Imagine the very streets of your neighborhood flooding with water. Oh, not just any water rushing toward your home, but toxic water contaminated with chemicals.
For Arlington residents, a city between Dallas and Fort Worth, this happened twice in March and April. Nearly 100 homes were evacuated as fracking fluids gushed through the streets of the neighborhood surrounding a Vantage Energy drilling facility.
The investigation of the spill reported Tuesday the corporation was at fault for equipment failure and mishandling the spill.
Hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, is the process of pumping a high-pressure mixture of sand, water and chemicals into the deep in the ground to release natural gas and oil.
The analysis into facility's procedures found that Vantage Energy contacted 911 nearly two hours after the fracking water began to flood out. Not only was the contact delayed, but the call originated from corporate headquarters in Pennsylvania, according to WFAA
Seems like a bit of a drive for a 911 dispatcher in Pennsylvania.
“This is unacceptable behavior," said City Council member Robert Rivera, according to WFAA. “The citizens of Arlington do not appreciate the lack of ability to control the site,."
Maybe Arlington's recent debacle is what Denton had in mind when the North Texas city instituted its fracking ban.
The Frack Free Denton movement enlisted 59 percent of Denton voters, according to The Texas Tribune
, last November to approve the ban of fracking within city limits. Cathy McCullen, one of the movement's leaders, stated
that fracking "is a brutal, brutal process for people living around it."
Other residents joined her concern about bringing the gas industry so close to where kids play. Additionally, residents cited the negative effects to the air and water quality.
Despite Denton's efforts to keep the practice out of city limits, Texas legislators recently passed laws prohibiting any local jurisdictions from banning hydraulic fracturing.
On the heels of Texas' decision on fracking bans, the Environmental Protection Agency released a report
saying, "there are potential vulnerabilities in the water lifecycle that could impact drinking water," however the threat from hydraulic fracturing activities is not "widespread."