Arlington rep requests closer hearing for disposal well

A state representative for Arlington is asking the Railroad Commission to schedule a public hearing closer to the location of a proposed disposal well

  • This map shows the location of a proposed saltwater disposal well in Fort Worth
    This map shows the location of a proposed wastewater disposal well just west of Lake Arlington. (Google Maps)
Zack Maxwell

An Arlington State Representative is requesting a more convenient public hearing on a disposal well proposed just west of Lake Arlington.

BlueStone Natural Resources II, LLC is asking the Texas Railroad Commission to approve a wastewater disposal well on the outskirts of Lake Arlington in Fort Worth. The well would be used to dispose of flowback fluids and wastewater generated during natural gas drilling.

On Monday, State Rep. Chris Turner released a letter he sent to the Hearings Director of the Railroad Commission, Randall Collins.

Wastewater being disposed into a “porous formation” less than 100 feet from the edge of Lake Arlington creates “unnecessary risks” to drinking water, Turner wrote.

He further requests the Commission consider holding a public hearing in Tarrant County to accommodate citizens who are unable to travel to Austin for the scheduled hearing on May 24 and 25.

West Arlington Representative Tony Tinderholt said he supports Turner’s effort and would meet with Mayor Jeff Williams on Tuesday to discuss the matter.  A request for comment from State Rep. Nicole Collier, whose district handles much of East Fort Worth, was not immediately returned.

A BlueStone spokesperson said the company was not aware of Turner’s letter and would not issue a comment until after it had been reviewed.

But the Commission may not grant Turner’s request for a hearing in Tarrant County.

“The Commission is taking several steps to accommodate the high level of public interest in this case,” said Ramona Nye, a spokesperson for the Commission. “These steps include accepting public comment in writing or by email until the hearing convenes.”

Nye did not have figures on how many opposition letters the Commission has received.

The Commission has also secured a larger room with webcasting capability, Nye added.

“This will accommodate a greater number of attendees and the hearing will be webcast so anyone interested may monitor the proceedings,” Nye said.

The Oklahoma-based energy company’s well proposal has met fierce opposition from residents and municipalities.

Both Arlington and Fort Worth have filed letters with the Commission in protest of BlueStone’s application. To assist in the fight, the Arlington City Council hired the Jackson, Sjoberg, and Townsend law firm in Austin, which specializes in oil and gas matters.

In an earlier statement, BlueStone said it has “gone above and beyond” in meeting the Commission’s requirements for disposal wells. The company has also voluntarily agreed to a program to pay part of its revenues to Fort Worth, which could be used to revitalize Lake Arlington's shorelines.

Until the set hearing dates in May, the Commission is accepting written public comment. Letters may be mailed to the Railroad Commission of Texas at 1701 North Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701 with attention to Docket Services.

Comments may also be submitted via e-mail to docketservices@rrc.texas.gov. To be included in the hearing record, written comments must include a person’s name, address, and be received prior to the beginning of the hearing on May 24.