About Air and Water

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fort Worth OKs high-impact gas wells close to homes Read more: http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/06/22/2285423/fort-worth-oks-high-impact-gas.html#ix

BY MIKE LEE - Fort Worth Star Telegram - June 23, 2010
FORT WORTH -- City Council members approved a permit for a high-impact natural gas site after nearly an hour of debate Tuesday.
Chesapeake Energy wants to put four wells at a site just east of Loop 820 and south of Interstate 30. The site is within 225 feet of nearby homes, though, and Chesapeake did not have permission from all the owners within 600 feet. That left it up to the council to decide.
Chesapeake argued that it had approval from the homeowners closest to the site -- those within 300 feet.
"They should have the strongest voice, being the closest to the site," Chesapeake representative Mercedes Bolin said.
The wells will produce natural gas revenue for 2,100 property owners in East Fort Worth, and several people from the Ryanwood Neighborhood Association spoke in favor of it. More than 200 people signed letters supporting the site.
But some other landowners, between 300 and 600 feet, disapproved.
Opponents said Chesapeake didn't consider alternative sites, and questioned whether the company was truthful with owners who signed waivers. They produced 100 letters opposed to the site.

"They blitzed the neighborhood but they did not mention anywhere in there the downsides," said Esther McElfish, who is on the board of the North Central Texas Communities Association.

The council split, 5-3, in favor of the site. Council members Kathleen Hicks and Joel Burns, who have opposed other high-impact sites, were opposed, as was Councilman Frank Moss, who said he was concerned about the truck route. Councilman Jungus Jordan abstained because his family receives income from Chesapeake.

Mike Lee, 817-390-7539

Read more in the Fort Worth Star Telegram

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