Monday, May 22, 2006

Hazardous Injection Wells: New Texas Observer Article Focuses on Decatur and Chico

The article, which came out on Friday, is a must read for anyone living in Wise County – especially in Chico and here on Lake Bridgeport, where there are many wells.

Here are a few excerpts from "What Lies Beneath: The threat from oilfield waste injection wells" by Rusty Middleton, published May 19, 2006:

" . . .Their properties border a proposed injection well that could pump hundreds of thousands of gallons a day of oilfield waste into the ground. This waste, known in the industry as “production water,” is mostly oily saltwater used in drilling. But it also contains substances such as waste crude, sludge from storage pits and tank bottoms, used glycol, amine, and hydrogen sulfide scrubber liquid, to name only a few. There are at least 26 acknowledged chemicals in the waste, including such known carcinogens as benzene and one category unhelpfully listed as “other.”

. . .Suddenly Carson and her neighbors face property values cut by as much as half, according to the appraisers and local real estate agents they’ve checked with.

. . .But once the waste is underground, there are no barriers to prevent it from migrating into drinking wells, ground water, or in some cases, even bubbling back to the surface and killing vegetation."

" . . .There are more than 31,000 injections wells in Texas—the most of any state. " (Note: Wise County leads the state in abandoned wells slated for injection wells)

" . . .In 2005, near Chico, about 20 miles from Carson’s home, fluids from a commercial injection well came bubbling to the surface in other wells nearby.

“We were afraid something like this might happen,” says Chico Mayor James Robinson. Previously, city officials had written letters and gone to Railroad Commission meetings to plead for stronger regulations and monitoring to protect their water wells.

“You all need to be looking at this,” Chico Director of Public Works Ed Cowley told the Railroad Commission staff during one of the meetings. “They said it would never happen, and it happened twice.”Injection fluids came up from two abandoned wells and from one active oil well. All three were more than a quarter mile away from the source injection well.

. . .There are reports of people actually touching a match to their running faucet and lighting their water on fire.

. . .Texas is also one of the largest injectors in the nation of Class I hazardous waste. "

Source: The Texas Observer at http://www.texasobserver.org/showArticle.asp?ArticleID=2206

Anti-Injection Well Activism in Wise County

You can get quite an education from reading the anti-injection well postings on the Wise County Messenger forum under the category of News and Events at http://www.wcmessenger.com/forum/

Leave Comments and/or Discuss (Anonymously if you like) on our Lake Bridgeport News group at

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Missing Dog Story Gains New NSP Land Owner’s Ire

Apparently just the mention of NSP and my references to the urbanization that has come to the Sandflat area was too much for one new land-owner in NSP who still lives in California. We’ve been told by this absentee owner that “anti NSP
sentiments need to stop.” To read or respond to the comments go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lakebridgeportnews/

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