Arlington Tensions Rise After Fracking Site Accident

It was a heated debate between Arlington residents, city officials and the operator of a fracking site that sits near their homes Wednesday at a special town hall called to discuss a recent gas leak.

The site sits in south Arlington on Matlock Road near Cravens Park.

In the wee hours of September 10th, a pinhole sized leak occurred in the pipe of one of the older wells creating a vapor cloud.

“I heard a loud hissing sound, so I went outside and the sound was coming from the gas well, so I had to call 911,” said Chris Creamer who captured it on video thanks to a drone.

While some living nearby pointed to a foul taste and smell, the operator, Saddle, claims there are few health concerns saying it’s mostly water vapor with some natural gas. The city fined the company and temporarily shut down the site.

But with it back up and running, emotions were high Wednesday as question after question and concerns were shouted across the room by neighbors who’d like to see the site shut down.

“I don't want this site to be here. It needs to be gone... needs to be gone. Yesterday's news,” said Creamer.

This comes after Arlington city council approved four new gas wells back in June, setting a new precedent for how close to existing gas wells new homes can be built.

Council Member Sheri Capehart told residents the city’s hands are somewhat tied when it comes to oil and gas drilling thanks to state law.

“The state is the one that really determines how much reach the city has with these, and when house bill 40 passed, it severely limited action on behalf of the city,” said Capehart.

Following tonight’s meeting, she plans to take the concerns heard here to the rest of council. Several citizens in the room tried to turn the conversation to upcoming elections, hoping new leadership will solve their problem.

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