Background Check

Range Resources Corporation, a company based out of Fort Worth secured the rights to drill five gas wells on a 3-acre site of land on the Rayzor Ranch Development. Their site is either directly across the street or in close proximity to:
  • McKenna Park
  • Denton Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital
  • Vintage Retirement community
  • Residential homes
  • Private Pre K-3
  • Denton County MHMR Center
  • University of North Texas
  • Numerous doctor offices including
  • Pediatricians and ob/gyn(s)
How did this happen?
Just two individuals who own property within 500 feet of the proposed site gave their consent. For their consent, these individuals were promised royalties. These 2 properties are rental houses. Little notice had been given to the adjacent residential & medical property owners. Most of the property owners had no idea that this site had been secured to drill 5 gas wells until a few concerned neighbors began knocking on doors just days before the proposal went to the City Council. Ninety-three percent of the eighty neighboring residents contacted were against the drilling. Additionally, close to 100 local physicians signed a petition in opposition to wells.
     Although the issue was tabled multiple times by the City Council, the final decision was to grant the SUP with the addition of 21 conditions. Concurrently, Range Resources was in litigation with both the city and the developers/surface owners of the Rayzor Ranch development. The city claimed that Range had “shorted the city at least $400,000 by miscalculating royalty payments from gas produced at three Denton Airport wells” while the Rayzor developers believed Range had missed their deadline to begin drilling.
     Many of the citizens of Denton were outraged that Range was given the okay to drill. Several individuals then asked the city to fund environmental testing prior to the drilling. They believed that testing would alert the city and those in close proximity to the wells of possible exposure to harmful chemicals, contamination and resulting health concerns. The city declined and the residents set about raising money to cover the cost of hiring an environmental firm, Wolf Eagle Environmental, to perform, interpret and validate the findings.
     Although tested in less then optimum conditions (it was cold and windy) and only the first well was being drilled, the results indicated tests found “cancer-causing benzene and a host of sulfides above levels the state sets for safe short- and long-term exposure, along with elevated readings of methane”. Range has now begun the drilling of well number two. Unfortunately, they have already shown how neighborly they truly are by violating the conditions, working in the middle of the night and on Christmas Eve. The noise can be heard several blocks away. The smells of the emissions are horrid, leaving some individuals complaining of headaches, nausea, burning eyes and throat.

Here are a few ways the company could have been a ‘good’ neighbor:

  • Chosen a site which didn’t border a neighborhood. At a bare minimum they could have had a setback of 1000 feet from any residential structure, park or medical facility
  • Notified individuals living within 2000 feet of the site a written timeline and description of all planned operational events and a phone numbers to call in case of emergency
  • Used electric motors rather than diesel or used diesel emission filters to prevent exposing residents to cancer causing diesel emissions and fouling Denton air with smog producing NOx
  • Not flared- Devon hasn’t flared in over three years. Devon has stated publicly that there is no need to flare in the Barnett Shell!
  • Used equipment which in the normal course of operations would not admit un-combusted hydrocarbons into the open air
With Eyes Wide Opened
This experience has opened our eyes up to the nationwide issue of irresponsible drilling. Although we initially started with the Rayzor Ranch site we quickly moved our focus to a broader view of the entire city of Denton and its neighboring towns. We realize that true change is going to have to occur on both the national and state level. We hope to play our part in bring about that change.


Anonymous said...

What's next, all of you will want background checks on all the workers at the rig?

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