Dallas Co Owned Land: Environmental Thuggery by Trinity East Energy
Pictures taken on Friday, March 15, 2013 reveal the remnants of Keystone’s Trinity East/Expro Engineering drilling activity on land co owned by both the City of Dallas and The City of Irving. This site is part of a secret agreement in which both the City of Irving and the City of Dallas became lessors with Trinity East Energy/Expro Engineering in 2008. It has been confirmed that this lease arrangement was approved by the City of Irving city council via a consent agenda item vote. Tommy Gonzalez, the City Manager of Irving was once a protoge of Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm. Gonzalez is currently the highest paid City Manager in the State of Texas.
This same type of consent agenda procedure was initiated at the City of Dallas City Council meeting back in 2008 when a different lease agreement with Trinity East was approved for drilling at the Luna Vista Golf Course site and other nearby properties. Some residents in both Dallas and Irving have wondered if both City Manager’s planned in tandem to make deals with Trinity East Energy over the past 4-5 years via the consent agenda at city council. There is no confirmation of that speculation.
While the City of Irving has spoken to Irving residents about this lease agreement, no one at Dallas City Hall wants to talk about it to anyone at any time. The City of Irving is sponsoring a town hall meeting tonight with any interested resident who has questions about gas drilling in Irving or Dallas.
You may remember that it has been revealed that one of the wells at this site had a drilling malfunction when the casing failed underground at a depth of 2850 feet in July 2009. Representatives for the drilling company have stated that the failure occurred below any water tables. There is no documentation paperwork available detailing the mishap, or regarding any possible contamination to water below or above ground. The second well did produce some gas giving the City of Irving a total of $25,000 in royalties over a three year period.
Although this active shale gas well has been temporarily plugged while the company waits to build a pipeline network. Some have speculated that this could be the beginning of a major pipeline network that Trinity East Energy’s Steve Fort has mentioned in the public media.
It was in 2009 when the drilling activity was at it’s busiest and now that drilling has been idle for four years, the horrors of the industrial process linger on without signs that display a sense of urgency on behalf of the driller.
STANDING WATER ON LAND NEXT TO THE GAS WELL DRILLING SITE. WE DON’T KNOW THE SOURCE OR THE DESTINATION OF THIS WATER.
While taking pictures of the gas drilling site, our photographers looked for possible locations of the frac pond/pit that would normally be adjacent to the well head. The photographers could not positively identify that particular location. But the pictures below show the area next to the gas well drilling site that may have contained the frac pond. The frac pond would not be kept after the drilling ended four years ago, but can be easily rebuilt.
Keep in mind that the Elm Fork Branch of the Trinity River flows just North of this location and flooding is a normal activity. The Irving Flood Control District was also listed as one of the lessors on the lease agreement with Trinity East Energy/Expro Engineering. Why is that?
WAS THIS THE FRAC POND?
THE END OF THE ROAD OF ENVIRONMENTAL HELL
A frac pond is constructed at the beginning of the drilling process to hold about 4,000,000 gallons of fresh water that will be used in conjunction with sand and chemicals to drill for shale gas. The pond is lined with a heavy duty plastic that is supposed to be impenetrable. There have been reports from other drill sites, where there are multiple frac ponds that not only house fresh water but also the flow back or contaminated water that comes back up with the drilling process.
About 20% of the water comes back to the surface and is captured during the drilling process. It is then loaded onto trucks and taken to injection wells and put back into the ground. Many of these injection wells are in Johnson County, Texas. Some drillers have experimented with storing the 20% produced(contaminated) water in a second frac pond for recycling of secondary drilling processes.A gas well can be drilled more than one time. The success rate of this type of recycling is spotty throughout the industry without a strong enough success rate to become an industry standard or requirement.
These photos reveal that there are bodies of water that continue to sit throughout the property that are more than likely left over rain water. But what is even more troubling is the fact that state/local storm water rules are not always equal, nor do they meet the same standards that other industries must meet unless specified by the municipality that signs the agreement.
THE MINI PROCESSING EQUIPMENT ON SITE FOR ONE WELL
HOW DO WE KNOW THIS GROUND WATER HAS NOT BEEN PROTECTED BY THE DRILLERS ACTIVITY?