Sunday, October 20, 2013

Dateline: Texas. "They've Fracked Our Dams." *Update*

Back in 2010, there was a general feeling from our group in Westchester and individuals and groups in Dallas that there was something bizarre going on at the Joe Pool Lake Reservoir (a man-made Texas lake primarily used for flood control and recreation) in southwestern Dallas County, Texas.
Joe Pool Lake Dam and Spillway (December 27, 2010) 

The story about Joe Pool Lake mineral leases being flipped by Bernie Madoff in New York and elsewhere was already quite the buzz back then. Then something else began to brew in early 2011 that encouraged our group.  And then there was silence for awhile.

It was a very HOT and DRY Texas summer in 2011, Epic Drought and all.  Even so, according to our neighbors backing up to the Corn Valley drilling site, Chesapeake seemed to be conducting some kind of prepping activity there.  After seeing something curious come across our Twitter feed on June 24, 2011, we were flummoxed.  The heat had gotten to us.  We finally decided to submit an Open Records Request (ORR) to our City on July 25, 2011 seeking any correspondence with USACE and the City about the dam.  We received the results of that ORR on August 3, 2011.  The ORR contained a somewhat surprising letter dated February 25, 2011 to the City of Grand Prairie from USACE.  All the documents seemed disjointed, at best, which is often the case for Open Records Requests. Then, while we were trying to make some sense out of all of it...

On September 6, 2011, the City of Grand Prairie passed its own Moratorium on all drilling activities within 3,000 feet of Joe Pool Lake Dam.  And that seemed to stop the pending activity from Chesapeake in its tracks.  Fast forward to September 3, 2013 ~ USACE has continued their Moratorium to request that the City of Grand Prairie keep in force the city's Moratorium and recently requested they extend it for another year (through September 2014) to complete the nationwide study on this new "unconventional" drilling technology being conducted near their dams. As  result, Grand Prairie recently extended its own city-wide Moratorium for the 4th time as of September 3, 2013.*

Oh, and the new GIS Map viewer on the RRC Web site offers a lot more vivid detail than the older one does. We see that USACE-controlled Lake Benbrook Dam looks to be surrounded, with no way out, in our opinion. (We've added some labels to the Screen Shot.)  

Click to Enlarge the Screen Shot for this GIS Map:

Important documents we've referenced on the GIS Map (above):

Enough for now. 

*Update*:  Stay tuned for an update to the current Moratorium. Of course, it's a doozy.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Zone of Exclusion?

Click here to review the Texas Resource Management Plan (1996) defining the Zones of Exclusion for oil and gas exploration and extraction near USACE-managed dams in the State of Texas. Page 21 for Lake Benbrook's Dam.