Harriet Irby, of Pantego, became concerned when she learned of gas drilling in adjacent Arlington and Fort Worth. Pantego and DalWorthington Gardens rely on well water for their municipal water supply. At a League of Women Voters Gas Drilling Symposium in 2006 Faith Chatham quizzed Arlington Mayor Pro Tem Ron Wright about the danger of contaminating drinking water through the gas development process. Mr. Wright blew it off as not an issue stating "Arlington doesn't get its drinking water from aquifiers." Harriet Irby spoke up and stated: "But we do in Pantego!" Mr. Wright's response was: "Arlington is always ready and willing to sell water to Pantego!"
Not satisfied with that answer, Ms. Irby began visiting the City Manager and Mayor of Pantego, alerting them to developments in neighboring Fort Worth and Arlington. Dale Henry was always just a telephone call away, advising her and educating her on technical issues which she presented to the leaders of her town. At the time, neither DalWorthington Gardens nor Pantego had gas drilling ordinances. Both have developed some and are polishing them now. Pantego's plans include water testing to establish a baseline plus requirements that gas drillers pay for perodic testing of the water supply. "These are, however, only measures that address part of the danger." Ms. Irby is also concerned with depletion of the water supply through Gas drilling.
Gas is removed from the ground by a fracing process which utilizes millions of gallons of water. Gas drilling is an industrial process which has encroached into high density residential neighborhoods in Tarrant County. In rural western Tarrant County, Parker County and Wise County, some water wells have been sucked dry by the drain on the aquifier by gas drilling. Residential water usage is monitored but industrial gas drilling is exempted from water conservation caps. Current Texas law does not require that water usage for gas drilling be recorded and reported.
Follow the Money - Local Politicians Campaign Contributors
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Irby quizzed Arlington Mayor Pro Tem Ron Wright about danger of contamination to Pantego's Drinking Water in 2007
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