Proposed Frack Site on Trinity River Floodplain Will Include a Gas Processing Plant

Categories: City Hall

drilling map.jpg
Trinity East's site plan for drilling. Click to enlarge.
Trinity East intends to sink natural gas wells in the Trinity River floodplain, but it isn't the well pad itself that will consume most of that controversial real estate -- it's the natural gas processing plant they plan to set up right next to it.

According to site plans for the Elm Fork lease, Trinity East will process its gas onsite rather than transporting it to a larger, dedicated processing plant. Included in the 200-foot-long facility will be an "amine reflux condenser," designed to strip corrosive, acid gases like sulfur dioxide from the natural gas, preparing it for transport. The site will also contain three 3,200-horsepower generators, each capable of generating at least 25 tons of air pollution each year.

A processing facility was never mentioned during any of the public hearings for Trinity East's special-use permit application, opponents say. At the last plan commission hearing, discussion revolved around emissions from the huge generators and compressor station.

The proposed drilling site, which will extract natural gas by shattering shale deep underground with millions of gallons of water laced with sand and industrial chemicals, ran into stiff resistance not least because of its location -- a spot prone to flooding along the Trinity River. We left a message with Dallas Cothrum, who has represented Trinity East at City Hall, and we'll update when we hear from him.

"The majority of acreage is devoted to this processing facility, not the gas well," says Jim Schermbeck of Downwinders at Risk, an environmental group. "I don't think anyone at City Hall knew what they were looking at. None of this came up (at the December 20 plan commission meeting on Trinity East's special-use permit).

"It was just a regular line compressor, but these are not line compressors."

As we mentioned yesterday, Trinity East won a rehearing before the plan commission, which last month voted to deny the SUP application because city ordinance does not allow drilling on a floodplain or parkland. "I don't think we are in any position to authorize permits at a time when doing so is contrary to city ordinance," commissioner Paul Ridley said last month. "This should be addressed by the City Council -- elected officials -- not us."

But any guidance on fracking within the city limits, according to Mayor Mike Rawlings, is months away. The Dallas gas drilling task force has long since made its recommendation to the council, whose silence on the subject has been curious. Further complicating the debate are the millions of dollars the city took from Trinity East back in 2007, when some sort of deal was apparently cut, according to the company. Now, Rawlings says, the city must weigh the greater of two evils: The odds that a solid rain will wash drill-site pollutants into the Trinity River; foul the air around the shiny new (and 600-feet distant) Elm Fork soccer complex; or result in a courtroom ass-kicking if Trinity East doesn't get to drill.

That is, of course, assuming it wants to drill while natural gas prices hover at an unprofitably low $3 per thousand cubic feet.

If the plan commission votes again to deny Trinity East's SUP when it meets this Thursday, it will take a super-majority to pass the City Council, which seems unlikely. Even so, no need to revise the monologue you plan to read before the commission. City spokesman Frank Librio just confirmed it will not hear public comments on a reconsideration of the motion.



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25 comments
John1073
John1073

Pig blood bad. Cancer causing chemicals good.

TXsharon
TXsharon

The processing plant will also refine gas from other areas. 

Jack
Jack

Hands up, who's gonna walk/bike to city hall to make their voices heard?........no one.........your gonna drive?.......in the car/bus/train that runs on fossil fuels? that's a tad hypocritical, wouldn't you say?

Jack
Jack

"three 3,200-horsepower generators, each capable of generating at least 25 tons
of air pollution each year."

3 * 25= 75 tons

the average car produces 6 tons of Co2 a year....so it is about the same as adding 12.5 cars to the metroplex.

schermbeck
schermbeck

I urge folks to attend. There may or may not be a way allies can scheme to include public comment before a vote is taken. It's certainly not out of the question that this could be as ugly on Thursday as the final day of fhe Task Force - when another deal was engineered as a whole slew of protections were all of sudden "reconsidered" at the last minute and people were thrown out of the meeting in protest. Gas seems to make ethics melt in Dallas. Lois Finkelman has already seen her reputation scarred by this whole thing, now comes the CPC's and Council's turn I guess.  I hope the fact that they're trying to shut down public comment so much, is reason enough for people to come and try to open it back up. At the very least - send an e-mail that lets them know how you feel -
http://www.downwindersatrisk.org/featured-citizen-action/

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

When they start bitching about revenue being low for the city, I plan to shove this circus up their ass.

JSSS
JSSS

Are they trying to make this as unpalatable as possible? If so, good job.

dallasdrilling.wordpress.com
dallasdrilling.wordpress.com

I'm assuming you got that 25 tons number from Dallas Cothrum, who said 25 tons of air pollution a year. He's full of crap. He lies like a rug and nobody knows how much will be released. Not even Trinity East Energy. This in total is a 'refinery' that they want to build, a fucking refinery and nobody is asking any questions. I guess you haven't heard that the City Attorney has decided today 

that there will be NO public commentary at the hearing. This is bullshit.



http://dallasdrilling.wordpress.com/2013/01/08/cothrum-lied-to-dallas-commissioners/

director21
director21

@Jack No, Jack, I would NOT say that driving a fossil fuel vehicle to the CPC hearing is hypocritical at all. We had no choice in the types of cars we drive or the type of fuel they use. We have what is available to us. What I would say is that your question is completely obtuse and very typical for somebody who fails to comprehend even the first thing about this issue.


With a little luck, perhaps we will have more environmentally friendly vehicles and fuel sources in the near future, but with dinosaurs like you standing in the way getting there is made more difficult.

marianagriggs
marianagriggs

@Jack

I can walk or bike of it makes you feel better. I already feel good cutting my consumption. Where will you be?

schermbeck
schermbeck

@Jack No, it's not. That figure doesn't cover any greenhouse gas pollution, but similarly-sized facilities can emit 20-80,000 tons of CO2 and other greenhouse gases every year. We don't know what kind of pollution the "25 tons a year" figures applies to, or even if it's accurate - such as been the rigorous review process by Dallas City Hall. If it Nitrogen Oxides, then it's like 150,000-200,000 cars idling in one big parking lot by the River. Could be NOx, Particulate Matter and Carcinogens like Benzene and Formaldehyde that are also familiar releases from these kinds of facilities. Nobody knows. Our quaint position is that your residents should be informed about how many tons of cancer causing and smog -causing chemicals you want to put in their air. We're just strange that way I guess......

marianagriggs
marianagriggs

@everlastingphelps

What circus? The budget doesn't ever have enough money because the city manager is apparently incompetent. She spent the millions from this deal and didn't even hire us a gas inspector.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

@everlastingphelps what do you plan to shove up your ass when drill and plant in a FLOODPLAIN inevitably floods and the toxic chemicals end up in the water table?

marianagriggs
marianagriggs

@brantley.hargrove1 @darrd2010

Exactly, it's at the end. Would have preferred the headline, "Citizens right to speak gets gassed!"

Thanks though.

director21
director21

@everlastingphelps @darrd2010 Everlasting, do you have any more of what you are smoking? It is obviously very good if it fogs your mind that badly.


Gas is currently selling for $2.71 per mcf. The breakeven cost to produce that gas is about $8-9.00 per mcf. For over three years natural gas has sold far below its breakeven production cost, and it will probably not exceed breakeven for at least a decade, if ever. China, Russia and other countries with recoverable reserves that dwarf ours are moving to exploit their own gas, so there goes most of the projected export market long before we even get started on building export terminals.

 I have a fairly strong background in math and know a little about economics, but you apparently know much more about that than me, so please explain where all those revenues and taxes are going to come from. It takes some of that GOP "fuzzy math" to make $2.71 - $8.00 equal a positive number.

marianagriggs
marianagriggs

@everlastingphelps @darrd2010

Just because you pay taxes doesn't mean that you should pollute our air and take millions of gallons of water out of the water cycle forever- much less work hard to cover up your accidents.

Cut your comsumptiom just a little and you won't feel so obligated to cater to this industry. Your own guilt at feeling powerless to stop this heavy industry is showing.

WCGasette
WCGasette

@everlastingphelps @darrd2010  What? A "tax-paying business" you say? So, do you mean to imply there are "businesses" that are not tax-paying?  Surely you mean "legitimate" tax-paying businesses! Well, we know THAT's not right. Maybe you made a typo.  So, let's just say we drill within 300 feet of your back fence! We're gonna need some dedicated volunteers if this thing passes. Thanks for raising your hand for gas drilling in your back yard.

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