Site of Arlington Fracking Fluid Leak Could Soon Reopen

An Arlington gas well site that leaked thousands of gallons of fracking fluid in April could soon resume drilling.

All operations at Vantage Energy's Lake Arlington Baptist Church site along Little Road have been suspended since that leak occurred.

The company said a well head component malfunctioned, causing a back flow of fracking fluid to spill out. No natural gas leaked from the well, but the incident forced dozens of families in the area to evacuate their homes.

On Tuesday, Arlington Fire Chief Don Crowson gave the City Council an update on the cleanup efforts.

"I will give Vantage credit for this," said Crowson. "They've owned it. They've owned the responsibility for it."

Through the course of their investigation, fire officials determined more than 42,000 gallons of fracking fluid escaped into the city's storm water system. They don't believe the city's water supply or the public are in any danger.

"Arlington Environmental, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the EPA tested the water and soil samples in several locations and found pollutant material below levels that will require further remediation," said Assistant Fire Chief Jim Self.

Crowson said Vantage has identified the faulty component that caused the well head to malfunction and has taken steps to fix the problem on that well and others.

The company has also paid the city more than $82,000 to reimburse taxpayers for the response to the leak. That doesn't include additional fines Vantage had to pay for three citations the city issued following the incident.

"Our relationship with Vantage has been very good historically," said Crowson.

Crowson did not mince words, though, when he discussed Vantage's decision to wait nearly two hours before reporting the leak to 911. He called the company's actions "unacceptable" and said he's met with Vantage and other energy companies to make sure they understand that.

"Call the fire department immediately," said Crowson. "That's been carefully and directly communicated."

In an email to NBC 5, a spokesperson for Vantage said, "We've worked collaboratively with the fire department on revised notification procedures."

Crowson said the site has to pass one last inspection before drilling can resume. When that happens, he said the public will be notified.

Contact Us