1.5 million gallon water tank at the Eden Rd. drill site.  Both votes were unanimous, so let's examine why.

ATF:  The fund is currently at 98 million dollars and growing at a rate of 15 million annually through gas royalties, plus 5 million from the return on investments on the body or corpus of the fund.  We feel that 100 million is sufficient for a rainy day since it represents approximately ½ of the annual general operating budget.  We have taken precautions to maintain this value in the future through inflationary contributions to insure the buying power remains the same over time. 

We also feel that, since this is the citizen’s money,  proper utilization could enhance our city through economic development, and capitol investment.  56% of this money is required to flow back to projects at the Airport and Parks and Recreation, because that is where it came from, but the rest can be used to improve our city as a whole.

An Advisory Board will be comprised of one person from each of the city’s five districts.  This Board will look at requests for projects, finalize their decisions and simply forward them to the ATF Board for approval.  These expenditures are distributed from the interest on the corpus.  The same process as the former ATF board, except there will be no Council members on that Board.  Since expenditures of public funds require elected official oversight, final authorization will rest with the ATF Board.  The ATF Board will convene this Friday to select members of the Advisory Board.

XTO:  XTO wanted to install a temporary 1.5 million gallon water tank for fracking purposes outside the confines of the drill site.  There is a 5 acre parcel adjacent to the drill site that they own, and that is where they wanted to erect this tank.  Neighbors didn’t want the tank in their backyards and I get that.  What disturbed me was the fact that XTO wanted to maintain their current 1.4 million gallon water frack pond also.  Now I like the idea of the temporary tank because it precludes a permanent frack pond and doesn’t alter the aesthetics of the drill site.  But to have 2.9 million gallons of water to frack the remaining 3 wells and an unidentified number of future wells is simply overkill.  This isn’t being a good neighbor and it could set a precedent for every other operator in our city.  Therefore, I had to oppose this issue. I would fully support the installation of the tank behind the masonry wall if the current frack pond was removed.


  1. You state in this blog story, "XTO wanted to install a temporary 1.5 million gallon water tank for fracking purposes outside the confines of the drill site." Did XTO plan to use this additional water source to fracture wells at other drill sites? There was something odd about that request. It just doesn't make sense why they would need two water sources at one location ~ particularly when it's not being done this way at other drill sites. I think they are not telling us something.

    Here is my observation about being a good neighbor. No shale gas operator doing business in residential neighborhoods has been a good neighbor ~ ever. Heavy industrial mining is totally imcompatible with residential living. They just don't make fences tall enough to hide neighbors like these. The process is dirty and noisy, and it smells. It presents many health and safety risks. There is plenty of scientific research available on the diseases these chemicals cause.

    1. They sure seemed like good neighbors when the lease signing bonus checks got into the hands of homeowners.

  2. No XTO wanted to use the temporary tank to frack the three remaining wells at the site and any other future wells at that site. My reasoning in opposing the installation was that they had already fracked 8 wells at the site with the existing frack pond. If they wanted to frack the remaining three wells they can still use the existing pond. Now if they wanted to remove the existing pond and install the temporary pond behind the masonry wall, I would be in favor of it.

    I think that the utilization of temporary ponds is preferable over permenant ponds, and it doesn't harm the landscape.


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