Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dam. Again. **Important Update**

We have just discovered something crazy.   So, you may ask, what else is new??

The Background: 2010

Chesapeake's Corn Valley Pad Site was administratively permitted by the City of Grand Prairie in the summer of 2010 with very little fanfare ~ even though it was clearly within the 3,000 foot Zone of Exclusion ~ as  defined by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) ~ with their (click on the link) 1996 publication:  Texas Resource Management Plan and Record of Decision This publication defines the Rules going forward for oil and gas drilling activity near the dams and lakes under United States Army Corps of Engineers' jurisdiction.

Two Years Earlier: 2008

On July 15, 2008, Shale gas operator XTO said the following to Grand Prairie, TX City Council (during a Public Hearing about XTO's Lynn Unit):
"...The Corps of Engineers is aware of this activity based on an agreement with the Bureau of Land Management on this property."
~ Walter Dueease, XTO, July 15, 2008
So, as it turns out, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is actually a "Lessor" of XTO's Lynn Unit (located just to the west of the Corn Valley Pad Site and to the northwest of the Joe Pool Lake Dam) ~ with 43+acres of land! The statement in the Minutes of this meeting (Pages 8-10) did not make that fact clear at all.

Unfortunately, this information had escaped us until now.  (A City without a Specific Use Permit for shale gas drilling or Public Hearings via P&Z is a City headed to Shale Gas He**...)  But let us not digress...

The United States of America owns land within the Lynn Unit and signed a mineral lease with XTO sometime in 2007 or early 2008. Three wells appear to be completed and/or in production at this time.  A total of 5 have been permitted as far as we can tell.

The Deal

Here's the deal. The Bureau of Land Management violated its own Rules when it leased those 43+ acres for shale gas drilling.

It all got rolling when the Grand Prairie, TX City Council approved the setback variance for the Lynn Unit during that July 15, 2008 Public Hearing after Walter Dueease with XTO assured the Council that all was well (Link to the July 15, 2008 GP City Council Meeting, Pages 8-10)

Apparently, neither any Bureau of Land Management personnel or US Army Corps of Engineer personnel were present or spoke during that City Council Public Hearing.  The City Council Minutes reflect only that Mr. Dueease told the Council that USACE was aware of this pad site since the BLM had land there...but there was never any discussion or mention of the Exclusion Zone or that the BLM was a "lessor," for this Unit. 

And now, because of those actions, thousands of people's lives are in peril if there were to be a catastrophic failure of the Joe Pool Lake Dam. Thank you, Commander Muraski of the Fort Worth District of USACE, for your warning.

Our country needs to get its sh** together.

Texas Railroad Commission/XTO PLAT of the area near XTO's Lynn Unit.

The Lynn Unit Plat

(Above) The Lynn Unit Plat (showing the 5 largest lessors).

The Industry Standard P-12 Certificate of Pooling Authority (provides the list of lessors in the "pooled" unit).

(Above) A Service List for a Rule 37 (used when property owners have not signed a lease and the industry needs them)...that's very curious. (**Update 9.26.12: Curious only since the BLM is clearly showing on the P-12 above and this "Certificate of Service" is provided to the Railroad Commission to "prove" that unleased property owners have been notified.)

(Above) The Grand Prairie, TX Shale Gas Drilling Status Report for September 7, 2011.  It shows all activity from the beginning for every well including city permit dates, drilling dates, fracking dates and dates for sales from specific sites.

Larger view of the Grand Prairie, TX Shale Gas Status Report (above) showing July 15, 2008 as the date that the Lynn Unit was voted on by City Council. It also shows that Wells 1H, 2H and 3H are "completed" and were/are "in production."

So, why did the BLM violate its own rules?  Can we possibly say this?
"The BLM looks at it more as a business-driven process," Otto said. "It's not like I have Vice President Cheney calling me up and saying you need to get this done. But there definitely is that unspoken pressure…mostly from the companies, to develop their resources as they'd like to see fit…to get things done and get them done pretty fast." [emphasis added.]
Also, as of March 17, 2011, there's a new document. We're just not clear why this was necessary, since they "reference" the 1996 document right there on Page 1:

**IMPORTANT UPDATE**:   Below is the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Map depicting the Exclusion Zone. This map and additional documents were provided to the City of Grand Prairie, TX during meetings with USACE in early 2011. Documents were received on August 3, 2011 via FOI Request  by the Westchester-Grand Prairie Community Alliance and were important to this report.  

Important Note: Color Emphasis and Labels were added to this Black and White Map for clarity.

Link to Further Information about Exclusion Zone 2 ~ Another XTO Site and A New Blog Post on the Westchester Gasette

It's Fracking Flexible

This FlexFrac frac truck has a very nice parking spot all safe and secure, comfy and cozy at the Lake Prairie Towne Crossing Shopping Center at 360 and Camp Wisdom in Grand Prairie, TX.  There are numerous shale gas pad sites nearby.  Very special.

For those down times at the pad site, FlexFrac can enjoy his friends on Facebook who are apparently spending most of their time in the Fort Worth Cultural District.

Yee Haw.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dam and Double Dam!

What in the world is going on?
Well, now we see all the drilling and fracking within close proximity to the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant and the Squaw Creek Dam near Glen Rose, Texas. The map above shows all the horizontal, fracked wells as red circles extending from the pad sites ("completed," or "in production," since the color red indicates either of those possibilities) and all of this is shown on this Texas Railroad Commission GIS Map as being immediately to the West of Comanche Peak and to the West of Highway 144. (see the link to BlueDaze below for all the details).

We wonder if the personnel at Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant were also notified about this activity with the same non-descript Form Letter USACE received about Joe Pool Lake Dam?

Somebody has a lot of explaining to do!!??

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Dear John

CBS11 did another story on the Joe Pool Lake Dam this week. Good news? Not exactly.

One of the commenters had a question for another commenter: "Out of curiosity, exactly why do you think Chesapeake is the “Big Rat”?"  We will attempt to answer that question here.

Dear John,

Chesapeake is conducting drilling activities 850 feet from a Corps of Engineers Dam. They notified the Corps via a FORM Letter that sounded like a promo for shale gas drilling and was not addressed to the appropriate chain of command. It wasn't addressed to anyone. It very likely ended up in the trash. Glad you are curious, John. I think it lowers your own "rat rating."

There is an established 3,000 foot Exclusion Zone for oil and gas drilling activities near Corps of Engineer-controlled dams and lakes and it has been on the books since the mid-1990s. This zone is not arbitrary, but was established by Engineers for the safety and protection of all of us. Here it is, John: Link to Bureau of Land Management TX Resource Management Plan (Page 28)

Even the possibility of a Dam Failure should prevent any responsible O&G company from drilling and fracking in that zone. Don't you think that's reasonable? There are thousands of people within this particular Zone, as well. They may not be "drilling" under the dam, John, but the drilling and fracking is within that Exclusion Zone.

4 more horizontal wells are planned to be drilled and fracked from the Padsite and to the North, East and West. They are not all headed Northwest. As you know, this process of hydrofracking horizontal wells with water, sand and chemicals has only been conducted in the Barnett Shale for a few short years. It's ridiculous to conclude (as apparently Chesapeake has) that there should be some kind of "let's see how it goes philosophy" about this issue and when so many lives can be potentially affected.

So, is Chesapeake a "Big Rat,"?? Maybe. Who knows? They have certainly shown tendencies here, here, here, here and here.

Click Here to Go Over to Bluedaze. TXSharon has weighed in on this, too. It's just such a curious story.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Oh, My.

So here's Part 2 of the story about an Arlington Church's business deal with Chesapeake:

Wednesday, August 31, 2011
High Point Church's Lake

Sunday, September 4, 2011 High Point Church's Lake

Large Hose Hooked Up to Metered Fire Hydrant
Near High Point Church's Padsite on E. Arbrook 
NW Corner of Highway 360 and Interstate 20

Is It a Very Scary Industrial Accident?

Nope.  It's a Ginormous Water Pump. And It's
Sucking Water Out of This Church's Lake

Re-Plenishing the High Point Church's Lake and/or FRAC Pond From that Arlington, TX Fire Hydrant

So, Where is the Water Going?

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Musical Interlude

Oh, My

Follow, Follow, Follow, Follow

Follow the Yellow Brick...

Follow the Yellow Brick...

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

We're Off to See the Wizard

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz!!

Ugh. There's No Place Like Home.
~The End~

Click here to see Part 1 of this story. You won't want to miss that, either.

Call the White House Today!

Call 202-456-1111 or 202-456-1414 between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM Central Time!

**We called the White House.  Join us by making that call. :-)

Non-Disclosure Agreements

Over the past year, we've encountered so many people who often declare, "We've never heard about any problems, before."  Well, friends, this could explain why.

I know Steph Hallowich. She was is was/is my friend. We don’t talk anymore because it’s not safe for her. She has to keep her part of the bargain so her children will be safe. Who wouldn’t do the same? But I think about her often. I imagine them in a new house where children don’t wake up from a sound sleep with blood gushing from their noses or ask, “Mommy, are we going to blow up?”

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Dear Chesapeake

We hope you have had a very nice summer.  It's been a hot one, hasn't it? The Drought has certainly affected all of us. But we see that it hasn't slowed y'all down at all!! We're writing today to simply go over a few ideas.

You told us last summer (2010)...Or rather, one of your colleagues (posing as one of us) yelled it out in no uncertain terms prior to our July 19, 2010 Community Meeting:

It was quite an outburst.  It shook the rafters of The Oaks Baptist Church. So, we knew even then. We knew you just didn't like it. It makes you a little crazy!! So what is it, really? Let's check the definition of moratorium on investopedia:
A period of time in which there is a suspension of a specific activity until future events warrant a removal of the suspension or issues regarding the activity have been resolved.
That definition sounds reasonable and about right, doesn't it? Issues about the possible catastrophic failure of Joe Pool Lake Dam need to be resolved before specific activity (drilling and fracking) can resume. That's one good example of the reason for having one of those ~  sorry ~ we have to write it again, MORATORIUMS.

But wait a minute, what did you do when there was another "Moratorium" in Grand Prairie, TX that was to last up to 6 months, but only lasted 2Remember this?
Chesapeake Neighborhood Rep, Mrs. Laura Patton
December 7, 2010
Grand Prairie, Texas

We certainly remember. It made our Christmas very special. Learning how you, Dear Chesapeake, only wanted to make life in Grand Prairie, TX, grander.  And if you had to, you would invoke something called "Force Majeure" (Starting at around 3:00 Minutes on the Video). You told us we probably hadn't ever heard of that before.  It was so wonderful that you told us all about it. And then we knew.

Maybe you didn't know that all of these actions on your part are very Orwellian.    (You know, up is down, down is up, we only want to help your community, shale gas production is perfectly safe...)

So, Dear Chesapeake, in closing, and to quote one of our totally awesome friends (with the emphasis on you):
Once you know, you can't not know. 
~ Mayor Calvin Tillman

Thursday, September 08, 2011

The Failure to Communicate: Update**

Link to the Video

You see, the problem is, municipalities like Grand Prairie, TX have allowed the shale gas operators to "tell them" what is safe and what is not safe. If you watch the video and see Chesapeake's response (Leah King, Sr. Director of Public Affairs for Chesapeake) it's clear that "the company" (even after this report from the United States Army Corps of Engineers aka USACE) continues to push its own agenda.

Fact is, USACE is "planning" to conduct geotechnical testing at this site. To continue with drilling activities under those circumstances is well, dumb.

Oh, never mind. Apparently Chesapeake is A-OK with being DUMB. They do it all the time. We're sure you must know by now.

**Click right here to check out TXSharon's Blog Post (Saturday, September 17, 2011).

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

DAM (*Numerous UPDATES*)

Ordinance providing for a moratorium on the conducting of any natural gas drilling and fracturing activities within 3,000 feet of any dams and other water retention structures owned and/or operated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
Joe Pool Lake Dam and Spillway 
(850 Feet from Chesapeake's Drilling and Fracking Activities)

File #: 11-1293 Version: 1 Name: Moratorium on Gas Drilling Activities

From:  Jim Cummings, Environmental Services Director

Ordinance providing for a moratorium on the conducting of any natural gas drilling and fracturing activities within 3,000 feet of any dams and other water retention structures owned and/or operated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

Recommended Action:  Approve


The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has expressed concerns regarding natural gas exploration activities within 3,000 feet of dams and other water retention structures. The USACE intends to study this issue in the coming months. A moratorium will provide time for the USACE to initiate engineering studies.


SECTION 4. That this ordinance shall take effect immediately from and after its passage and it is accordingly so ordained.


(*UPDATE* February 19, 2015):  The Moratorium has been extended for the 2nd 4th 5th (maybe 6th) time and now through October 1, 2015 according to the Grand Prairie, TX City Council.  The study from USACE is not ready completed, but still under review. Stay tuned...and be sure to read our original blog post about this issue over 2  3 1/2 years ago when we first layed out the BIG picture.  Thank you. Click Here. 

(Another *UPDATE* July 30, 2015): Currently (as of July 30, 2015) a housing developer, Sandlin Homes, is selling NEW homes atop the former Corn Valley Drilling Site and FRAC Pond, unbelievable as it might seem.  So, the MORATORIUM on the Corn Valley Drilling Site appears to be MOOT with this drilling site gone and the one well plugged.  Or is it?

XTO's Lynn Unit (the one remaining ACTIVE drilling site within the 3,000 Ft. DAM Exclusion Zone in Grand Prairie, TX) currently has 3 wells in production.  USACE requested that the City of Grand Prairie add production to the Moratorium in September 2013.  However, the City of Grand Prairie declined that request!  So, Fracking Extraction (production) continues. (Click on this link to see production for one of the 3 wells (Well 3H) on the Railroad Commission Web site. Scroll to Page 6 at the top of the chart to see current overall total for one of the 3 wells ~ over 1.3 Million Cubic Feet since 2010.) 

We are not sure how passage of House Bill 40 affects this Municipal Moratorium that was implemented at the request of the United States Army Corps of Engineers as of September 6, 2011 and extended every year since.  ***Question: Does a request from a federal agency (USACE) regarding below surface activity TRUMP Texas House Bill 40?)***

If It's Not a Nightmare

What is It?

Just a reminder...these Texas Railroad Commission GIS maps don't show the schools where children try to learn so that they may grow up to live healthy, productive lives. 

This map shows the horizontal wells from numerous pad sites as well as the multiple, non-odorized gas gathering pipelines (meaning, if you can't smell it, you won't know if there's a "leak") right in the midst of highly-populated, residential communities in southeastern Arlington, TX. 

If this is not an "Industrial Zone," what is it?

Saturday, September 03, 2011

What the Quack is Going On?

The 5,000-member High Point Church was founded in 2000 by Simons and his wife, April, whose brother is Joel Osteen, well-known pastor of the 38,000-member Lakewood Church in Houston. Now High Point meets in a 432,000-square-foot facility in Arlington, near Dallas. Link to Story
Link to the Video of the Tour of High Point

"...SuperNatural Gas the Pastor Says."

Don't miss Part 2 of this supernatural story. Click here.