Hundreds of thousands of people have descended on Arlington, Texas for Superbowl XLV. Most did not know about the ongoing environmental justice battle within the shadow of the stadium, a mere 2,500 feet away.
Arlington is in the heart of the a gas drilling boom going on in North Texas using a dangerous method popularly known as "fracking." In fracking communities around the country, from North Texas to Pennsylvania, residents who live near drilling operations are getting sick. The water contamination in nearby Parker County, Texas is so bad that one homeowners had his garden hose recently spewing flames.
On February 22, 2011, the Arlington City Council may vote on Chesapeake Energy's proposed drill site near the stadium: "Gas Well Permit GW10-74 (Truman 1H at 310 North Collins Street)." It is in a low-income area and Chesapeake chose to contact only a portion of property owners, not renters, business owners, managers or employees in the immediate area.
People have a right to know that a major fossil fuel extraction, industrial project is about to take place and pump toxic chemicals through the shale with no regard for how much of that flows back and can potentially migrate into an aquifer that supplies our municipal drinking water. They also need to know that a Cornell University study by Professor Howarth estimates that natural gas may even be dirtier than coal when you factor in methane leakage, hydrofracking, and transportation.
And people have a right to fight for their homes. Within 600 feet is low income multi family housing and an established mobile home park. Many are indeed fighting: The permit does not even have the required support of 60 percent of the landowners within 600 feet of the drill site, yet drilling proponents (like the city and possibly Jerry Jones himself) are eager to profit from the revenues the project would bring. Almost 500 people in the immediate area have opposed the project through signatures I have gathered.
This project, near the Dallas Cowboys stadium will bring thousands of trucks per well traveling through the Entertainment District. Sitting in traffic could hardly be entertaining, especially in the summer time when oxygen levels seems to be anything but pure and plentiful. At peak summer, "Barnett Shale Breathers" (as named in Facebook) can expect condensate and oil tank emissions in tons per day to increase as follows....Volatile Organic Compounds by 389%, Hazardous Air Pollutants by 1,746%, Methane (which is 20 times more climate warming than CO2) by 233%, and Carbon Dioxide by at least 224%. This info was derived from our own EPA region head, Dr Al Armendariz, Ph.D.
The City Council should deny this permit, or at least consider an alternative (albeit pricier) piece of property at 1111 East Division Street, which would not be in the immediate airshed of workers and residents and would solve the traffic dilemma. Our ordinance states that council should look at alternate sites, yet Council member LeBlanc has told me that the $5 million dollar alternate site would be an eye sore.
What's more Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones should speak out against this permit. He should care about the inherent industrial risks, possible terriorist threat target, and air quality for his team, employees and visitors around his stadium. Unlike the mayor of Arlington, we are counting on Mr Jerry Jones to value the opinion of people around the country, especially as national attention is about to be focused on the site for the Super Bowl.
Ask Jerry Jones to oppose this project immediately, and ask the Arlington City Council to deny this permit.