Trinity East Wants to Drill in the Floodplain

Categories: Buzz

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Ah, the Trinity River corridor, that swath of green that anchors urban Dallas to Mother Nature. How we cherish it.

Unless, that is, someone -- Mayor Mike Rawlings, for example -- wants to build a toll road through its heart ...

Or maybe dump a few hundred gallons of pig blood into the river ...

Oh, let's face it. Dallas has an Oedipal relationship with Mother Nature: We're just aching to screw her good.

Further evidence of that popped up Tuesday when the Texas Campaign for the Environment released a map, provided by City Hall, of where drilling company Trinity East hopes to poke a few holes in the earth, pump in a mystery stew of noxious chemicals and suck out natural gas. You guessed it: The land is almost entirely in the Trinity floodplain, either on or near existing parks or on land intended for possible park development.

Trinity East is one of three companies that have leased mineral rights from the city and are awaiting the City Council's decision on where they can drill. As things stand now, drilling isn't allowed in parks or the floodplain -- because it, you know, floods and washes stuff into the river -- though that could change.

If that happens, figure it's just a matter of time before fracking chemicals make their way into the river from spills, trees get chopped and soccer players start dropping like flies from fumes from drilling rigs. (Though that could make the sport more entertaining. Nearly anything would.)

The Texas Campaign is still waiting to see maps for the other two companies, but the Trinity East map shows that the company's leases chiefly lie on the east bank of the river, winding along floodplain from Royal Lane southeast toward downtown. Crown Park and the proposed Elm Fork Soccer Complex are included in the leases, says Zac Trahan, program director for the environmental group's DFW branch.

"Look at any map of the park system and you'll see this green ribbon" of potential parkland along the river, Trahan says. "Do we want to turn that ribbon into a waste of gas wells?"
Trahan is relatively new to Dallas, so we spared him our cynical snort of laughter. Perhaps he hasn't yet learned that these aren't the sort of rhetorical questions one should ask around here when it comes to money vs. environment. (Sample question: "Do we really want to pave paradise and put up a parking lot at the arboretum?" Answer: "Well, not pave, per se, but thanks for the suggestion.")

Here's hoping he figures it out by Wednesday, May 16, when the city's Gas Drilling Task Force makes its final recommendations for drilling regulations. For the map of the future home of Rigs R Us, check out below.

Trintiy East Gas Drilling Press Release 5-8-12


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32 comments
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unkempt
unkempt

Nacogdoches that is :-)

unkempt
unkempt

This just in - a 3.7 earthquake just rocked East Texas 24 miles northeast of Nagodoches.  Hows that oil drilling working out Gaia.

unkempt
unkempt

Perhaps the mayor of Houston should chime in since they are benefitingfrom our wastewater delivered conveniently to them via the Trinity.  If drillingoccurs with the fracking method and dangerous chemicals then that wastewaterwill potentially poison Houston residents although they have enough to worryabout with the refinery pollution.  When the Trinity crest between thelevees during periods of rain, those fracking chemicals will then flow into theGreat Trinity Forest poisoning that jewel which is just beginning to be tappedfor recreational use.  Also...with the drilling of piers on the MHHB andthe soupy sand they ran into, perhaps massive drilling points within thefloodplain will create a chasm since all this drilling going on is the cause ofthe many earthquakes North Texas has experienced over the past several years. And let's not forget, ATMOS wants to raise gas prices, sodrill...drill..drill.  The Dallas City Council is a disgrace!

RTGolden
RTGolden

A massive chasm?  What a splendid idea! We could then have the Grand Canyon of the Trinity at Dallas.  Conveniently accessible via the Canyon Rim Tollway.

lorlee
lorlee

I am always amazed at what is proposed and wonder if they just go as outrageous as they can to  see if anyone finally says "The Emperor has No Clothes" --- Gas wells in parks, roads in floodways that protect your most valuable tax base, blowing mountain tops off to get coal and destroy streams and rivers in the process, lagoons of pig and cow poo that contaminate whole watersheds, fracking that uses up all your water. 

When are we going to wake up and make the resource rape companies pay the full cost of the current and futuer damage they cause.

Okay, I'll say it -- "The Emperor has No Clothes" 

Downtown Resident
Downtown Resident

"When are we going to wake up and make the resource rape companies pay the full cost of the current and futuer damage they cause."

Don't worry, The Market will fix it.

lorlee
lorlee

Not holding my breath, so far, we the public have been picking up the tab.  And very often when the tab is due -- those companies are long gone or declare bankruptcy and we are left with the mess.  

Tim Covington
Tim Covington

My thought on this is "Why are they drilling anywhere?" Natural gas prices are incredibly low right now. And, natural gas storage is at close to full levels. It just doesn't make sense for the company to even bother drilling.

Darrd2010
Darrd2010

 They want to be able to know the ground rules NOW, and hopefully get them to their satisfaction. They also want to get pipes in the ground NOW even if they don't drill. Then when the prices begin to rise, they merely throw the switch. Their rep. Dallas Cothrum says that the distance from pad to your house should be 300 feet, in other words about 5 house lots (of a typical middle income house lot in Dallas)This is not to drill tomorrow, this is for long term.

This map is only half the story, let's see what the other half looks like, next week.Hopefully, they will include the 'private' leases that also have to go through CPC.

SpeedbumpJoey
SpeedbumpJoey

One thing (of the few) that I still love about Dallas is the fact that we do not currently have any drilling within the city limits. I hope that that will stay the same.

Downtown Resident
Downtown Resident

Is our city council stupid, on the take, or both?

jfpo
jfpo

When you're on the take, there really is no need to educate yourself.

Voice of Reason
Voice of Reason

So ... you are worrying about contaminating a river already contaminated? 

Also, "trees get chopped and soccer players start dropping like flies from fumes ..." 

Where would that be? Really don't see kids playing soccer within the levee very often.

Blow up your map, so the reader can see it better.

Rob Shearer
Rob Shearer

Have you ever crossed the Trinity on Sylvan? Those soccer fields are in nearly constant use in the evenings and weekends - regardless of the temperature or lack of shade. 

Honestly - between the tollroad coming right up the middle of the levees and the gas drilling it's hard to believe that this isn't a joke. The City of Dallas appears to have no interest in becoming world class, unless it's world class in lack of quality of life. 

cp
cp

No no, all the "quality of life" stuff is neatly contained in the Arts District...

Mike Rawlins
Mike Rawlins

Oh, yeah, about that... totally a miscommunication...

Meant to say: World Crass.

Marianagriggs
Marianagriggs

Please use your real name. We need your help, not your negative comments. Clean the river and you won't be able to keep up with the demand for the park. That's Economic Development.

Downtown Resident
Downtown Resident

I think The Voice of Reason is providing all us a much needed reality check. If something is broke... fuck fixing it, trying is the first step toward failure. Next he'll bring his infinite wisdom to the health care industry: why cure sick people, they're gonna die eventually any way.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

As Homer Simpson also once said, "Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is: never try."

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Wow..gotta love this city putting business interest in front of public health and safety..Thats what you get when you let republicans run a city...

cp
cp

Um, I'm pretty sure there are more Dems on the City Council than Republicans.....

Wes Scott
Wes Scott

Please name them on both sides. I am interested in knowing who is which.

Here is my guess list:

Mayor Rawlings - RLinda Koop - RAnn Margloin - RSheffie Kadane - RJerry Allen - RTennell Atkins - RAngela Hunt - DScott Griggs - DSandy Greyson - DDwaine Caraway - DVonciel Hill - DCarolyn Davis -DMonica Alonzo - DPauline Medrano - DDelia Jasso - D

Sometimes, the way they vote makes it seem as if some of them are on the other side. In the end, they usually vote according to how their financial contributors tell them to vote, and most of those contributors are the Dallas Citizens Council, which is definitely Republican. DCC gave us Mayors Leppert and Rawlings  - we could have had a decent mayor and an honest man in David Kunkle, but he was too honest for the DCC.

RTGolden
RTGolden

Your facts are merely muddying the waters, my friend.

Marianagriggs
Marianagriggs

That's what you get when politicians, all of them, have to worry more about financing their campaigns than about the health and safety of the citizens. Industry lobbies too and they have money. We have just been asking nicely, for two years, for our City Council to educate themselves so they can see it will be worth preserving our wild areas for the future, even if the industry sues.

Ben
Ben

If the city decides to drill at LB Houston Nature Preserve, the uproar will be so massive it will make the Arboretum protest look like a 4 year old's birthday party at Penny Whistle Park.

cp
cp

Wow, haven't heard "Penny Whistle Park" in ages! Thanks for that!

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

Yes Ben you will have the Massive uproar .....And once that has faded away you will have the drilling ..BTW The Audubon Group (If its the same one ) has no room to act like a friend of nature after that Natural Habitat Rape they did with the place off of Great Trinity Forrest Way in the southern sector .It might not have been Paradise but they  sure as heck have no clue when it comes to adapting man to the Natural Surrounding .Shame on them .

Marianagriggs
Marianagriggs

 Audubon Dallas=Cedar Ridge Preserve, formerly Dallas Nature Center. Audubon Texas =Trinity River Audubon Center and Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center. I know it's confusing, just so you criticize the right one.

cp
cp

What are you talking about? The Audubon (not the same as the Arboretum) Interpretive Center site was built on top of a massive illegal landfill. Yeah, that was terrrrrrible of the city to clean up a dump to build an educational facility. 

Marianagriggs
Marianagriggs

Reeaaalllly? Because I am very impressed that Audubon Dallas is helping out with Winfrey Park (http://www.audubondallas.org/c... It makes me proud to be on that board!Please check out our Dallas Residents at Risk page on facebook or dallasresidentsatrisk.com. We really want your help. We have met at La Bajada and at El Centro in West Dallas and asked and asked Councilwoman Alonzo to speak up for LB Houston as it sits in District 6 but she says "everyone is entitled to their opinion" on the matter. My opinion is it is a bad idea and I want to know what she is digging up to educate herself about the matter, don't you?

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