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North Texas Lawmaker Pushes for Hearing on Injection Well, More Cities Join Fight

Several North Texas cities are banding together, gearing up for a hearing in Austin to stop an oil and gas company from drilling a waste water well near Lake Arlington.

State Rep. Chris Turner of Grand Prairie sent a request to the Texas Railroad Commission to hold a Tarrant County hearing to give citizens an opportunity to share their thoughts and express their concerns about Bluestone Natural Resources' application for a fluid injection well located on the western edge of Lake Arlington.

“I have heard from many members of the community who oppose the proposed injection well for fear that its proximity to Lake Arlington could harm Arlington’s municipal and industrial water supply,” Turner said in a statement.

The proposed disposal well would be less than 200 feet from the lake. According to the Director of Arlington Water Utilities, Lake Arlington is the sole source of water for the Trinity River Authority’s Tarrant County Water Supply Project water treatment plant, which provides treated water to Bedford, Colleyville, Euless, Grapevine and North Richland Hills.

The cities of Arlington, Fort Worth, Bedford, Euless, North Richland Hills, and the Trinity River Authority have all sent letters to in protest of the waste water well, expressing concerns of water contamination and the risk of drilling causing earthquakes.

Even though, Fort Worth and Arlington have bans on waste water injection wells, the RRC approved Bluestone’s application stating “application requirements were met.” The overwhelming response of protest pushed the RRC to leave the final decision up to lawmakers in Austin. A hearing has been scheduled for May 24, but many residents feel the hearing should be held in North Texas.

“The people I represent deserve a chance to air their concerns at a public hearing and not to have to travel to Austin to do so,” Turner said. "If the Railroad Commission wants to make decisions about what happens in our backyard, they should travel to our backyard and listen to the people who will be most impacted."

The City of Arlington voted unanimously March 7 to hire outside attorneys and an industry expert to oppose the proposed saltwater disposal well.

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