About Air and Water

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Explosion probe faults gas company

By GARY REAVES - WFAA-TV - Wednesday, August 6, 2008
MCKINNEY — Almost three months after an explosion destroyed three McKinney homes and just nine days after Nancy Foster died from burns she endured in the blast, the Texas Railroad Commission announced they discovered numerous violations made by the gas line company and its contractor.

During their three-month probe, the commission said they discovered six rule violations made by Atmos and two more violations by its contractor, M. J. Sheridan.

The Foster family's lawyer, Frank Branson, said they are outraged.

"They ignored the rules before the explosion," he said. "They ignored the rules that caused the explosion and they ignored the rules on how you investigate and record the data."

The tragedy started when the gas company's approved contractor, M J Sheridan, punctured a three-inch gas line with a boring machine. Rules require that when they get within 12 inches of the line, they shut down the machine and dig by hand.

From there, the report stated the mistakes multiplied.

While the line was cut at 4:30 p.m., no one called 911 until 5:38 p.m., which was after the explosions began. In that crucial hour, the on-scene inspector failed to test sewer lines for gas and failed to order evacuations. Afterwards, Atmos failed to give drug and alcohol tests to the work crew.

The Foster family said they are suing for justice and answers.

"We supports our employees who we believe took appropriate actions at the time of the incident," read a statement released by Atmos. "We also have high standards for our contractors ... We continue to review our practices and protocols."
Read more on WFAA
The report is preliminary and Atmos and the contractor have 30 days to respond.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Fort Worth Residents Rally Support for Moratorium on Barnett Shale

While John McCain is trying to sell his energy policy of “Drill here. Drill now. Drill. Drill. Drill…” those affected by the devastation of the Domestic Drilling Agenda are calling for a moratorium.

Fort Worth woke up just in time to discover the free money promised to them by Chesapeake Energy landmen comes with a high price. Chesapeake Energy wants to run high pressure—100 psi minimum—gas pipelines through Fort Worth Neighborhoods. The highly corrosive, raw, wet gas can eat through a new pipeline in 3 or 4 years and is unodorized, invisible and extremely explosive.

Chesapeake, a private company, is using eminent domain to take yards and sometimes the entire home for their profit. Eminent domain should be used only for public gain with no private stakeholders.

If you are in the Barnett Shale area, you should try to attend this rally and learn from the mistakes made by Fort Worth residents.

The Fort Worth Coalition for a Reformed Drilling Ordinance (CREDO) is made up of individuals and groups who are concerned that gas production in Fort Worth is proceeding without adequate consideration of long-term impacts

CREDO believes the City is obligated to assure the safety and well being of its citizens above all other considerations

CREDO calls for a City-imposed moratorium on gas well permitting until:
  • Plans are in place to accomodate the total impact of urban gas production over the life of the activity

  • Post-depletion planning is in place to protect future residents

  • Planning for gas production is integrated with the city's Comprehensive Plan and other appropriate plans

  • Regulations are in place to assure safe operation of the total gas production activity

Click Here for Details about the Call for a Moratorium

Pipelines are dangerous:

In 1937, the New London School Explosion killed 300 – 400 children and teachers.

A Palo Pinto County gas well explosion in 2005 left a crater the size of a football field. The flash was seen 100 miles away.

An explosion in Forest Hill caused 500 homes to be evacuated in 2006.

Other unresolved issues of concern?
  • Infrastructure and quality of life impacts of drilling and fracking operations over the life of a well

  • Pipeline routing and the questionable use of Eminent Domain

  • Public safety, from drilling through production and long term degradation of the gas production infrastructure

  • Water use, waste transport and disposal

  • Effects of gas production on property values, insurance rates, future development, etc.

  • Economic parity for those who signed leases early without organized efforts

  • Air quality including release of hazardous compounds

  • Impacts on public parks and loss of other important green space

Bring a burger and spend your lunch hour with us!

Heed this warning Hanesville Shale and Marcellus Shale residents. Learn from the mistakes of Fort Worth.

This is also on Texas Kaos and Burnt Orange Report.

Travel to other worlds ... UTA Planetarium

Immersive full-dome 3-D Digital planetarium show narrated by Ewan McGregor (Obi wan Kepobi from Star Wars) - Astronaut takes you exporing the worlds of inner and outer space. The movie is projected all around you. You recline in specially constructed chairs which enables you to comfortably view the immersive full-dome planetarium show. Astronaut! (produced from the National Space Centre in England) goes beyond the stereotypical space movie. Experience a rocket launch from inside the body of the astronaut. Float around the international Space Station moving thorugh the microscopic regions of the human body! Discover the beauty and perils as "Chad", the test astronaut experiences everything thrown at him.

Summer Schedule (June 2-August 26):


shows at the UTA Planetarium.

Wed. through Saturdays at 11 a.m.
and Thursday at 7:00 p.m.

Cosmic CSI

shows at the UTA Planetarium 3-D Digital Dome.

Wed. through Saturdays at 2 p.m.

Rock Hall of Fame 1 (The Original)

shows at the UTA Planetarium.

Thursday at 8:00 p.m.

Read more (Warning their flat dull website doesn't give much of a glimmer of the multi-dimensional experience you'll have once you enter the dome of the UTA Planetarium!)

Admission: Adults: $5.00

Seniors, Students, Children: $4.00

UTA Faculty, Staff & Alumni (with ID): $3.00

UTA Studens (with ID): $2.00

Groups of 10 or more with reservation: $3.00

Call 817 272-1183 or e-mail planetarium@uta.edu