For immediate release For More Information:March 11, 2013
Zac Trahan, Texas Campaign for the Environment
Jim Schermbeck, Downwinders at Risk
Revelations about Previous Accident put GasCompany Seeking to Drill in Dallas on theDefensive
Company threatens to sue environmental group for sayingcasing failure in Irving may have contaminated groundwater
(Dallas)---As Dallas City Manager Mary Suhm has faced mounting questions over her handlingof the Trinity East gas leases
and City Attorney Tom Perkins has announced his departure
the gas company itself has lashed out against opponents working to prevent drilling on city-owned park lands.With help from regional activists, Dallas residents have unearthed state documents showingthat Trinity East had previously drilled a well in Irving in 2009 that had an accidental casingfailure deep underground. Environmentalists have raised questions about any potentialgroundwater pollution that may have resulted, pointing out that contamination was and still ispossible
which prompted the gas company to issue a
“cease and desist”
letter, threatening alawsuit.Zac Trahan of Texas Campaign for the Environment, named in the letter, said the group hasworked with an attorney to issue a response. He pointed out that residents should beconcerned about such an accident happening in Dallas. Gas well casings are designed to protect underground aquifers from the toxic chemicals used in the drilling and fracking process.
Industry data and reports show that one out of every 20 gas wells will have a casing failureimmediately, and Trinity East has applied to drill up to 60 wells in Dallas,
Thecompany has admitted that a gas well they drilled along the Trinity River had a casing failure,and as far as we know, no independent testing was required to determine whether or not thisresulted in groundwater contamination.
Prior to 2012, state law only required gas companies to submit a report to the state explaininghow far underground a casing failure occurred. Trinity East, then known as Expro Engineering,reported that it was 2,800 feet below the surface
which is about 600 feet beneath the deepest water aquifer. In its letter, the company cited this self-reported depth as proof that theaccident did not result in any groundwater pollution.
Any casing failure on that well could not have caused or produced aquifer contaminationbecause surface casing was set and cemented at required depths to protect all fresh water