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Published by OOCCLcom
OOCCL Position Paper on Hydraulic Fracturing in the City of Dallas
OOCCL Position Paper on Hydraulic Fracturing in the City of Dallas

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Categories:Types, Letters
Published by: OOCCLcom on May 15, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Wednesday May 16, 2012The Honorable Mayor Mike Rawlings and Dallas City CouncilDallas City Hall1500 Marilla St.Dallas, Texas 75201Dear Mayor Rawlings and Dallas City Council,On May 14, 2012, the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League voted to oppose hydraulicfracturing within the city of Dallas. We arrived at our decision acutely aware of the energyneeds that face our nation and the opportunity that natural gas offers in the way of a clean burning fuel source. We recognize that natural gas must continue to play an important rolein our nation’s energy needs. We feel however that uncertainties with hydraulic fracturing,as it occurs today, offset any advantages the otherwise clean fuel offers our community.In particular, these points caused our concern and ultimate rejection of fracking at thistime:1.
– While a setback of 1000 ft. has been recommended for our homes,schools, hospitals, churches and parks, 300 ft from a place of business doesn’t makeany sense to us. We think that even a greater distance should be considered and ask that the 1000 ft. setback be included for business locations as well. There is noindependent data to suggest what short term or long-term exposure to air emissionsfrom a shale gas drilling site can do to the human body. Many of us spend at leastas much time at work as we do living or playing and shouldn’t we feel safe there aswell? As we try to entice more people to work, live and play and “Grow South”,it’s important not to make that task more difficult with self-inflicted environmentalor health hazards.2.
Disclosure of all chemicals involved in hydraulic fracturing -
When dealing withknown carcinogens like those used in “fracking”, it’s even more important that allDallas citizens and first responders be made aware of the unknown chemicals aswell. Anything less than full disclosure of this information, including proprietarymixtures, to the public robs them of the opportunity to make informed decisions.3.
Drinking water quality – 
Water that we all use in our daily life becomes part of the hydrological cycle for area residents. The water that is used in the drilling process is permanently ruined and can never be used again. What types of water usage fees are being imposed on those industries that remove our water from thehydrological cycle? Is the water being used for drilling coming from our water sources such as area lakes? As our population grows, our water requirementscontinue to grow as well. Removing more water from the cycle should be of greatconcern for all Dallas citizens. We must have guarantees that we will always haveenough clean water for everyday use in our lives.4.
Drilling in the Trinity River Floodplain – 
Nowhere was concern greater than the
 prospect of injecting harmful and unknown chemicals into the Trinity River floodplain and park land for the exploration of shale gas. Choices the City of Dallasmakes today with regards to what occurs in our floodplain do not impact just us; theimpact affects thousands of Texans everywhere. The Trinity River floodplain has aunique eco system that must be protected from all industries. The Trinity River Audubon Center tells us that 'the Trinity Watershed encompasses nearly 18,000square miles of Texas.' It also tells us that 'More Texans rely on the Trinity River than any other body of water in the State of Texas.' Rivers, streams, and creeks atone time or another flood, as they travel towards the Gulf of Mexico. Allowinghydraulic fracturing chemicals to these bodies of water eventually will affect all of us. Does the City of Dallas really want to be part of this polluted process? Whatwill this new liability mean for our city in the future?5.
Air quality -
For some time now, the City of Dallas has been in violation of theClean Air Act regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. This year wewere downgraded from “moderate” to “severe”. The likelihood that the FederalGovernment will withhold highway funds from our area in the near future is a real possibility, particularly if we choose as a city to create more air pollution. TheLeague cannot in good conscious support jeopardizing the continued economicvitality of our area or put our residents at even greater risk of potential lung problems.6.
Regulation – 
In 2006, the US Congress exempted the gas industry's process knownas “fracking” from the Safe Drinking Water Act. Concerns voiced in this letter regarding water resources that would previously have been addressed with the SafeDrinking Water Act, would have been handled at the federal level. Air emissionsmust be regulated on each pad site without regard to its location near Dallas citizensor other area communities. Since The City of Dallas is a 'home rule city', it has anoverwhelming responsibility to its citizens to protect them at the highest levels.Allowing shale gas drilling to come into the City of Dallas with the handful of stateinspectors will never be enough to handle Dallas' needs. Should the City of Dallasmove forward with shale gas drilling, we must have our own full time gas inspector and staff to oversee the operations of the industry? Sharing this position with other area communities is not acceptable on any level.A lot of energy is spent discussing the gap between North and South Dallas. It is sadlyironic that what created many of those gaps drive this issue today – chiefly the elevation of industry profits over public health and quality of life issues for all our citizens. It is nosecret that communities and neighborhoods downriver bore the brunt of Dallas’ growthyears. Just this year, we were reminded how downriver neighborhoods are treated whenwe became aware of the Columbia Packing Co.'s practice of dumping pigs' blood into theTrinity.How can we ever hope to heal wounds or bridge gaps between North and South as long aswe continue to slight our neighbors to our South and West for the sake of a dollar? Effectsfrom the past decades of lead infecting West Dallas still linger today. Those who livethere, still bear the lingering health effects of this environmental disaster. We can’t affordan even greater catastrophic incident, much less the impact on other municipalities adjacentto Dallas and the liabilities that follow.It should be every citizen’s right to breathe clean air and drink clean water. As our elected

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